Like many of us, I was under the impression that once we were vaccinated up, we could un-pause these on-hold individual worlds of ours and things would move on, beyond COVID. Things are definitely not going quite the way many of us had hoped and I, for one, am trying to wrap my head around the reality that we are still very entrenched in the COVID years and that this will continue for awhile. COVID numbers are rising in many areas of the US, way too many people are not being vaccinated–and we are heading back into school buildings full steam ahead later this month, without a contingency plan if numbers head back through the roof at the school level (despite mask mandates and new vaccination requirements for all school personnel).
But, I digress.
I went from the 2020-21 school year into summer school with only a couple of days off. I really didn’t have any time to decompress from what was the most intense school year of my life. Except it turns out, I actually did.
When I returned to the US in 1994 from my 2-year stint as a Peace Corps teacher, I got a job as a Peace Corps Recruiter out of the Detroit office and one of the job’s benefits was that I ended up processing my Peace Corps experience through the position. I talked out my experience through campus visits, information table chats, and community presentations–with all of the highs and lows of such a life changing experience–as well as sharing my stories with willing listeners. The best part? I had fun doing it.
Teaching summer school in the morning for 5 weeks this year was actually similar. Through the act of teaching, being in a new school environment (my current school did not have credit recovery this summer, so I went freelance), and the activities I had my students completing each day, my students and I helped each other process our 2020-21 school year. Reflections, looking at resilience in ourselves and others, sharing stories, and simply being in-person for learning again, were extremely beneficial. The writing and graphics my talented students produced was so good! We did a final graphic story project and the results were inspiring! Surprisingly fun.
Last week, the second to last of this summer break, we had unexpected visitors (which necessitated the condo receiving a good cleaning) and I had 2 days of pre-2021-2 virtual professional development about new curriculum.
This week is my last of Summer Vacation 2021 and I’m not exhausted–tired, but not tapped out.
This week, I’m at my childhood home, helping my mom celebrate her birthday and our niece celebrate her 21st; taking advantage of my parent’s suburban back yard, allowing the dogs to roam; meeting my sister’s new puppy; and attending my husband’s upcoming family reunion.
And, I’m attempting an end-of-the-summer writing challenge by writing a post a day this week. Today is #1.