Summer was never my favorite season, and in fact I’d say for a long time while I was growing up it was truly the one I enjoyed the least. I loved the freedom that summer offered as a child, but I grew up in all the heat and humidity that Louisiana has to offer. By the time August rolled around, I was the child who counted the days until school would start again. New school supplies, new classroom, new teacher, new things to learn. I always had the best teachers ever!
I spent 15 years teaching in St. Louis, Missouri. The same heat and humidity that enveloped the entire region was something to escape, and I had a job that allowed me to do just that. Every summer I had the privilege of running off to the South of France where I could enjoy outdoor summer activities without melting in the heat (even without air conditioning!). Still, I wasn’t at home, and when it was time to go back in August I can remember giddily making lists and notes for the school year that was quickly approaching during the long flight home. I have such fond memories of those trips back home. I looked forward to going back to my classroom and to seeing my students again.
Now I live in the South of France. I feel so fortunate to be at home here. It’s August, and nothing has changed. I’m spending my days making lists, organizing my office, preparing lessons, and really looking forward to next week when I get to see all of my students again. Some students have moved on, and new ones will take their place, but one thing remains constant. As a teacher, this is my “New Year”. It’s a time for renewal, goal setting, and anticipation for what lies ahead. Though I’m now self-employed and not in a traditional classroom setting, I find myself doing the same things I did as a child the week before the new school year, and I can’t wait for it to begin.
I know that I owe this love for education to the teachers who taught me from the time I was a small child all the way through graduate school. Some people aren’t so lucky, and I realize that. This is why I want the students who come my way to have the best learning experience ever, and that is what gives me license to sit here on my computer in my home office pinning away on Pinterest and sharing ideas with colleagues who mostly live in North America. Finding good ideas that work in the classroom is contagious.
The only hard part about teaching from home (on Skype and with students here in Béziers) is finding the students and the time to market myself as a teacher. Any ideas? I’m not afraid of trying something new and thinking outside of the box.
Bonne rentrée à tous!