Tuesday, June 8, 2010

When Work is More Fun than Fun

People who aren’t teachers imagine that summer vacation has no downside. But in reality, for me, summer vacation is a mixed blessing.

When “Work is more fun than fun,” to quote Noel Coward, then an extended vacation from work is less fun than work. For me, that’s how it can be sometimes. I know it will sound pathetic to say this, but I miss kindergarten. I feel lonely at times. Summer’s a vast intercession.

I know, I’m whining. So let me hasten to say that summer brings welcome relief from the hectic school year schedule. There’s more time for gardening, for exercise, for meditation, for cooking, for travel, for blogging (oh, please!), for friends, and for those nagging projects waiting always to be done, like cleaning and organizing the garage.

Best of all, summer affords the luxury of sleeping in and exploring a dream life.

As you might guess, more than a few dreams grow out of my life as a teacher. Sometimes these dreams are simple happy scenes at school, usually outdoors in the garden or on the playground, riding bikes. The unhappy school-related dreams most often have the theme of rescuing five year old kids from some danger, usually drowning. There’s no body of water at my school, but I was born on a lake front property and as a toddler almost drowned twice in the lake out the back door, so, probably I’m still working on those experiences.

The adjustment to summer is harder this year than it ever has been before. That’s because I was honored on the last day of school with a statue memorializing my career. I’m still awash with pleasure from that occasion.

You can read about the statue over on my “Mr. Kindergarten” blog.

Another recurrent theme in my dreamscape is my family. My mom, whose birthday is tomorrow, has been visiting my dream world lately and I’ve written a poem describing one of those dreams which will appear here tomorrow.


Lori ann said...

Dear Dan,
you are such a delightful teacher, person, human being, it is a pleasure to "know" you. I'm sure all those darling children will have mixed feelings about leaving your classroom for summer too.
The statue looks incredible. What a great photo. Will go check out your other blog.
x lori

steven said...

hey dan - so are you already on summer holidays?!!! mine start at 3:00 pm june 30 est. i love the statue by the way and i'll nip over to the mr. k blog for more info. i am right along with you in the blessed agony of saying goodbye to a group of people who have been immersed in you and you in them for almost ten months. it's wrenching. recharge, prepare, enjoy the space. steven

Dan Gurney said...

Hi, Lori ann. Thanks! I write the kindergarten blog mostly for other kindergarten teachers and for the families in the kindergarten, but it may be of some interest to those who wish to see the "other" side of me.

Dan Gurney said...

Thanks, steven. I'm not surprised to learn that you feel the same wrenching feelings I do. Like Lori ann said above, I think the students feel their side of the wrenching, too.

Yep. Summer vacation's on. Tomorrow I get to sit in the dentist's chair for some drilling and filling. Ah, summer!

Bonnie said...

What a well-deserved tribute of appreciation for all the love, care and skill you put into your work. Parent's must be thrilled to know their little ones will start of their years of education with you.