Every school year has twists and turns, peaks and valleys, but come late June, I’m always surprised by how quickly the days have passed. I’m also amazed that I’ve now completed four years as superintendent of New Brunswick Public Schools. Putting this in perspective, the freshmen who started high school when I was new to this job have now graduated and are heading off into the world. Time really does fly.
So, let’s embrace the process. Let’s look back through days, months, and even years and give ourselves a pat on the back. What we do as educators and other school district employees is extremely challenging. Without our individual and collective efforts and expertise and support from parents, our students would have little access to the knowledge necessary for building successful, fulfilling lives. With that said, I heartily congratulate you on having reached another summer break and I encourage you to make the most of your time away from school. You’ve certainly earned it.
Of course, what you do during July and August is entirely up to you. I recommend using the time off to enhance your life. That could mean taking advantage of the favorable weather to be more active. Whether you walk, run, cycle, do yoga, or something else entirely, the benefits of increased fitness are shown to have a potent positive impact both on mood and mental clarity.
On the other hand, you may prefer a more leisurely approach, and instead, devote your time to read a book or deepening your understanding of some topic that has always fascinated you. I will be reading research on neuroscience and the book, Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain by Zaretta Hammond.
Another alternative could be changing your perspective with a change of scenery. Summer is ideal for experiencing something new or different, whether that means a trip to the other side of the world or an excursion to the Jersey Shore. Either way, taking in new sights, sounds, and smells and possibly meeting a few new people can be refreshing. However you spend your time during the next several months, I trust you will relax, reflect and renew.
Enjoy and I look forward to seeing you again in September.