I have worked more – and way more enjoyably – in this summer than in any summer in my teaching past. Much of this has been flipclass collaboration – a lot with Andrew Thomasson and Cheryl Morris – but there have also been some really good work with some colleagues at my school around teaching digital literacy and digital citizenship. All of this collaboration has been really exhilarating. It has also been enjoyable to piece together what my classroom will look like next year: there are going to be some big changes, but the planning of logistical issues has been a lot of fun. I took essentially no days off, yet I’ve maintained a high level of excitement about all of the work that I’ve been doing. (I don’t write this to be self-aggrandizing, merely to contextualize my summer.)
I headed out of the Bay Area for a solid three week West Coast road trip just as our (Morris, Thomasson, and I) next scheme was starting to come together. In some ways, I’ve wondered what the heck is going on with that project. Or the couple other things we’ve been working on. And I’ve tried – somewhat successfully – to turn my brain off. But, I’ve done a lot of hiking, and the entire first week of hiking was done alone. So while I was basking in the majesty of ancient, enormous redwoods on the northern California coast, my mind still wandered to education-related areas. Quite a bit.
And it has been a great trip: Redwood National Park, the Oregon Coast, Seattle and the vicinity, and Glacier National Park – plus five breweries along the way. (The perks of not having children I need to be responsible for!) And I’ve needed the semi-time away – I returned home today for 48 hours then head off to three days of CUE Rockstar. Then, return home for an all-day meeting on Friday August 10th. Teachers’ first work day? That Monday. Students arrive on Tuesday the 13th. And I need to meet the teacher-candidate that I’ll be working with for the year somewhere in there too.
I start school a solid two weeks earlier than most – a lot of teachers still have a lot of summer left. Turn your brain off for a few days (or longer). Or try to. Unplug. Enjoy the outdoors or a good book. Because day one is on the horizon.