Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Summer Slacker. Time to Forgive Myself.

I’m pretty hard on myself. My friend Katie reminds me of this a lot, and she helps me to basically get over myself. She tells me, "You're such a typical older sibling!" I've been hard on myself the past couple of weeks, thinking to myself, Have I done everything I needed to do this summer?

I titled this post “Summer Slacker,” but as I started putting it together I realized how much I had accomplished this summer. BUT, there is something that is keeping me down right now, and that’s  the lack of blogging in the last two weeks. (Bloggers are the only writers who write about not writing.)

As we start August and it’s time for back to school, I thought I’d share what I did this summer in this post, and in another post this week I’ll share my goals for the 2016-17 school year.

The summer started with a family lunch. We headed to a community “wing ding” - a barbecue/block party. The place was packed, so we went to a nearby Buffalo Wild Wings and had a great time watching SEC baseball and enjoying each other’s company. 

Next up on my list for summer was to do some home maintenance. My husband and I painted all of the trimwork on our home exterior, including all the windows. Talk about tedious work!

This summer, I put together all of our school's professional development opportunities, which are being offered as online courses (except for one of the book studies.) Throughout the summer I've been reviewing submissions to insure completion by our teachers. Teachers have been loving the option of working "whenever, wherever," and they've learned strategies and tools they will use in their classrooms this year. 

I did read 3 books after school got out at the end of May. 

One was a book about leadership, and the other two were fun, "beach books." I love indulging in the easy reads as I lounge by the pool or spend early mornings on my deck. (I highly recommend all 3 books!)

My key lime pie recipe is so easy - and the pie is delicious and perfect in the summer. I've made it 3 times this summer, and it's been the perfect compliment to our hot evenings in Alabama!

I got my book published to Amazon! It is an amazing feeling to know that I can share my experiences with others who may need or want encouragement and support to tap into personal courage. If you download it and read it, I would love to hear the part that is most meaningful to you. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen the pictures of the retaining wall that my husband and I built this summer. The last picture on the right is the almost final version. We still have to treat it with clear weatherproofing, but I'm in love with the new wall. It will help keep the basketballs in the court, and it looks beautiful. 

I was part of the planning team for Edcamp Leadership Alabama that took place along with other states' Edcamp Leadership on July 11. It was a fantastic day of learning and meeting leaders from across the state. Many were attending their first edcamp, and the excitement in the air was electric! We had a good turnout, and we got terrific feedback and comments from school leaders who got tons of ideas to take back to their schools.  

Another highlight of my summer was getting to visit my older sister who lives in Nashville, TN. I try to visit her a few times a year, but the last time I had been to her house was last October. We hung out at her friend's pool, laughed alot, and enjoyed our time together. 

I do feel offically old now that I've celebrated my 30-year class reunion! It was a blast to catch up with friends I haven't seen in years, and we made promises to get together regularly. I can't wait to see them again!

We also celebrated my oldest daughter's 19th birthday. I just can't believe I'm old enough to have a daughter that age. I don't know about you, but I still feel like I'm 19 years old sometimes. Working with high schoolers keeps me young at heart!

I know this blog post didn't have anything to do with educational theory or pedagogy, and if it seems too off-topic (besides the summer PD opportunities) for an educational blog, I'm going to have to stand up with Heidi Veal and her question on twitter this summer...

What was my response? I bet you can guess...

I guess maybe I should forgive myself...  


  1. Jennifer,

    It sounds like you've had a VERY productive summer!! A nice blend of family, work, and personal development. I hope you have a wonderful start to the new school year!


  2. Hey Jennifer,
    You are too hard on yourself, and I can relate! I always feel that if I'm just "sitting around" I'm being a slacker. We need to be kinder to ourselves. It looks like you had an amazing summer and ready to get back to school. Enjoy!