Summer finally has done what it is supposed to do; I am enjoying family, friends and the sunny weather. In other words, I am being a Slacker. Those that know me well, roll their eyes whenever I say I am in Slacker-mode because they believe I never have down time. I do tend to be constantly on the go and could easily be a workaholic if I didn’t have a family who reminds me life is more than work, but I attempt each summer to set aside time to “just do nothing.”
The very end of June and much of July traditionally is when I proudly wear my Slacker hat. Usually, family and friends are in town for the Fourth, the sun is out, the garden shops’ sales beckon me to continue working on my green thumb, and my children and their friends, all on summer vacation, consistently interrupt my plans. All of these help me procrastinate teacher-related tasks.
That isn’t to say I’m completely avoiding school. This past week I moved my supplies to a new classroom, helped interview a new assistant principal, met with a new teacher, recruited presenters for a conference this fall, and started drafting my school to-do list for August. I still, however, found plenty of excuses to not pull out my curriculum maps that need tinkering, to not read a professional book, to not get caught up on all the professional journals sitting on my kitchen counter, and to not participate in the CLMOOC I joined in early June. I also put off writing a blog post. Until this evening, I wasn’t sure what hat I was wearing. Then my guilty conscience told me to not pick up another fun YA book, but to write. This prompted me to reflect upon all the tasks I’ve avoided the past two weeks, and I realized I’ve been a Summer Slacker.
College professors can apply for sabbaticals to travel, research, and/or write, and when I first entered the workforce, I remember friends in other professions being required to take a leave of absence or extended vacation. Their jobs were stressful and required much creativity. The employers realized a break would be beneficial.
“Slacker” has a negative connotation, so with this in mind, I’ve decided I will no longer wear a Slacker hat. My new title in July will be Summer Slackatical. For those of you looking to be unofficially on a sabbatical, feel free to use it too. It certainly rids me of my guilty conscience as I look at tomorrow’s sunny forecast.