After 3 weeks off of work, I am going back on Monday. I’m always grateful that my first week back is without students. I love thinking abstractly and trying to put those ideas into concrete plans, which is what I do this first week back.

I get to settle back in to my office at work and clean the best I can. My office is always somewhat of a mess. The most challenging object for me to get rid of is paper. I grow attached to my old assignments, keep student work as future examples I may or may not use, or I wonder if I am going to need the notes I took at that meeting 6 years ago. Hence, I have many piles of paper.

Then there are the books–the books I enjoyed reading, those I need as I write my teaching portfolio, those I may use again, those I have in my “to read” pile, those I am supposed to read to share ideas with my department. So there are piles of books as well.

Those are the bonuses of the first week. I’m a little nervous going back. I love my time off so much, and I feel so much less pressure when I’m not in school, so it’s a challenge to go back. At the same time, I’m somewhat recharged and a bit excited to go back.

This seems strange to me but I’m excited to actually work on my teaching portfolio again. I’m guessing I’ll have some anxiety around it and that I’ll have some good writing sessions on it and be stuck on it at times. And I’ve got 3 weeks to do it, which seems like enough, but I’m a bit worried about the 2 sections I still need to write.

So, that’s the plan!

–Jaye