Sunday, June 7, 2015

Middle School Chorus Teachers: What to do with Summer?

My last day of school with my middle school chorus students was Friday, May 22nd.  

I love my students, but I was one happy man when the last group left my room... 

...as were they!

We all need and deserve this moment to breathe, and we should seize it.

We need to make sure that we are happy and rejuvenated when our little darlings return to school in early August! 

It's time to....

Having just completed my 23rd year of teaching this age group, friends of mine have often said to me "I wish I had summers off!"

My immediate response is, "You can!  Become a teacher!"

They look at me with total bewilderment and often they say something along these lines: "Are you kidding?  I could never tolerate middle school children...and I need to make more money than teachers make."  

Ok!  That's fine!  

We teachers have made our decision to teach, and we are not going to feel guilty about enjoying the summer!

In face, I believe we must!

At the end of the year, I definitely feel like this:


When the school year begins, for me, it feels like I press the gas pedal all the way down to the floor and keep it there without pause until they leave on the last day.   

Thank goodness for summer!


I am so grateful that in the state of Georgia, our salary is broken up into 12 installments, and I am also thankful to be able to take the time to truly stop.  Not all teachers are fortunate enough to be able to take the time off, but if you can, I hope that you will.  At a minimum, we have to dial is back a few notches.

Here are some ideas that I plan to do in the summer to stay connected with teaching:

1)  Do online research to improve my ability to use technology in my classroom.
2)  Listen to new music for next year.
3)  Develop the outline for S-Cubed Level 2 Middle School Sight Singing Program so I can hit the ground running as I teach it to my new students in August and share it with folks who've completed the original beginning S-Cubed Middle School Sight Singing System.   Level 2 will start becoming available during the second or third week of August one lesson at a time.  Keep an eye on my Facebook page, my YouTube Channel, and my TPT store to stay up to date about releases.  Also, to get all updates about S-Cubed, including the lesson-by-lesson releases of S-Cubed Level 2, make sure you subscribe to my email list.  Just send an email to inthemiddlewithmrd@gmail.com and write "Subscribe" in the subject line.  
4)  I also plan to reflect on all of the positives and negatives of last school year so I can keep the good and remove the bad.
5)  Work with our new principal to make sure I am actively advocating for my choral program.

To nourish and replenish my personal and physical well-being, I plan to:

1)  Take leisurely walks every day.
2)  Get a new puppy, go to training classes with him and get to know him.  Can't wait!

3)  Entertain my family when they visit and soak up the time with them.  Looking so forward to seeing my 77 year old father and my brother when they are here.
4)  Plug into my "hobby on steroids", Aerobic Gymnastics.  I've been involved with the sport for over 25 years, first as an athlete, coach and choreographer, and now as an International Judge.  I'll head to San Diego in July to judge an International Competition.  I went to Japan and to Canada to judge and coach the sport in April right in the middle of the production of the musical, and I have to say, I was WAY overbooked!  Since May 22, I've been exhaling for sure!
5)  Exercise vigorously a minimum of one hour daily.
6)  Spend time with my 25 year old bird.  She was a rescue who was only supposed to live 15 years, so every moment is precious.
7)  Watch movies.
8)  Work in my garden.
9)  Spend time with friends.  Perhaps I'll get crazy and stay up past 9:30!  
10)  Play with my kitty!
...and much more!

Note that the second list is twice as long as the first list.  ...On purpose!

It's what I believe we must do as teachers to help us be the best we can be when we return.  

Do what makes your heart feel great.  Do it because you love it.  

If you've got notes and cards that you received from your students about how much your teaching and your class meant to them, go back and read them.  

Soak it in. 

Remember why you teach.

Rejuvenate your spirit so you can knock it out of the park next year!









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