Sunday, June 3, 2018

Design Your Summer

Here we sit ready to open the door into summer.  I'm not sure how we got here so fast.  Wasn't it just August?  Weren't we just falling into the rhythms of a school year?  It seems hard to believe, but it is summer.

On the way to school this week I was listening to Gretchen Rubin's podcast: Happier (Podcast 169).  In this episode, she and her sister, Elizabeth, were talking about designing your summer.  The idea is that summer should have a little adventure and if you aren't careful to design your time it can slip by without the opportunity to do all you had hoped.  (The idea intrigued me so much that I dug in a bit more and found more explanation in podcast 67 and podcast 118).)

As an educator, I always struggle to be kind when I hear, "Oh, you teach.  You have your entire summer off."  This is a bit of a myth, but I resist the urge to lecture others about the contract days of a teacher or the reality of summer work.  I understand that summer does bring me a bit of flexibility in my schedule.  For me, and for many educators, summer is the training months for the marathon ahead.  June is peppered with meetings, and August is a race from the moment we turn the calendar.  How we spend our time matters.  During the summer I have found I need to determine an amount of time I will truly rest, catch up on all of the house tasks that fell behind in the prior months, spend time with professional reading, and plan for the year ahead.

I'm taking Gretchen's advice to design my summer before it begins:

Adventure:  Patio Pursuit

It's patio season!  Most of the summer you will find me sitting on my patio enjoying a good book and a cup of coffee.  I just love being able to sit outside early in the morning and well into the evening.  Of course, summer also brings the opportunity to find new patios.  It's the perfect time of year to find restaurants with outdoor patios and coffee shops with outdoor seating to linger.  This summer, I will find a new patio each week to enjoy.  I'll be posting these on my Instagram page with the hashtags #patiopursuit #designyoursummer.

Friends & Family:  Wedding Bells

This friends and family one is easy.  My oldest daughter is getting married in August so this summer will be spent in final preparation for this event.  There will be lots of opportunities for friends and family along the way.

Professional Learning:  Eight Would be Great!

Oh, my professional reading stack is large and looming.  I love this time of year as it allows the opportunity to focus in on some professional reading.  It's obvious I need a plan to accomplish the task of reading these titles so I've decided as I design my summer that "Eight Would Be Great!".  My plan is to have eight professional books read by the end of summer (and that is a very doable number.).  It's roughly one book each week with a week here and there for books that require a bit more reflection.

Projects:  The Office

Since leaving my classroom, we have a room that I have used as an office/creation space/guest room. It needs some work to make it comfortable and utilize the space in the best way possible.  I'm honestly not sure what that actually is, but I think I'll spend the summer figuring it out.

What are your plans to make your summer the best it can be?



  1. I go away on vacation and you are writing some great posts. I'm so happy to see instagram is your design with your own awesome is this!

  2. This is so good! What a wise thing to do! I enjoyed reading your summer design...and I need to figure out mine!

  3. Oh, you inspire me! I first need, no have to clean out and organize the cubby we call a laundry room. As for my other goals, well they’re all interwoven. I want to read enough professional books to be able to hold intriguing and inspirational conversations with you. I LOVE your new patio each week goal and hope to be invited!