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  • Writer's pictureLyndsay Boysen

Hobby Homework: Summer School Edition

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

Teaching is not our identity, it is simply a small part of our identity.

As a parent and teacher, I am always questioning how many “extra curricular” activities are too many? Music, art, dance, sports, hiking, biking…the list goes on and on in my family and the question of balance (if that is an actual attainable goal) is always at the forefront of my mind. When I taught high school music, I celebrated and encouraged my students to be versatile. Many students would act in the school play and take clarinet lessons, be a star lacrosse player who also loved jazz saxophone or be a student who really excelled at engineering and robotics but also sang in choir. I, however, was a bit of a walking contradiction. I mean I was a music teacher and everything I did, in and out of school, was closely tied to that identity.

This begs the question, where did my extracurricular activities go? Why isn’t someone meticulously scheduling a variety of fun and creative activities that will bring me joy and challenge all areas of my brain?

I know, I’m a grown up! As adults we tend to refer to these activities as hobbies and more often than not, these hobbies are neglected for the “more important” things, yet we watch our students participate in before and after school activities all the time despite having homework, navigating social and emotional challenges, and learning to navigate friendships, family dynamics, and the pressures of modern society. We often say that these activities are what motivate and ground our students, keep them out of trouble, bring joy, happiness, responsibility, creativity and consistency to their lives where they might not otherwise have it. Hmmm…sounds like hobbies are a super power that teachers should be harnessing as soon as possible.

My lesson for you is to rekindle your relationship with “extra curricular” activities. Summer is the perfect time to reminisce about your past love of dance, charitable and volunteer work, piano, soccer or Nintendo. Make it a new weekly priority. I don’t know of many adult summer camps (although that idea sounds pretty amazing), but simply prioritizing 1-2 activities a week will have a profound effect on your stress level, mental health, and overall happiness and wellness. The end of the school year is in sight and once summer hits, it will fly by. Setting intentional goals for how you will prioritize your interests is a lesson plan for wellness!!

Summer School Edition: Hobby Homework

  1. Take a moment to reflect on the activities of your childhood? What was fun? What was not? (that can stay in the past!)

  2. What do you find yourself wishing you had more time for? (Exercise, reading, writing, sewing, gardening)

  3. Activities don’t need to be expensive. Remember those summer reading programs at the library? Free swim at the town pool? Hikes in the woods?

  4. Compile a list of activities that you have always wanted to try.

  5. Schedule 1-2 activities weekly that challenge yourself to get out of your routine and maybe even your comfort zone.

  6. Be intentional with your hobby choices and immerse yourself, distraction free, in the activity.

  7. Have fun!!

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