Slice of Life: August a.k.a the Sunday of Summer

minion A friend shared this meme today and it reflects how I have been feeling since August 1st.  August feels like the Sunday of summer when my time is my own but I have work I should be doing and time is running out.  I dread this time of year when “Back to School” supplies are on display.  They serve as a reminder to all the good intentions I started the summer with…

Exercise more…

Write more…

Professional reading plans…

House organization and clean out projects…

Classroom organization and clean out projects…

With the exception of classroom organization I have whittled away a bit at the other items on my to-do list.  Of course, not as much as I had hoped.  On the last day of school I said good-bye to my principal and said I would be in on rainy days to putter around in my room.

The trouble is this has been a summer of few rainy days so trips out to school just didn’t happen.  My days have been filled with kayaking, horseback riding, walking, camping, meeting friends for lunch, and reading on the deck.  I even had a few days of doing nothing I can actually account for. I have been away the last two weeks and the days are slipping by even more quickly.  I am filled with guilt for not getting in sooner and dread the job ahead.

I designated this week to be the week and today to be the day.  I planned for my ace helper, my daughter Erin, to help me this week before she starts double sessions of field hockey workouts next week.  When I checked my email yesterday I discovered my room is getting painted tomorrow… great news except it puts off my big plans.

I decided to buck up and go into school on my own to clean out shelves that should be emptied before the painting crew comes in.  Erin can’t really help me with cleaning out because I am the one to make big decisions of toss or keep.  So I went alone mourning the loss of summer days filled with choice activities and knowing the insane schedule of the school year will start in just a few weeks.  Appropriately it actually rained today so weather matched my mood.

I entered my room and every single item in my room was piled into the center in a jumble waiting for the paint crew to arrive.  I sighed, put on some music and started at the top of the shelf in the corner.  Folders and notebooks sorted through and mostly pitched.  I am about to start my 20th year of teaching so there was quite a collection of outdated materials, old curricula and policies. I even found some materials from my first four years of teaching when I was a special education teacher.  Somehow when I made the switch to the classroom I thought I might use them. IMG_1451 I continued down the shelf through teaching resources that I forgot I had purchased or had inherited from a retiring teacher.  Some books were tossed… Gasp!  If I hadn’t used them in the last five years (or ever!)I didn’t need them.  Some were treasures I forgot I had. Book piles formed based on content.

Gradually I began to feel lighter and I began looking ahead and seeing possibilities.  Ideas began to form on new ways to work vocabulary and poetry into our day.  All of my Responsive Classroom materials ended up together so I can easily come up with ideas to perk up my morning meetings and work more energizers into my day. Three filled recycling bags and a sizable pile of  reusable notebooks/folders  later I was done.

Just cleaning this small corner of the room made me excited about the possibilities of a new school year and a new class of students.

I may not BE actually ready but I am ready for a new school year.



  1. I can relate to this. We had our first meetings today and I spent the afternoon wondering where to begin on that pile in the center of my room. I was able to clean off and organize one shelf–hopefully I will drag myself in tomorrow and raise my goal to at least two shelves. In the end, I am also very excited to begin again.

  2. I totally relate! So many goals for this summer…some accomplished and some not. I tend to be a keeper so organization is a constant struggle! Hope you make progress this week!

  3. Oh boy…I can so relate. But, reading through the list of things you had done, I feel as though you did the things you needed to do this summer. Especially the days that can’t “be accounted for” – that’s what summer is all about, my friend!

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