I’m Doing This! #5Days5Words

I love to blog, but I don’t blog on a schedule. My only self-imposed blogging rule is that I’ll publish at least one post a week, and I usually write more than that. But over the summer, one is often it, and I’m happy to meet my goal. Blogging makes me happy! Today, I read this recent post by Sue Dunlop, where she linked creativity and writing. Writing — and in my case, “blogging” — is my way to be creative. When I was young, I used to always say that I wanted to grow up to be a teacher and a writer. Thanks to this blog, I’m able to be this writer, and thanks to HWDSB, my teacher dream has also come true! It was recently an administrator in our Board that got me thinking more about blogging. Kristi Keery-Bishop is one of my favourite bloggers, and I’ve missed her posts in the last few months. I was excited to see that she’s blogging again, and has actually offered up a challenge to other bloggers#5days5words. Oh gosh! I love a challenge, but can I blog on a schedule? It’s actually the combined effort of Sue and Kristi — likely unknowingly to both of them — that has me facing my scheduled writing fears and taking this challenge. I want to get creative. I adore blogging. And maybe it will be good to approach some writing in a different way.

My first word and first post then is all about a break. I don’t take breaks well. While I love to read, spend time with family and friends, and even sleep in every so often, usually my break times — especially my summer breaks — are interrupted. Since high school, I’ve always worked in the summer, and I love doing so. I could choose to take two months off, but honestly, I wouldn’t know what to do with all of this time. For years, I taught for my parents at their summer school, and then in the past couple of years, I’ve become one of the site leads for our Board’s Camp Power Program. While camp doesn’t start until August (or the end of July this year), there’s planning and preparation to do throughout the school year and into July. I spent days in and out of the Board Office with the other site leads as summertime began. But then I did something that Sue Dunlop actually recommended to me a few years ago (and I wish that I could remember exactly when or how she did so), and I took a break. Like a real break. I went over a week where I didn’t send emails, coordinate supplies, or do planning or preparation for camp.

  • I met friends.
  • I enjoyed the beautiful weather.
  • And I read LOTS and LOTS of books(Sometimes I even read more than one a day!)

I loved every single minute of this break time! I needed it. But last weekend, I realized that it’s August now, and back-to-school is coming soon enough. I really need to work on updating our class blog, and I had grand plans to do so. When the weekend came though, some wonderful books captured my interest instead. It was last Sunday night when I sent this text to my best friend. 

You know what? The class blog will be updated … and it will be done before the start of school, but right now, maybe I need to rest, relax, and rejuvenate during these finals days (or weekends) of summer. Yes, I’m constantly pulled in by the educational conversations and classroom posts on Twitter and Instagram, and sometimes I feel guilty when I spend my time reading a great suspense novel instead of an academic book, but I try not to. Breaks are important, and when the school year begins again, I will be giving all of myself to our kids, our parents, our classroom, my colleagues, and the school for 10 wonderful months. It’s okay to take a break … right? Do others feel this same guilt that I sometimes feel, and how do you address it? I know the many comments that are made about educators and “two months off,” but maybe we all need to embrace the break we need … no matter what that might look like for us. It seems somewhat ironic now when I ask others to join in on this #5days5words challenge, but hopefully you can do so while still enjoying your break and the remaining days of summer!

Aviva

6 thoughts on “I’m Doing This! #5Days5Words

  1. It takes me about 3 weeks to really get into “taking a break”. I usually have a list of “things I will do when I have the time” bit and pieces that I have to attend to before I can really relax (I painted bedrooms the first week of summer this year!) After I relax for about a week, I start to invent projects for myself. I am currently writing a multi-genre book about trees to use as a writing mentor text in class this year because apparently there aren’t already enough books on my shelves! I find no joy in repetitive work, so serious housework project are few and far between. It won’t be until the second to last week before school begins that I start to feel like I need to make some lesson plans, write long range plans, etc. It is hard to turn off the school brain for sure! I’ve always got a PD book on the go over the summer, but I try to take a break from reading too much and just enjoy my time.

    • Thanks for sharing what you do, Lisa! I find it so interesting how different people take a break. Just like with Self-Reg, it’s a good reminder that what works for one of us doesn’t work for everyone. I wonder too how even when we do break, is school still on our minds (working even in the background perhaps)? Today, I drove half-way up to my school before I even realized it … and camp is actually in the opposite direction. I had a school thought though, and I wonder if my driving brain went on autopilot. Oops! 🙂

      Aviva

  2. Thanks for joining in, Aviva! The structure of blogging for 5 days was some self-imposed structure; hopefully you don’t find it too limiting for you. I’m so proud of you for taking a break! I am learning more and more how we really need to selfishly take those opportunities to step away from our jobs to take a breath, recharge, and gain perspective. I’m so glad you did that.

    • Thanks Kristi! I think I can do it. I remember Sue doing one of these blogging challenges a few years ago. I turned mine into a commenting one instead. Maybe it’s time to try the blogging option! 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration! As for a break, I’m glad that I’ve really taken one this summer. I think I needed it, and in the end, the time to reflect and recharge will surely make me better for kids.

      Aviva

  3. Thanks for participating, Aviva. You know my feelings on this one! Glad you took a break. Bonus: gives you more energy and focus for the year ahead.

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