Don't Walk, Mosey (lessons from the South)

July 25, 2012 by Bill Ivey

So far, it's been the kind of summer most people assume teachers spend. Mornings consist of waking up when my body tells me to, relaxing and reading over breakfast, eventually going out on a run, and finally getting ready for the rest of the day. My family is on roughly the same schedule, and the time together is beyond wonderful. The rest of the day? Well, most of our extended family live within a two-hour drive, so we have been seeing a lot of them. It's a pace that agrees with me, and I feel more rested and refreshed than I have in several years.

At the same time, it's been the kind of summer most teachers assume teachers spend. The middle school team has been in touch throughout. Andrea has written to share a link to information on e-portfolios, Karen to share her excitement over the upcoming Middle Level Education Institute conference she is attending and ask us for ideas she might bring up, Hank to share information about using Apple TV in the classroom, and our new math/science teacher Kayla to thank us for our ideas and support. Kayla has attended a conference on STEM and Andrea a workshop on learning skills, and they will be able to bring those ideas and expertise into the mix when we're all back together. I've been online almost daily, reading articles, attending webinars, and participating in forums and discussions.

Most teachers I know value the summer not just for rest but also for having the necessary time to dig deeper into our professional development and growth than we often can in the swirl of a school year, and I am no exception. I've started multiple blog entries about what I've been learning and thinking, all of which I promise you will eventually see, either later on this summer or during the school year, not to mention in subtle shifts in my teaching and in how we use our middle school team meeting time.

My concept of time began to shift when my wife took a job in southern Virginia, almost from the moment I first stepped out of the car and heard the raucous chorus of night insects as the heat of the night air wrapped around me. Normally, I enjoy walking with a quick and purposeful stride, but I quickly learned that a leisurely stroll from our house to the school building left me feeling not only far less sweaty but also much more relaxed, focused, and generally open to what the world has to offer.

Back in the late 80s, one of the sessions of Bonnie Castle Riding Camp came up with the catchphrase "Don't Walk, Mosey" and worked it into a t-shirt. After more than two decades, I think I am finally beginning to understand the wisdom of those long-ago campers. There is a time and a place for everything. Including moseying.

Written by Bill Ivey

A dedicated member of the faculty, Bill Ivey is the Middle School Dean at Stoneleigh-Burnham School. He teaches Humanities 7 and the Middle and Upper School Rock Bands. Bill is the advisor for MOCA, the middle school student government, and he coordinates and participates in the middle school service program. Among his many hats, Bill also coordinates social media for Stoneleigh-Burnham School.

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Filed Under: Middle School, Teaching, Grades 7-12 and PG, summer, On Education, Bill Ivey, Boarding and Day, Parenting, relaxing, All Girls Education, Stoneleigh-Burnham Middle School, The Faculty Perspective, Stoneleigh-Burnham School, Education, slowing down