My favorite denim shorts are 16 years old. They are full of holes, but I cannot part with them. They’re just too comfortable. They’re a symbol of the freedom summer brings. They represent carefree summer days spent walking on the beach, riding my bike, or driving across town for vanilla custard covered in pecans and caramel.
As school begins again, summer’s sweetness starts to slip away. Days spent in the sand and pedaling down winding trails become a memory. Learning curriculum and writing lesson plans are the new norm. Yet it’s crucial to integrate summer things (or at least one of them) into the new routine to create a sustainable balance.
My summer thing is taking a walk. I need to end the day by putting on my shorts and walking around town. And not just for the exercise. The walk is time to clear my head and put things in perspective. It’s my time for me.
As teachers we often leave doing things for ourselves off of our to-do lists. We think doing more things for our students will make us better teachers, when in reality, neglecting ourselves makes us less effective.
How about you? As you begin the new school year, what’s one thing you can keep for you on your to-do list? Name it and claim it as your “summer thing” that’s too comfortable and too valuable to let go. Write it on your daily to-do list in bold letters. Your list isn’t complete without it.