The summer break is quickly coming to an end and I have taken this opportunity to reflect on my summer holidays.
The weather this summer was great if you like sun, hot temperatures and humidity. I’m actually fine with all of those conditions and together with family and friends we spent a lot of time hanging out in the backyard under the shade of patio umbrellas and awnings. Our pool offered a welcome relief to the heat. Our barbecue got a good workout and we ate lots of fresh fruit and vegetables we picked up from the local farmer’s market which runs every Wednesday not far from our house. Walking around the market and sampling this and that became a highlight of our summer. We also walked to the local ice cream parlour that is only open for the summer months – coconut ice cream became a quick favourite of mine.
This year we didn’t travel too far from home but had a classic “staycation”. My husband and I challenged ourselves during his two weeks off to hike trails we had never hiked and to find patios we had never visited for some refreshment afterwards. We hiked the waterfront trail several times and various sections of the rail trail. We headed down pathways without really knowing where we would end up and had several pleasant surprises as we found new pathways, streams and even waterfalls on our journeys.
We ventured out to restaurants we had never tried before both with friends and by ourselves. We played lots of games of Backgammon and Scrabble sitting on our patio as the sun set and the light faded away. During July we watched the fireflies dart in and out of the darkness. We spent many sultry summer evenings by our fire pit listening to music late into the night and chatting about life, plans for the future and what the fall might bring.
We caught up with friends and family that we don’t get to see as often as we would like due to busy schedules, geography and other dynamics. We went to movie matinees, timing our entrance to when the previews were just ending and racing up the steps of the theatre to sit in the top row and enjoy the coolness of the air conditioning as we lost ourselves in whatever story we had chosen to view that day.
I read many of the books I had on my summer reading list – mainly fiction of the mystery and thriller genre but also some non-fiction. I did a little professional reading from the folder of articles I saved through the year waiting for the moment when I had some free time to dedicate my attention to my own learning.
Like many educators I took a course this summer. I participated in mentor coach training in Toronto and learned a great deal about the power of professional coaching. I got together with other Ontario Directors of Education during the annual Directors’ meetings that are held in mid-August. It was great to reconnect and to network while learning about Ministry priorities and sharing our own plans for this next school year.
I feel like my summer was the perfect balance of activity and relaxation. I am rested and rejuvenated and ready to embark on a new school year. I hope that you have also had a wonderful summer and are preparing for the journey of the school year ahead.