Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Vacation?

It is August. The summer is winding down and I am here in Arizona on a family vacation. We have been traveling the state - visiting my brother-in-law in Tucson, driving up to Mt. Lemmon, hiking around the Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. Today we spent an exhausting, exhilarating day in the Grand Canyon. I love spending time with my family and am truly loving this vacation. Tomorrow we head to Sedona. We are considering renting ATVs to ride around the mountains.

And now I am settled down for the night. My husband and daughter are watching television. I was watching with them for a while but my mind was churning. You see, as much as I love this vacation, love summer, love hanging out with my family, I can't s
eem to stop thinking about school. So here I am editing wikis, planning projects, emailing collaborators. And I am wondering what is wrong with me. Why can't I just relax and do nothing?

In fact, my husband, who is also a teacher, and I spent our car ride through the Petrified Forest discussing how the area is a perfect example of weather erosion. "How," we discussed,"could we demonstrate this for our students in the classroom?" We actually spent about an hour brainstorming objects we could use to show the formation of a mountain due to an earthquake. Pancakes? Tortillas? Sand? Mud? Clay? Paper and water? We promised ourselves that as soon as we got home we would try out a few ideas. In the meantime, I pulled out my ITouch and recorded all our ideas for later listening.

I am excited about the science lessons racing through my brain. I am enriched by my trip through the desert. I am energized by this vacation. And, maybe, just maybe, that is what vacations are all about for teachers. Not necessarily a time to relax and do nothing. But a time to reenergize. And, for me, a trip to the desert is the perfect solution to end-of-year burn out.


nancy said...

I know what you are talking about- I think it has to do with the "lifelong learner" characteristic we educators have. We love learning and love to share what we learn. My mother was a teacher too and on trips we would have to stop for every rock with a plaque showing historic data. As a cranky adolescent stuck in a car with her family I disliked it, but understand it now. :)

Joel Zehring said...

I'm glad you had such an inspirational visit in my home state! No doubt about it, you've got the heart of a teacher.

Vicki Davis said...

You amaze and awe me. I was so impressed with you at NECC I just couldn't believe it! Your vacations sound like me -- I gotta get away but my mind can't get away -- love those kids and my classes and lots of ideas about what to do.

I just think you are great and am planning a blog post that will go live Thursday morning about this post and about you! I just want you to know how amazing I think you are! Hope you're doing well as school starts!

Lisa Parisi said...

Nancy, my cranky adolescent wasn't so thrilled about my stopping at all the historic markers. Especially since I made her take pictures of me in front of each one. :) Oh well, I am a teacher.

JZ, I loved visiting Arizona. We are thinking of touring the East Coast next summer. By the time my daughter graduates, we can have seen the whole country!

Vicki, I am honored. You are my inspiration. I constantly think about things you are doing when I plan my own projects. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.