Thoughts on Teaching – The Bane of Summer Productivity – 8/3/2016
The summer is almost over. I am a little over halfway through my summer classes, and I feel like I have not done even a quarter of the things that I had planned to do. This is common for everyone that I see who has a long break like this. We all have big plans and then get so little of those things done. I think it’s the dilemma of high expectations. We expect so much of ourselves in a break, but we fail to take into account the reality of how much time just normal day-to-day stuff takes.
I was asked by a friend how my summer was going, and all I could say is that it was busy. Just taking this week as an example, I have two boys doing summer band each day from 7:30-4, I have another daughter in an all week summer camp, the other daughter is in summer Montessori three days a week and has yoga one night of the week, and I’m teaching this week and going away to a conference in San Antonio this weekend. And that’s just one week. I feel like I have just been running around making sure I get done what needs to get done, while also getting my work done and getting the necessary relaxation for the summer as well.
And that’s where the summer has gone. I had grand plans. Now, with what time is left, my main goal is to finish out my summer classes and be prepared for starting the fall semester. If I had set that as my goal from the beginning, I would have been very happy, as that would have been a very reasonable and achievable goal. As it stands now, I am frustrated at how little I have gotten done. Maybe we should all just not be so hard on ourselves and set more realistic goals and expectations. If I can just start back in with the fall semester being ready for everything and being reasonably relaxed and clear of mind, that should be enough.
I’m going to keep telling myself that it is enough. Can you repeat that mantra with me? Reasonable expectations are good enough!