Brain Flashes

Somewhere in the middle of August, I always begin to worry. The beginning of the school year is coming and all I see are the dozens of balls that I have carefully let drop to the floor over the summer. I always work during the summer: attending conferences, reading new books, talking with fellow educators, teaching seminars. The difference is that it is all at my own pace. I can sleep in, which simply means past 6:00 AM, or I can go for a walk. I can market or curl up and read. I get to choose what happens and when it happens. That is the mark of summer for me.

It is with real anxiety that I travel through August. There are so many balls to get back in the air, so many jobs that I know will have to get done. So many students to think about and so much WORK to do. It feels overwhelming when viewed from the midst of summer. I know that I have done it before, so I cling to the thought that I will be able to do it again. However, it just feels impossible. My thoughts seem sluggish and uninspired. My energy feels low and in need of those wonderful Summer Afternoon Naps.

Then it starts! Last week was spent in meetings, talking about the students and the new challenges of the year. It was time to reconnect with colleagues and set up my classroom. There was planning for the first day and week of school to be done. New textbooks to unpack and bulletin boards to create! I started it with heavy feet. There was so much to do!

I didn’t even notice it starting, but the brain flashes began. With each new conversation or box unpacked, I couldn’t keep myself from starting to think about my students. New ideas and plans started to percolate up through the calm of my summer mind. I suddenly wanted to write a lesson or plan an introductory activity. My husband kept asking me, “Are you alright?” because it was clear that I was distracted. And I was! The energy was starting to flow. I kept thinking about that first day. What would make it better? How could I capture my students imagination and energy? What could I do to make them want to come back to the classroom?

I realized that some of my initial plans were flatter than I wanted. They didn’t have any hook for the students. Just thinking about it reconnected me with the educator inside of me. I felt the passion and the energy flowed. I am ready! Ready to give my best for the students in my room! Ready to dream as big as I can! Ready to take risks and do all that I can to make learning as engaging and powerful as it can be!

Welcome! Time to start the year!

5 responses to “Brain Flashes

  1. Thanks for this – have a great year.

  2. Feel exactly the same way 2 weeks ago, I though I’d never be ready. But here we are, and I think I’m good to go.

  3. Hi! My name is Danielle Gideon. I am a elementary education major at the University of South Alabama. I have been assigned your blog to post a comment on for my EDM 310 class. The class blog is and my blog address is I will be posting a summary of my comments from your blog to my class blog in about two weeks.

    I found your post Brain Flashes to be very inspirational as a future educator. The passion you have for your students is very obvious from reading your post. I was very encouraged reading Brain Flashes. I enjoyed reading about how you work through overwhelming situations. I found it so interesting to learn even experienced teacher’s can feel overwhelmed at the beginning of a new school year. My goal as a future educator is to have a same level of passion for my students as you clearly have for yours!

    • Welcome, Danielle! I always enjoy the comments that EDM 310 students leave. I think that when you have a passion for teaching, it always calls you to give and be your best. Intimidating at every stage, but well worth it!

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