Summer Break Experiment

My day job is titled “instructional coach”. I teach teachers mostly in the confines of my job but am still on a teacher contract. In my district, we are now out for summer break. Throughout my career, this break has meant a lot of different things. Other times I have been a coach, I had an extended contract which means I would still be working. NOT THIS YEAR!

I know the old adage is teachers have 3 months off. During the school year most teachers work way beyond their contracted hours and also think about their students and classwork constantly.

Teachers are hourly in the morning and salary in the afternoon.

Teachers cannot be late. We do not determine our own schedules in the morning. There are rooms full of students waiting for you to show up. Teachers can stay as long as they like in the afternoon and into the evening. Staying til 6 or 7 pm is a normal occurrence for many teachers.

Summer break allows me to experiment. This year it is with my schedule. There have been summers I have kept just the same schedule. I went into school almost every day to work on one project or another. Organization systems for books have been created in the summer. There are also trainings to contend with. Some years I went far away on planes for training and other times Amazon’s Prime delivery brought the professional resources to my door.

There is always a reading project. One year, I read books only in one genre and another a whole author’s backlist. This year I will continue my Bradbury Trio challenge. Ray Bradbury, the famous brilliant author, said to be a better writer a short story, a poem, and an essay before bed. This process over the last couple of months has changed the way I write. The input of wonderful writing and structure has shaped my owns words on the page and I am grateful to all the writers who are my mentors.

This year the schedule is what I am calling “The Writer Schedule”. I am imagining myself am a full-time writer, so my first thoughts are about creation in the morning. I have the various challenges I write for weekly. I post. I write short stories and submit them. I revise my novel. I enter contests. I also observe the world, have experiences, read, listen to podcasts and write down these impressions. I am recording my wild life. There are also naps. Some details will make it into stories and some will just be for me.

This morning I got up and checked email. I checked in with my writer group. I am writing this post. After I hit publish and share it in all the appropriate places, I will write my freewrite and then create a story. This afternoon I will work on submissions and also do some revision of my novel. As this fueled by my favorite pottery mug of coffee. It makes me giddy.

This summer I will spend time with creative people. I am involved in several writer and creativity groups. These people inspire me and fill my creative well. I video chat with writers across the nation and meet in real life in the next town over. I connect with people through blogs and Twitter. We talk about what we are writing, we write together, and we study different works together.

Summer is a wonderful time for creativity. What goals do you have for your life this summer? Make the transition great and do not let it pass you by. Reach out if you would like to connect. I am starting my Inner Circle Gatherings June 19th!