With only 13 more days left with my students this year, my mind is already on my summer vacation. This song will be playing in my head until I’m off and I get to move on to some exciting summer activities! For the sake of my own motivation, let’s move through them, shall we?

  • I get to move to my first ever house! This place has all of my criteria: space in the front yard for some flowers, room in the back for my own veggie garden, sidewalks, and a finished basement where we can keep the TV and other entertainment “stuff”. I didn’t get my porch, but I did get a nice deck in the back for grilling, sitting, reading, etc.

  • I get to go on a cruise with the beautiful Jenna to the Bahamas! Yay! Jenna and I have been the very best of friends since high school. For my first two years of college, we lived in different cities. We remedied that when she moved in with me at what we affectionately call The Euclid House. Now, I’ve moved away again, and this time it would be kind of strange for her to follow, since I’m married and all. Plus, Jenna’s a big-time nurse now in Lexington, and an awesome Young Life leader at a high school that is blessed to have her. I wouldn’t want to steal her away! That said, we need some quality time, and a voyage on the high seas is just what the doctor ordered.
  • I get to learn about how to be a better teacher! I feel very thankful to have a job at all, right now. Maybe it’s the scarcity of work, or the pressure of having a mortgage now, but I’ve got to say that I really like my job. Maybe it’s the confidence that comes with a little bit of experience. My first year of teaching was somewhat disappointing, because I wasn’t sure I had made any difference whatsoever. Now, looking toward the last day of school, I can say assuredly that these kids are better learners because of the experiences they had in my class. This summer, I’ll be attending workshops that will better prepare me for two new groups of students: Advanced Placement kids (gifted students with college-level abilities in literary analysis) and Read 180 kids (students who made it to high school without adequate reading skills). I think I’ll have my hands full during this next school year, but I’m excited about new experiences with different kinds of students!
  • I get to focus on coaching! My co-coach and I basically started from scratch with the dance team at our school. For the past two years, we have spent a few days a week turning high school beginners into dancers worthy of performance and competition. This has meant teaching the five positions, conditioning, running, and spending hours on basics like how to do a chasse, a simple leap, and a full-turn. Last week at practice, the girls did their first ever leap combination — just a split leap to a side leap — and I got a deep satisfaction of accomplishment all the way down to my toes. It may not seem like a big deal, but this summer, I get to work with these girls twice a week, and I look forward to making some more exciting progress.

There are other things I’m looking forward to this summer as well — quality time with friends and family, fun in the sun, and maybe some other travels, but I’ll have to cut this off for now. Somebody has a birthday coming up, and I’ve got a chocolate cake to put in the oven!