Mike and I got up early today to a)go for a hike b)get ahead of everyone else who was going for a hike. Our voyage took us out to Rattlesnake Ledge in North Bend, a beautiful (and very popular) spot east of Seattle. 2 hours later we had some great photos, plenty of exercise, and were eating breakfast as a local café (eggs + bacon + biscuit = happiness). It was a perfect Pacific Northwest morning.
My other mornings have not been so perfect, as they have involved hurrying to work, getting frustrated with things, being short tempered, and (in general) wishing it were summer. Even as I type that, I think “well that’s a stupid attitude” – and I know that other teacher friends are there as well. The school year is a marathon, and those last few weeks are hard – because we all just want to be done.
Which is, in itself, a weird emotion. I love my job, and I’m excited for next year’s adventure, but why is it so easy to get caught up in this “I just want to be done!” mode? It doesn’t do any good, and it certainly doesn’t help kids or promote a positive environment. I know that I get to counting the days and announcing “next to last Friday!” as kids leave the library – just like others. I start crossing days off the calendar and putting files away that I will no longer need – just like others. But where I struggle is not being in the moment and appreciating where I am and who I’m with – just like others?
If you go on a long hike and keep thinking “I just want to be done!”, then you will certainly miss the beauty of where you are, the joy of the experience. While I get ready for a break, I don’t think I approach hiking or camping or travelling that way. I do with the school year. Maybe this is some taboo thing that I’m not really supposed to write, but there. I’ll admit it. I get eager for summer – maybe more than the kids do. And doing that, putting myself mentally and emotionally out the door, does very little good.
So in these last few days, I commit to being in the moment and appreciating what is around me. This last week, I was lucky to do my last book talk with Sarah from KCLS. I was fortunate to collaborate with Stony about our MIE/ISTE project. I was glad to have Sheila, my library assistant, brainstorm ways to make things go smoothly during laptop and textbook turn in. And I was privileged to have a good Office 365 training with my friend Jeff (and get asked to do follow-up training with his team in the future).
I’m not at the summit of the school year yet, so I will stop wishing I was there and enjoy the view of the approaching horizon.