Well, I am now into the 1st week of my summer vacation and I couldn't be more excited to have this time off. Last week was sad, of course. It always is. I know all teachers find it hard to say goodbye to the little kiddos who have called your classroom home for a year. I have spent 7 hours a day for 180 days with them. That's A LOT of time together! I have watched them laugh and cry, make new friends and gotten their feelings hurt. I've been there to see the smile stretch across their faces as they learn something new or find success in even the smallest of things. I can pick out their handwriting when given a line-up of 20 other papers. I've hugged each of them goodbye 180 times (and sometimes more for those little sweeties who need an extra hug or two). There is always that worry I get at the end of each year ---- Did I teach them everything I could? Did I make the most of the time we had together? Did I take the opportunities to celebrate our learning and not just rush on to the next thing? Did I allow them to develop a love of learning? Did I create a classroom where they felt safe and confident in who they are? I'll never really know, but now that another year is gone ---- I just hope I made a difference and an impact in some way for each of them.
Here is one of my favorite quotes that I think of at the end of each year:
By the way, in case anyone was wondering.....my last week went great! :-) We had a lot of fun with our Field Days (which was a rain date), Beach Day, and our End of the Year Party. We played Minute to Win It, which was absolutely hilarious!!! (I will post pictures another day because I don't have my camera with me right now. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of pictures. That is definitely something I need to work on next year.) I gave out classroom awards. We talked about our summer plans and talked about what we liked the most about our year. It was the perfect end to a fantastic year!!! I will miss you my little firsties :-(
So now that I'm into my summer mindset, I have a mental to-do list that literally has at least 100 things on it. What I need to do is sit down and actually write out my to-do list and then prioritize, because, let's be honest - I will never get everything done that I want to. Maybe if I didn't have 2 little girls (who I wouldn't trade for anything in the whole world) then I could accomplish more on the list. But what would I rather have at the end of the summer --- a completed to-do list all checked off OR memories and time I can never get back with my beautiful girlies! We all know the right answer to that one!
Many of the things that will be on the priority part of my list are planning units and ideas for the next school year. I know I won't be able to plan and create everything I want to, but I need to start now so I can get going. I've been spending my mornings (now that I don't have to get ready right away) in my PJ's, with my cup of coffee, blog hopping and revisiting my pins on Pinterest for inspiration. I have found and pinned soooooooo many amazing ideas, I don't even know where to start. Does anyone else out there feel like this? I can't be the only one. There are so many ideas I have for how I want my year to go next year, but I am becoming very overwhelmed because, AGAIN, I can't do it all.
Are we seeing a pattern here????????
So, I've decided that I will not let myself be disappointed at the end of the summer. I will put my family at the top of my priority list for every day, and whatever I have time for after that will just have to do. I will do as much as I am able to do and I will be happy with whatever that may be. Nobody can do it all and it's way too stressful to try.
Phew - I feel better now that I've decided not to try to be perfect. It's exhausting!!!
So I hope you are all enjoying your summer so far ---- a summer that is, and will be, perfect in spite of our own mediocrity!!!!