I’m done! I finished my grading yesterday (an hour before the deadline, thank you very much) and the 2015-16 academic year is officially in the books.
My 13th year of teaching was amazing, mostly because I finished my Ph.D., finally earning my terminal degree. That means this summer is the first in about a decade that I haven’t either taken a course or worked on my dissertation.
Summers are the best thing about being an educator. Notice I didn’t write “summers off are the best thing about being an educator?” Whoever thinks teachers get summers off obviously hasn’t been a teacher.
My summer workload consists of completing the online publication manual, prepping three classes for next semester, international teaching, and research.
But I admit those things will happen mostly on my schedule, which also will be filled with sun, swimming, barbecues, and hanging out with my children.
In this blog’s annual tradition, here are 5 Things I’ll Need to Survive the Summer:
It looks like I’ll spend a lot of my summer in my car, again. I’ll add my children’s athletic camps and daily basketball workouts to my regular summer errands. It’s a good thing we bought a new car in March, and I still love driving it.
My iPhone is an appendage. I spend time on social media, reading books and blogs, or just managing my life on it. With everyone involved in so many summer activities, I won’t be without my phone anywhere. My calendar is a must access.
3. Flip flops
I spend pretty much the entire summer in my flip-flops (Yes, I’m wearing them as I write this.). They are the most comfortable shoes I own. I wish I could wear them everywhere, all the time, but I’m pretty sure teaching in flip-flops is frowned upon. Perhaps it would be better if I dressed them up with a suit? As it is, I’ll just wear them with gym shorts or cutoffs.
4. Library app
I hope finishing my dissertation means I’ll spend even more time reading than usual. I tend not to go to the physical library, but I use Overdrive to check out ebooks. I’m going to need a lot of them!
Did I mention all of that time in the car? It’s the perfect time to listen to audiobooks. I also like to listen to books while I do housework or exercise. And, let’s face it, summer is not a time to be sitting around.
I check out some audiobooks via Overdrive, the library app I described above. It’s great because they’re free, but they don’t have a lot of titles and sometimes you have to wait for them to become available.
I also use Kindle Unlimited to read and listen to books. Kindle Unlimited has this really cool feature where you can sync the electronic and audiobooks, so you can read, switch to audio right where you left off, then go back to reading where you stopped listening. It’s great for busy people like me who might get to read a few pages, then need to jump in the car to take a kiddo someplace. You can try Kindle Unlimited for 30 days free just by clicking on the link. It’s totally worth checking out.
My absolute favorite way to listen to audiobooks is Audible. This also is an amazing product, but Audible has all of the books you can imagine. It’s also super easy to bookmark and return to where you were listening with the app. I have a plan that allows two audiobooks a month, but I usually buy more. Amazon also is running a special right now to try Audible and get two free audiobooks by clicking on the link. I highly recommend it.
This is the short list of things I’ll need to survive the summer. I probably should have put a new computer, since mine seems to be bogging down by the day. Perhaps that will be a fun fall purchase.