Like many of you, I will be be keeping busy over the summer. I will be doing some teaching, attending workshops and staff retreats, performing on my instrument, and planning for the upcoming school year. But with summer comes a more relaxed schedule and a welcome break from things that drain time and energy during the school year like email, paperwork and constant demands from students, parents and administration. During the school year, there is never enough time. It's ten months of "survival mode," trying to keep my head above water and never getting enough crossed off my to do list.
But once school is out and my mind has a chance to stop racing from one thing to the next, a wonderful thing happens-- thoughts begin to form, gel and take shape. Some of my best teaching ideas have been developed over extended school breaks. By relaxing my brain, I can tackle everything with much more clarity, focus and creativity. It is a very zen-like feeling when it happens.
I will probably do a little work just about every day this summer. Some days, I may devote several hours of intense effort. On others, I may spend only 20 minutes leisurely browsing online for ideas. Either way, my teacher brain will be engaged and ideas will start to develop. I have quite a bit of problem solving to do this summer. I will be teaching on a block schedule for the first time next year, and my band classes will be organized differently than they have been in the past. The "way I've always done it" will not be feasible. Let's just say I have a lot to figure out, and I'm looking forward to having the time to do so.
As you embark on your summer break, I encourage you relax and let your brain reboot. It's a great way to get the creative juices flowing. Keep a notepad (or an iPad) handy so you can jot down thoughts as they come to you. Who knows, you might come up with the best teaching idea you ever had!
I plan to share some of my thoughts here throughout the summer. What great ideas are you developing?