School’s out!! At least for many of us, that is. So now that we have the summer before us, how will you use your time to revitalize your skills, amp up your creativity and advance your own arts learning?
As much as I would love to spend the entire summer in learning and playing mode, I do need to earn an income as well. I run a summer day camp through my art studio for children ages seven through twelve. Although I’m still teaching, the program design is completely my own which makes it enjoyable and much more flexible than the confines of public education. I also combine the arts with academic learning which makes subjects like reading, writing and math much more palatable for the kids. Each year we also study a decade- this year it will be the “Disco ‘70’s. During that week the kids will learn a little about the history of the decade, the fads, social climate, the arts scene during the time (including drama, dance and music) and fashion. The “decade week” is usually the summer favorite and the kids’ enthusiasm for learning ignites my desire to create extraordinary learning experiences for them each year. The delight and joy of the students that attend my summer program erase all the burnout that has accumulated within me during the regular school year. It is my way of renewing myself and rediscovering the genuine joy of teaching.
The summer also allows me time to pursue my own artistic endeavors more completely than I can when I am teaching full time during the school year. I find myself painting more, exploring galleries and other artists studios as well. The more that I hone my skills, the better educator I become. It is tragic that sabbaticals have been eliminated in most school districts as they allowed educators to indulge in exploring their specialties and talents in depth enriching the scope of their educational expertise. It is another reason why the summer is so important to take the time to regroup and recharge.
So what will you do? Are you travelling? Teaching? Taking a class? Just kicking back? It would be wonderful to hear about how you use the precious summer days and your tips for creating a meaningful summer experience! Whatever your plans, have a wonderful, relaxing summer vacation!