Teachers, especially middle school teachers, I believe, steel themselves for the months of May and June. March seems eternal, the longest month, with no 3 day weekends to look forward to. In our area of New England, it is still pretty cold in March, though the days are longer. The month drags on and on until finally April arrives. April brings hope, with spring usually trying to peek through. This year, though, April brough not only showers but also snow, well into the month. It also brought a one week reprieve from the every day routine of school.
Finally, May is here. In May, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We begin to count the days (in my school we count up instead of down: it is the 144th day of the school year!) until the final day of school. We make plans for teaching summer school or other summer work. As an administrator it's extra busy because we are planning for the end of this year, but also need to plan for the beginning of next school year.
For the students, May is MCAS math month. In May, the drama often gets to an all-year high, with raging hormones mixed in for some extra fun. The weather gets warmer but sometimes we still have heat in the building, which makes for very smelly hallways: raw onion with some Axe sprayed over to hide it. Students are not thinking about next year that much - they usually think as far ahead as the summer, with plans to attend summer school, rest at home, work, go to camp or travel.
For me, it is a time of reflection as I think about changes for next year. I will likely go back to the classroom full-time, which will have its advantages: I'll be able to focus only on teaching and my students. It will be the first time in probably 10 years that I have an entire summer free, because I will not be leading the WMWP Summer Leadership Institute. I'll be teaching on online course through Mount Holyoke in May and June called "Research in Teaching ELLs", which I am excited about. My family is planning a trip to Spain to see my husband's family and my dad's family. As my kids get older (they are now 13, 14, and 17), I treasure any amount of time I can spend with them, so a family trip will be great. I will be looking for great books to read on our trip, so please recommend some if you have any! (Mary Ginley!! You always have the best recommendations)
And in other exciting news, my mother and I will hopefully finish the book we are writing, due for publication in 2019, by August. We have been writing on weekend retreats all year and it has been fun to work on something like this together! We do not have a title yet, but many blog posts have been included so far. Stay tuned for more news about that as we get closer to finishing!
What does summer bring for you? How will you rest and rejuvenate for next year? What are you looking forward to for next year? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.