Summer Break is Here

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I finished out the school year on Wednesday. It’s funny how there’s always so much to do, so much pressure I put on myself, I feel so far behind, yet… I always manage to finish my very last task about 2 minutes before my contract day is up on the last day. I’m usually walking out to my car right on time as though it’s any other day of the year.
It was really hard to walk away this year. So much of it has to do with having learned to love teaching again this year to the point that I can’t imagine my life without including this job. I love teaching and doing it in a new place with new colleagues and a new set of students was key in uncovering that truth. When I ended the school year last year I was already discouraged about the next one, uncertain that I wanted to do this anymore, unclear on whether or not I was any good at it, wondering if I even remotely enjoyed teaching anymore. I fell in love, again, with my chosen profession. To add another layer to the stress this year, I took a job interview for a teaching position in another district altogether. I have to be honest and say I’m still not sure if I’m being offered the job or not, but what I can say is that it made me reflect about where I am, what I do, the philosophies that guide me and my strengths as an educator. I was forced to realize how very happy I am, how talented I am and how, again, how I pick being a teacher over anything else I could do. It’s a gift to do what I do. An honor. That’s not to say it’s perfect and I still assert that I work in a system with serious flaws that need to be changed, but I still pick teaching. Color me happy.
The picture is of my last group hug of the year with my students. So many are leaving my school this year, making the last day very bittersweet indeed. I cried the ugly cry… As parents we get nearly two decades with our babies, as teachers we get nine months with our students but the bonds and connections run deep; I love them like they’re my own. Separating from them can be very emotional and this year was definitely no different. I love them and will miss them tremendously.

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I’ve done a solid job of working out this week, which makes me pretty happy and impressed with myself- last week of school and shark week, all in one. I hit the classes like I said I would. My friend, Nan, hit Zumba with us on Tuesday and I was extra proud on Wednesday when I hit the gym for body pump after the last day of school. I was the only one in my group there, but it was still fun and I got an amazing workout. There was a different instructor and she did a good job of pushing me. She’d tell the class that she was challenging us, to not give up, to push through and she reminded us that we were going to be so proud of ourselves if we could finish the reps/keep the heavier weight/push a little harder, and she was right. My pecs are sore, my biceps are sore, my thighs… I got some good burn and I feel proud of what I did in there. Unfortunately I have a dental appointment right before my Friday class of Boot Camp, so I’ll miss that.
I’m stopping going to the gym for the summer. I’m going to try to get Bradley, who is recovering from a neck/back injury, back into the swing of things with me as runners together. Yesterday I got on the treadmill and elliptical for a solid 3+ mile workout while he went to the store. Today I want to get him out for a walk and I think I’m going to try some YouTube Zumba. I’d like to get up a little earlier this summer and be regularly hitting 5-7 miles by the time August closes out. I don’t have a big weightloss goal for the summer; I’m going to focus on just staying fit and maintaining my current levels, hopefully get toned and build some muscle, but mostly I just want to enjoy using my body to be active. I suppose that’s a pretty great goal as well! I have the 10K coming up in September and I really like having that in front of me as a guide.
Food wise, we had a huge fifth grade party here yesterday. There was pizza, soda, chips, dip, candy… Yes, there were lots of fruits and veggies too, but just like the kids I chose poorly. It was a high calorie day. Today I’m getting back into the swing of things and turning the crud away. Well, the kids mostly ate it all so there’s not much to avoid, fortunately. Ha! But you get the idea. I’m turning over the new, healthy, green leaf and trying to eat fresh again.
So, here we go! Cheers to the start of a fabulous, active summer!

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