Today is a quiet morning. My school year ended yesterday. This morning I walked my almost-kindergartner daughter to school. And now I am sitting here at home. Drinking coffee. Surrounded by pets. And there is quiet.
This summer, I am search of more quiet.
This year has exhausted me. It was such a good year. The kids I was lucky enough to learn alongside were such wonderful human beings. They were my constant rays of hope. But the world outside of my classroom. It has exhausted me this year. In many ways, this has been a year of fighting.
I have fought within my own school to create more inclusive spaces. I have fought against those who claimed I had an agenda that was overshadowing the needs of my students, I have fought against those who claimed there were no problems to solve.
I have fought with those beyond my own school. I have fought against those who claimed that I was causing trouble by pushing back against a world that alienates children and families who don’t fit into the stereotypical mold of a mother-father headed family.
And I have fought against the world in general. I have worked alongside my brilliant students to help arm them with tools to notice and fight against injustice they see in the world. We have fought against those who claim this work is not for fifth graders. We have fought against those who claim that we are not ready to do this work.
And through it all, I have fought for my own little family. For us to be able to hold on to the rights that we have gained. I have fought for us to be seen. To be allowed to just be. To be able to walk through this world without fear of being treated differently. I have fought for my five year old to be able to live in a world where she does not need to explain that her family and her two moms are a family just like everyone else.
And in many ways, I am grateful for the fight. Because I should be fighting. I think that if we are not angry, we are probably not really aware of what is happening around us. I think that if we are not fighting for something, we are probably not really paying attention. And, also, I am sitting in a place of incredible privilege and if I am not using that privilege to fight, then I am as much of a part of the problem as anyone else who remains silent. So I am glad that I am fighting.
And, also, I am tired. And looking forward to a break. I want to remember what it is I am fighting for. I want to find the joy in the quiet and simple moments. And so I look forward to this summer in order to do just that. Because we teachers should not be judged by what we do during our summers. Instead, we need to be judged by what we do with our students. By the work that we choose to engage in with our students. By the ways we run our classrooms. By the way we love our students. How we spend our summers should simply allow us to do all of that in a better way. And for different people, that means different things. And at different times, that means different things.
Some summers I have felt the need to get ready. To prepare. To arm myself with what I would need to enter into the next school year ready to do good work. But this summer. I instead feel the need to find the quiet. Find the peace. And that is what I hope to do.
So as I search for quiet this summer, I also hope to get caught up on this space here. On my tiny corner of the internet. Because there is work we have done this year, that I have simply not had the energy to write about and I want to share that work and I want to share the hope my students have brought me. So I will focus on that. On sharing what we have done. Because there has been so much good work this year. Amidst all the fighting, and all the sadness of this world, my students have been my hope. And I am eager to share all of that here.
Happy summer everyone.