As a youngster in elementary school, I thought that only students looked forward to summer vacation. Once I became a teacher, I realized that teachers often looked forward to their holidays with even more enthusiasm than their students.
However, in about two months from now, the first day of a new school year will draw closer. It’s funny that as the remaining days of the summer vacation decrease, the appreciation that many parents have for teachers, often increases proportionally. True, over the summer, individual parents are engaged helping to plan and organize activities for their limited number of school-aged children. However, when you mutiple this smaller number by a factor of 10 or 15, most parents begin to appreciate the patience and dedication of teachers who facilitate learning within much larger classrooms of students.
To those readers who are educators or parents, I wish you a happy Canada Day tomorrow and I encourage you to spend time over the summer connecting with your family. May I be so bold as to suggest that you do your utmost to disconnect from the pressures of your daily lives by leaving your cell-phones and pagers turned off.
Yesterday, I visited our family cottage to help my sister clean up some fallen trees that had recently come down on her propertry. This cottage has been in our family since the 1920’s and fosters many dear memories of family life. Whether it was the chores of going to the pump at the corner of the street to fill a pail with water or cutting the lawn, the cottage was, and continues to be, a place that fosters important childhood memories.
Perhaps times were simpler then. We never had TV in the cottage. Rather we’d stay up until midnight playing cards or board games with family members. We’d read novels, go for long walks along the beach, build sand castles, and chase frogs. We didn’t need the Internet, iPad, laptop, Netflix, smart-phone, Nintendo, PlayStation or Xbox to connect with others or entertain ourselves.
To those who are starting your summer vacation, I urge you to follow the wise words of Arianna Huffington who stated “Disconnecting from technolgy to reconnect with ourselves is absolutely essential.”
Take care & keep smiling
Larger Image: Brian Metcalfe’s Teacher Feature “photostream”