Celebrate Extra Time and Space

Every week Ruth Ayers invites bloggers to celebrate their week by focusing on about the big and the small things worth holding up and celebrating. Thank you Ruth for this lovely ritual. Read more celebrations here.celebrate link upToday I celebrate the time and space created by summer. As a teacher, the school year is very time driven. We eek all we can out of every minute. And we get a lot done. But with that pressure, that efficiency, we loose a bit of mind space that allows for possibility and growth. Today I celebrate all that can go with the extra time and space that summer allows.

1. Conversations. In the hurry of the school year, I maintain friendships with a text, a wave, a promise to get together, but in the end, while I mean to take the time, I often can’t or maybe just don’t. I say, next week, tomorrow. All of a sudden, time has slipped by and it hasn’t happened. With a little less schedule, I stop and talk. Today I celebrate two long conversations and how the ebb and flow, the back and forth that goes with it can move your thinking and lift your heart.

2. My desk. I’m one of those teachers who cleans up their classroom and brings a lot home. Because I need to read it, organize it, cull through it, re think it in a thoughtful manner.  The upshot of this is that my desk, in the corner of my bedroom, is inundated with charts, books, papers, more books, files, stacks and stacks of things to go through. Yesterday I went through my stacks of papers, took pictures of charts, filed, tossed and so today, I can celebrate my desk. You can see the color of it!

2014-06-20 11.19.55

3. Projects Completed. This desk space was only possible after I finished a few school related “projects.”  All were opportunities to interact with other teachers, to do things I love, but the prep took mind space, leaving no energy or time to clean up. I moved from one project to the next, telling myself, when it is done then I’ll organize, make dinner on time, shop before 6 pm. I promised myself, my workspace would move to one spot of our house rather than the living room, the dining room and sometimes the kitchen. Today I celebrate the completion of these projects and the space that finishing creates.

4. Reading. Reading takes on a different persona in the summer. I read during the school year, but my summer mindset changes how I understand things. In the summer, I see things that could be. I can see how certain things apply beyond the moment I’m in because there is no particular moment I’m in.  It’s time to fall in love with reading again. Today I celebrate the time and space created for reading and the thinking that goes with it.

5. My family all in one spot, at the same time. Everyone is scattered and schedules seem to never align. But this weekend, the amazing will happen and (because school is out) all will be together at one time. Today, I celebrate that rare occurrence.

Happy first day of summer.


Happy weekend to you.

Scheduling Time to Drift

It’s the first summer Slice of LIfe. Thank you all at Two Writing Teachers. I’m looking forward to the summer slices. Read more of Slicer work here.


I woke up this morning thinking; running through what was on my to do list. I knew swimming was up first. I really wanted to go. Some mornings I’m excited to get to the pool, other days not so much. This morning lying there in bed, I wanted to swim.

Not yet though. Still things to go over in my head. Yesterday was strange. The PD I did on Writer’s Workshop was bugging me. I have a second class on Friday for another group, so I ruminate on what to change. More activities I’m thinking, six hours is a long time to fill. Set norms up front I think. Those certain folks with the phones out talking about apps that were totally unrelated, when they were suppose to be working on creating teaching points based on student work. Really? But wait, this is just depressing me. So I stop.

Think. Today swim first. Then go to my classroom; finish up the room for summer. This brings my brain to the recent news of people leaving my school. Others coming in. Shifting sands, leaving me a bit off, a bit irritated. Felt that last night as I went to bed. Fell asleep after reading the first chapter of Linda Rief’s Read, Write, Teach (thank you Tara for this great review.) That centered me and reminded me of why I do love what I do. The anticipation of spending the day with this book lifted me up out of bed and to my back pack.

Swim things ready? Hmm, shorts? I pull open the drawer that holds clothes I only see this time of year and that rush of summer hit me.

I put the shorts in my bag, and I’m reminded of the appointments I need to make. With less scheduled time, comes all of those things I’ve set aside to do when I have the time. That time is now, so I tell myself after swim, make those appointments.

I walk into the bathroom grab a towel. Nice, I think to swim today. Normally I don’t swim on Tuesdays. Tuesdays, I think. Hmm. Why is it that I haven’t been swimming on Tuesdays?

Slice of Life! I totally forgot. Only the second day of summer and I’m lost. With freedom from the bell schedule, comes disorientation.

I sat down and thought, maybe I should skip the swim get right to blogging, then I can get my classroom, clean it up so I’ll be done.

But, no wait.

I can swim, blog and then clean. No one but me will go in the room.

Breathe, it is summer I remind myself.

It’s time to create a different way of moving through time. I have lots of things scheduled.  But I want to find time to “do summer.”  I want to find those spots, moments that allow time to move a little slower, so I can move a little slower. I want to find that time to be outside, doing un school like things, That time to talk, to not worry about getting to the next thing. TImes when no one is expecting me there, when I can just drift a bit, without a to do list.