Wowza. This summer was such a whirlwind that now I’m starting blog posts with words I don’t even usually use. Camp was… an experience. I went into it with expectations of last summer’s camp, which was probably a little ridiculous, considering almost everything was different this year: the location, director and staff, my living situation, my relationship status, my (school year) job status, my spiritual maturity… a lot of things you wouldn’t think make a big difference in a job, but apparently they do. Or I’m just more holistic than I realized. Ha. Desspite all the changes, I can look back at camp this year and say it was fun and that I truly enjoyed the people I worked with. However, I don’t think anything can compare to last year, my first year at camp during a summer that was so full of changes that I had no choice but to lean heavily on my camp coworkers that quickly became friends and practically family. Camp this year felt more just like… a job. I showed up, did my work, left once everyone was done (per site expectations). I had vertigo for most of the summer. I was dizzy, dehydrated, and discouraged. It took until week 6 for me to feel like things “clicked” and I was able to truly have fun with the campers during rotations. It was, in a word, tough.
So this is my note to myself… next year, when spring 2015 rolls around and I begin getting re-recruitment paraphernalia from CG… say no. Say it gracefully, humbly, thankfully, but firmly. Next summer, I need to take time for myself. Don’t go from a tough year of teaching, to an exhausting 6-8 weeks of camp (no matter the role), into another tough year of teaching– because let’s be real, every year of teaching is a tough year. It should be. I love my “real job” and I throw my whole self into it. I need to, then, give myself a break from it that I did not give myself this year, and I’m feeling the repercussions of that now. Next year, I need to unwind in June and have time to wind back up in August. To set up a classroom or refresh my current one, to reflect on lessons and policies, to revise lessons and ideas. To attend workshops, trainings, professional development seminars, meetings, and additional educational opportunities. (I do want a Master’s in education someday. Plus, units = money in the meantime. Thanks, pay scale!) Maybe I’ll give teaching summer school a try. And I want to travel with the money I’ll be saving this year by continuing to live at home.
I want to be me.