Summertime, and the living is easy!June 9th was the last work day for me until August 10th, and I am unapologetically happy about that.
Of course, I plan to spend a good part of my summer reading!
Because I am a teacher....
1. Yes, I have my summers off. Yes, I love it. No, I do not get paid for this.
The general public seems to have a gross misperception about this whole "summers off" thing. First of all, teachers are most decidedly not paid for this time: out paychecks are for actual time worked, but are stretched out over the whole calendar year. And yes, it's really, really nice to have this stretch of time off...but understand that many teachers take on other jobs during this time, or do what I do: divide our time between recuperating from the past school year and preparing for the next one.
2. I never actually stop thinking about my work as a teacher. This summer I will be working on my planning and curriculum for next year, as well as doing plenty of reading of professional literature and works that support my instruction for the coming year.
3. I am always, always learning. That's one thing I love about my job. It pushes me to constantly learn more about my content area, about the latest research in my field, and about the science of the brain and learning.
4. I am a glutton for books. I can't wait to dig into my reading lists, and the stacks of books that are waiting for me.
Here's what I'm reading today:
An Autobiography by Anthony Trollope
This year is the 200th anniversary of Trollope's birth, so I have made it a goal to read as many of his books as possible. So far, the Autobiography is delightful. After a fairly somber and depressing beginning (Trollope and his family faced illness, financial problems, and all sorts of adversity) Trollope's narrative is getting really good. I'm in the midst of reading about Trollope's work habits, his methods for writing his novels, and the slow ascent of his success as a novelist, all while he worked away for the British Post Office.
One thing I have noticed is that despite a resurgence of interest in Trollope, his books aren't always easy to find. The Barsetshire and Palliser novels aren't too difficult to find, but I'm trying to track down an edition of The Three Clerks, which was evidently one of Trollope's favorites among his own novels. So far I haven't found exactly the right book (combination of a nice edition with a not-too-high price). This problem makes me think that there is something to be said for holding on to books, or making proactive purchases! Even as I am seriously considering culling my own bookshelves, I am realizing that there is such a thing as scarcity in the book world.
The list of books I plan to read and want to read over the summer is too long for this post. The longing for certain books, the desire to read just such a book at a particular time--that is a whole post in itself. I'll just share one book that I recently purchased and am looking forward to reading:
A Writer's Diary by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I'm really looking forward to reading this beautiful book.
Other plans for the summer:
1. Writing every day!
2. Sleep. Not too much of it, but a little more than I get during the school year.
3. Moving every day: a walk, some yoga, dancing in the kitchen--something!
4. Cleaning up/culling/organizing my bookshelves. Yes, I think I'm ready.