by: Pam Lowe, MSTA President
It’s hard to believe that another school year has come to a close. As teachers, we pour so much of ourselves into our students and our classrooms that by the end of the day, or the end of the year, there is very little left of us. 

This summer, I encourage you to take time to do something that makes you happy and helps to rejuvenate you. Your students deserve your very best, even when you feel as though you don’t have anything left to give. 

My goal each year is for my students to leave my classroom with the knowledge they need for kindergarten. But, more importantly, I ensure they leave my classroom knowing they are loved and valued. They are special and they can do anything they set their minds to. Building those connections with my students and their families is key. That’s why I invest so much time at the beginning of the year getting to know them, their interests and their backgrounds. It’s about creating a supportive environment where they feel safe to learn and grow. I want them to know that I am always there if they need me. It is such a sweet feeling to have families come up to me years later and tell me how much their child still remembers things that we did in preschool and how much they loved my class. 

In order to keep giving my all to my students, I’ve learned the importance of taking care of myself too. We have all heard the term “self-care” and I truly believe that includes carving out what I like to call “mental down time.” For me, camping is what rejuvenates me the most. I love getting away from computers, to-do lists and day-to-day demands so I can thoroughly enjoy God’s creation. This gives me the energy I need to make it through the most difficult parts of the school year and all the chaos that preschool life entails. 

We all know that teachers often have to juggle multiple responsibilities, whether it’s working second jobs, teaching summer school or managing family needs during the break. So, prioritizing ourselves this summer is essential whenever possible. Whether it’s camping under the stars, exploring a new hobby or simply taking time to relax and unwind, I hope you will do whatever brings you happiness and fulfillment.

Have a great summer break because fall will be here before we know it. We will soon be immersed in the excitement of welcoming new students into our classrooms. But for now, let’s savor every moment of this well-deserved break and soak up the sunshine and good vibes. You’ve earned it, my friend.