Tell me...and be honest: when you read the title of this blog post, what was the first thing that came to mind? Relaxing in an Enos hammock, a walk along a beach, a boat ride at sunset, ice cold lemonade, or frozen yogurt in a sugar cone…or all the above? For me, its’s all the above and more, but is that really what summer should be all about?
“Well, you’re are a teacher,” you say. “You have two months off in the summer.”
That poses a question……what do teachers do in the summer?
Here’s my summer story synopsis’ over the years. If you ask other teachers I am sure they will have similar ones. As I look back over my 45 summers they were full of new experiences which I grew in very unique ways.
Summer, as defined, are the hottest months of the year, May through August, where we have the longest days and shortest nights. In the plant world, it is a time of growth and production. The British dictionary defines summer as “a time of blossoming.” I can see now that all those summersI experienced growth and production, but only recently, blossoming.
Yes, God has used my 45 summers for “growth, production and blossoming.” These summer experiences could not have happened on the job.
In my summer twenties, I focused on “growth and production” of my income. I worked as a painter and was most proud of being able to move a vertical 30-foot wooden extension ladder by myself. I learned how to overcome lead paint dust and thin air painting eves on three-story farm houses. I also worked on a paint crew for the public school district. I learned to take pride in what I was doing …I worked there. I also found a way to take night courses at “The” Ohio State University” in environmental education.
In my late twenties I received Christ as my Savior and Lord and entered Christian schooling and began to raise a family; that is when real growth began. I used Psalm 1 as my motivation to grow in God’s ways making sure Christ was central in my family and having active involvement in the local church.
In my summer thirties I advanced into a carpenter’s helper to supplement my teacher’s salary. I learned how to shingle a roof on those three story farm houses and carry the shingles up the 30 ft. ladder. I also helped replace siding, windows and gutters. I helped build pole buildings and frame houses. Still painted, too. I mowed lawns on the weekend and worked as a grill cook for Perkins.
At 35 I began work on my master’s degree during the summer…and fell into administration. My outdoor work dwindled as I now worked summers at the school.
And there is my 40’s, 50, and 60’s here at LCS. Until I returned to the classroom six years ago, most summers were here at LCS preparing for each new school year.
I have spent the past 5 summers in Sodus Point, New York…still thinking I can paint the cottage and use a 30-foot wooden ladder. Three years ago I moved it vertically and ruptured the bursa in my fight elbow…the surgery cost 3 times the cost to have someone paint the cottage for me. The next year I hired a painter…a blossoming experience!
This summer I’ll be in NY but have my eye on a summer institute at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) the end of July learning how to bring creativity and inventiveness into STEAM learning (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics). Just what I need!
Hoping to blossom more!