Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back to Reality

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Tomorrow is the start of back to school for many area districts around us. Every year, this time in August has marked the beginning of school for me, and the end of summer vacation. As a kid, it was in the traditional way- buying a new backpack, shoes, shopping for school supplies and new clothes. As an adult, this was the time of year that transitioned between my camp job and my school job (either as a substitute, a paraprofessional or as a preschool teacher). Since I now have a full-time teaching job, I no longer view this time of year in the same way. With my new teaching job comes a new schedule. I have posted before about how I am teaching early intervention, so I will have kids that range in age from 3-6. Because they are all special education students and have IEP goals, the state mandates that they not have off longer than 3 weeks at a time to ensure that they are making meaningful progress towards their goals. (Just a note: this only applies to early intervention; school age kids can have all summer, or continue with ESY which is in addition to the normal 180 days of school). With that mandate comes an adjusted schedule. I still only teach 180 days out of the year, but we go all year long. We generally have school for 4-7 weeks, then have 1-2 weeks off. It works out to be about 1 week off per month. I think it's pretty sweet, but it is taking some getting use to after having this point of transition part of my life for 27 years. However, it still is a transition period- just in a different way- I have 3 new kids starting this week. I still have to buy a new planner, and it's almost time to switch the clothes from summer to fall. 

Why am I explaining all this? Because tomorrow we return, and I am longing for another quiet vacation again. I am reminiscing about the mountains, the fresh air, the camp fires, toasted marshmallows, hiking and just having quality time to do whatever we felt like doing. I absolutely love my job, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't enjoy living in the mountains somewhere with great vistas, wildlife, awesome trails, and even lakes to go kayaking in. But just think, fall is almost here and it's my favorite time of year by far- anything you want in a pumpkin version, crisp air and crunchy leaves, scarves, boots and warm sweaters. And- don't forget the knitting needles!

Here's a peak into our vacation to Shenandoah National Park this summer!

What does this time of year remind you of?

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