Gary and me at Virginia Beach
Gary and me at Virginia Beach

As usual, this summer is zipping by, and I can’t seem to slow it down. We have a busy schedule, which means it’s not likely I will accomplish all of my summer cleaning goals, but we are creating some great memories, and that’s much more important. As a teacher, I am extremely grateful for my time off. There are many who make comments about how teachers have it made having summers off, but I can tell you, it is necessary. After spending day after day with 22 or more students, being not only teacher, but many times a nurse, mother, counselor, and more, we are exhausted. I love my students, but just as parents are ready for their kids to return to school in August, we are ready to return them to you in May. We spend time with our own families, catch up on all the work we missed out on throughout the school year, plan for the new year, read education-related material, and come back ready to tackle a new year. If it weren’t for summer break, I would be incredibly stressed, and I wouldn’t be the best teacher I can be. Come August, I will be eager to welcome a new group of students. Which brings me to one of the things that brings both excitement and added work this summer…

I will be starting the 2013-14 school year in a new position! I have taught third grade for the past six years, and have enjoyed almost every moment of it. I had considered moving up to junior or senior high English, but a few years ago I would have had to return to college to add to my license. In more recent years, the state of Indiana changed the law regarding some licensing. Someone who already holds a teaching license can now add to that license by passing the Praxis test in that area. Last spring I decided to take the test so I could add English/Language Arts grades 5-12 to my license. I paid the ridiculous fee, studied for over a month, and took the test. I have to admit, it was difficult. Having been out of college for eight years, one forgets the names of authors and styles of literature. I had to wait three weeks after the test to get my results. I was up bright and early the morning the results were available online (and I paid an additional $30 to get those results a few days early), and found that I had passed! I was so excited, and so proud. I had put in the work, and it paid off. Now I had to wait for a position to open.

In April, I learned of the retirement of the eighth grade English teacher, and immediately applied. I was so thrilled at the possibility of focusing on English all day. English is my strength, and I enjoy helping kids discover the love of reading, their potential at writing, and the intricacies of the English language. I had taught English at the prison before becoming an elementary teacher, and I loved every minute of it. I was also intrigued by the idea of working with older students. Having been a youth group leader at church, and a cheer coach years ago, I know that I like being around adolescents. This was the job for me. I went through the first interview in April, and I was a nervous wreck. I kept thinking that here I am, 46 years old, and still interviewing. After that interview was a long wait. This month I had a second interview, and then received the news that I had been selected for the job. I was ecstatic…and a little nervous! I love working at Wm. Tell, and have some amazing friends there. I have learned so much from my boss, and consider her a friend, as well as a mentor. On the other hand, I had to take this opportunity. I immediately got to work studying eighth grade standards, reading texts, and moving. Moving a classroom is no small task. I began by packing up my room at Wm. Tell. I had invested a lot of money in books and materials, and those items have been put in storage containers for my daughter, Bethany, who is currently an education major. Everything else was either left for the new third grade teacher, or moved to the junior/senior high. My next big project is to get my new room cleaned out and reorganized. That begins this week.

Along with preparing for a new grade level, my husband and I have three trips this summer. Last week, we returned from our family vacation to Virginia Beach. My step-daughter and her family live there, so along with enjoying the beach, we were able to spend time with family. Bethany and Addison went along, which was so enjoyable. Bethany hadn’t been on vacation with us in five years, and it was fun to have her along. The weekend of July 4, Gary, Addison, and I are taking a short trip to Northern Indiana and Chicago. The highlights of that trip will be visiting family friends at their house on Dewart Lake, dinner with my cousin in Chicago, visiting my niece Erin, and attending the Cubs game.

At the end of July, Gary and I will be venturing off to Atlanta for a fitness conference: Atlanta Mania. I am really excited about this conference, but also slightly terrified. We will be spending four days working out…all day. And these workouts will be way out of our comfort zones because the purpose is to learn about various types of exercise, and to become better educated on fitness. I am going to become certified to be a Tabata Bootcamp trainer, and Gary will be certified in teaching Spinning. We are attending this conference with several instructors from Everbody’s Gym, so hopefully we will be able to work a little fun in with the torture. Since my knee is still injured (UGH!!!), I am looking forward to learning about some different workouts. Without running, I have struggled to stay as active as I need to be.

No wonder summer is marching by at an accelerated rate! Along with these big events, I also have physical therapy twice a week, and have some other obligations. I am not complaining because I appreciate that we are able to do it all. We have incredible friends and family to share our time with us, and are blessed to be healthy so that we can be involved in fitness. I am thankful every day for the opportunities we have, and that we are no longer afraid to take those opportunities, even if they don’t always work out. I am thankful for summer.

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