I try to be an educator who continually reflects on my practice and experiences within education. As June signifies the end of the school year, I often consider it the perfect time to reflect not only on the year but also on my overall career in education. In this post, I’m sharing some of my recent reflections and maybe a few next steps as we roll into summer.
Change Is Constant
Over the course of my career, I’ve somehow managed to have never been surplused. That is until this year! I wasn’t expecting it and when it came, I was really unsure of what my next move would be. Having just arrived at my current school this year, I was looking forward to starting a STEM program that could be built upon for years to come. I guess that just wasn’t in the cards for me at this particular school. One thing that I’ve learned in education is that change is constant and flexibility is a must. Sometimes what we have in mind, isn’t possible. With this in mind, I got excited about what could be next, applied for jobs and I’m excited to be starting anew in September.
Summer Is a Time to Breathe
In the summer, I find that I have more time to get out in nature and that I make the time to read. Often with more time in my schedule, I find that it gives me the opportunity to be more intentional about what I decide to do each day. This summer I have two books that I plan on reading and implementing and I’m excited. I’ve gone with two because it’s manageable and I really hope to dig deep into these reads. The first book is Black People Breathe by Zee Clarke. Years ago I found that I was heavily into mindfulness and breath work but over time, I somehow moved past this practice and got back into the hustle and bustle of life. I’m ready to get back into it. I picked this book because it is written by a Black woman. Not only does this book provide guidance on vital tools from an expert in mindfulness, meditation, and breathwork, but woven throughout are deeply personal stories highlighting the many systemic challenges that people of colour face. I’ve got a lot of experiences that have caused trauma to unpack and to work through and I am excited to begin my mindfulness journey again.
Rest Is Essential
At the beginning of my career, I somehow got the wild idea that I should be filling my summer with teaching or learning – basically work. I didn’t get that the time off during the summer was to rest and recharge. I found myself going, going, going until I was close to being burnt out. Years ago, I took a summer off completely – no work at all – and it changed the way that I thought about having the summer off. I realized the importance of taking time for myself. I learned about slowing down and being in the moment. I learned about enjoying moments rather than rushing to move on to the next thing that is on my to-do list. I find that I’m rushing again and not savouring or enjoying experiences to the fullest so it’s time to rest. This summer, I will be working on a couple of projects but in between I have carved out time for rest. As a practice, I will be using the Nap Ministry’s Rest Deck for some guidance on restful practice. I’ve also been gifted her book, Rest is Resistance and will be using that as a guide for learning to rest with more intention.
The year is over and I hope that you get a chance to congratulate yourself on what you accomplished. Wishing you a wonderful summer filled with rest, breath, and opportunities to consider what changes you might make this coming year. Enjoy!