I’m in the middle of unplanned Spring Break #2. Our city has experience epic (yes, epic) flooding and our school district has been shut down all week. What’s funny is that I spent most of last week desperately wishing for another spring break. I am suffering from spring fever in the extreme! And, bizarrely, we got another one. Unfortunately it is at the cost of lots of homes, businesses, vehicles and my heart goes out to all the families who have been directly impacted. We were lucky this time, just stuck inside for a few days while we waited for the bayous to recede.
Eventually, the weather will clear (not right now, because it started sprinkling, again) and present us with spring. Now, we all know why teachers love spring, but I do also love spring just for the qualities of the season. I love the chance for renewal and an ushering in of summer. I love seeing the flowers bloom and hearing the birds chirping. I love that there is more light in the evening (and soon enough, there will be more light in the morning, too.)
I thought it would be fitting to take a moment to celebrate what this season has to offer, so rather than willing the days to move as quick as possible to that magical day in June when school lets out, we can revel in each day and enjoy it for what it really is: A chance to thaw and warm the spirit.
Here’s a small sampling of events that make spring, spring:
Now, I know this corresponds with testing, but preparing for our state writing test at Camp-Write-Along makes us dream of the great outdoors, rather than thinking of the upcoming day spent only testing. Students spend the week participating in camp activities which offer a chance to review writing objectives in a fun setting. We bring out signs welcoming campers. We set up tents, lawn chairs, fake trees, and even cots where writers can work on honing their craft.
We have 3 main activities during the day. “Infirmary Emergency” requires that students volunteer in the camps infirmary to revive a “patient” who has been injured at camp. Students revise a piece of writing that has no life to it. As doctors, the students check for heart problems first. This corresponds to the body of the essay. Then, head injuries (introductions) and finally limb injuries (conclusions.) Students also spend time responding to camp-themed essay prompts. Finally, students work on editing objectives, but rotating from different support teachers. These include activities such as “Bats at Camp,” which focuses on homophones, or “Catch a Good Lead,” where students work on building strong introductions.
The final event involves inviting our 1st grade reading buddies to visit camp so we can share our work from the week.
Folk Life Festival
The Katy Folk Life Festival is an annual event held at the Kenneth D. Welch Outdoor Learning Center. This event is usually put on during the first weekend of April. For $1.00 (that’s right, just 100 pennies per person) you can step back in time to get a taste of Texas Pioneer life. I have been blessed with the opportunity to volunteer in the penmanship table for the past few years and it is always such a delight. You heard that right too! I happily give up a whole Saturday. It’s that much fun! There are cowboy displays, Native American displays, rodeo displays, all kinds of animals and wildlife to see and tons of crafts to make and take. I highly recommend it for the whole family.
Visit a local park
Last year for my birthday I got a bicycle and have had fun venturing a bit away from the house, but now my husband has a bicycle too and I am able to be a bit more adventurous because I know someone will be there to call for help when I do something dumb (I’m a bit clumsy.) Our new favorite place to ride is at Buffalo Bayou Park. It has recently been renovated and it is gorgeous! It is so well done and there is something for everyone to enjoy. There’s a really cool playground, sand volleyball courts, a giant dog park and even canoe/kayak rentals. The wildflowers are out right now, and it makes it even more fantastic.
There always seems to be a carnival around this time of year and the ones that schools put on are always fun! They’re set up with kids completely in mind and the proceeds support a really good cause—schools!
There’s always an abundance of street festivals this time of year. My husband and I just attended a fun one downtown called Art Blocks. Lots of art vendors, food trucks and good music. And, thank goodness for social media. That’s how I generally find any fun festival that’s worth going to!
Get your hands dirty
Go plant something! It’s fun to try out a new flowering plant, herb or vegetable. I planted some seeds last year, and I am finally yielding some Hungarian Wax Peppers. The rain we have had this week has made things grow like crazy (Karina would disagree—some of her tomato plants fell victim to the storms.) As they say, “April showers bring May peppers…”
Whatever it is that you enjoy during this season, make sure you give yourself some time to do it. Otherwise this beautiful time of year passes by as a fuzzy dream and you wake up in the heat of summer, wondering how you missed it!