What an amazing week it has been, getting back into the school routine! No matter how much I try to prepare for the start of the school year, it always catches me by surprise just how much is required to do this job that I love. From every direction and in every direction, there is an onslaught of information and questions. I seem to walk for miles, up and down the hallways, finding what I need or more often than not, retrieving what I forgot. I managed to lock my keys in my closet three times this week. Clearly one of the skills that I put aside over the summer was effective multi-tasking.
So this morning, I decided to just sit quietly. I poured a cup of coffee and went into the living room, away from my computer and my papers, and simply sat. I looked out the window at the yard and thought about the hours spent in the vegetable garden this summer. I took quiet, slow breathes, focusing on nothing more than enjoying the moment. It made me realize that I need to create a new routine for early Sundays. I need to claim some quiet and calm where I simply relax and enjoy a moment of peacefulness.
Really, this is very challenging for me. Once the school year starts and I have students to plan for, my brain seems to always be engaged. I don’t think that I am unusual in this at all. Most teachers I know rarely have their classrooms and their students far from their minds. We are constantly tweaking what we did last year to make it serve the actual students that we teach this year. We are reading and investigating, trying to learn new ways of presenting our content to more fully engage our classes. When I am driving or walking the dog, ideas are constantly percolating. I always have my phone with me, so that I can record them. It is simply how my mind works from September until June.
While all of that is true and good for my practice in the classroom, there is real value in holding onto the calm of summer for some time each week. So early Sunday morning is going to become that time, to rest and to be still, to not think about curriculum or students or plans at all. A time to breathe slowly and deeply! A calm in the midst of the storm that I love! Fingers crossed that I can be disciplined and maintain it!