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Six Strategies to Stretch the Summer STRATEGY 4: Zoom in and Capture the Details

Six Strategies to Stretch the Summer  STRATEGY 4: Zoom in and Capture the Details

Strategy 4 to help teachers savor the summer is all about zooming in for a close-up. I’ve been walking much more in recent weeks and since I’m clearly getting my steps in, I’ve decided it is now OK to slow down a bit and even stop occasionally to “snap” the roses. With my ear buds tightly in place, I truly can Tune IT Out, as my colorful ear buds below do attest. Lately, though, while I’ve been listening to music and audiobooks that appeal, as promised, I’ve not wanted to tune anything out about my summer walks.

The routes I take are very familiar to me—many just like the path above. I may walk the same path many times in a week—yet with my own zoom-eye viewfinder in focus, I’m discovering many new images along the way. I keep up my walking pace while slowing down to take in the visual discoveries that are such a rich part of my surroundings. I’ve really opened my eyes as I’ve walked lately. I’ve looked, really looked, at the bursts of color on a path, taking in the minute details of everything from leaf patterns to fresh produce at the local farmer’s market. This slowing down to look has helped me articulate and apply this fourth strategy to savor the summer.

Every Teacher’s Macro to Micro Toolkit

Teachers use macro to micro strategies regularly and in many different ways—from describing something as major as the Civil War to teaching writing and comprehension skills. It is important to go from the macro—the right big ideas—down to micro, the crunchy and exacting details that support those big booming ideas. When one is working to savor the summer, these tools can serve us well. Educators don’t turn off key skill sets—ever. Educators find new ways to apply them to whatever appropriate opportunities are at hand.

The idea of slowing down the summer to savor it well is definitely a big idea. This savoring strategy is all about slowing down summer’s speed in a different way—an i-stop instead of the classic photography f-stop. I do stop—often—and I like what I see. The very opposite of not looking far into the future which was the first strategy, this fourth strategy is all about looking closely at all that’s part of the present.

I’ve incorporated this detail view into recent walks. By zooming in for detailed close-ups at the micro level, my walks have become full of rich, new discoveries—a delight for a graphic designer like me. I no longer reach for my phone to check my steps; instead, I reach for it to capture imagery, stunning compositions that my mind’s eye seems to spot at every turn and with each step I take.

Capture Now to Savor Later, Too

Several years ago, I was on a family vacation I desperately did not want to see come to its end. I took my long “last-day-here” walk, past all of the wonderful landmarks I’d walked past in almost an absent-minded manner just days earlier. On my last walk on the last day, the popcorn store sign, the walking trail post, and even the rock wall on a nearby house suddenly became important enough to capture—in detail. I used my phone to take photos all along the way. At the time, I thought I might use these images as a winter boost to remind myself summer would return again—eventually. With renewed purpose, I took many different images on that walk that day.

Of course, I never did use those images in the frozen throes of that winter. Instead, I forgot all about them and only rediscovered them recently while hunting for something else in my photo library. Even now, these images take me right back to that vacation. They’re serving another a purpose I never intended—that of sparking me now to slow down and zoom in for these same kinds of detailed close-up reminders. When I catch myself lamenting that this summer is flying past too rapidly, perhaps a quiet review of these detailed, micro images will refresh my memory of all I’m doing and experiencing.

I hope the following mixed collection of images from both that vacation and most recent summer walks inspires you to begin your own image collection. If you do, I hope you’ll share a few of your images below.

Not a Zoomer? Zone Out Instead

If zooming in for image close-ups on long walks just isn’t your thing, then definitely do visit teacherpeach.com for a colorful pair of Tune IT Out Ear Buds to tune out distractions. You might also opt to indulge in a lazy spa day at home, perhaps lounging on the porch or under a tree. Check out Once Upon a Box for HOME that’s brimming with lots of relaxing spa-style treats designed with teachers in mind. With this unique gift box, there’s even a different way to stop and smell the roses—with fragrant bath soap made of individual and colorful rose petals. With all that’s in this HOME box, you’ll find plenty of choices to relax and savor summer.

Jot down a quick comment below to let other teachers know your strategies to stretch and savor the summer. As for me? I’ll be walking, listening, and zooming in to collect even more close-up image reminders. Who knows? One day some of these image close-ups could even become a set of greeting cards for teachers just like our newest release. Take a look at dramatic new set of elegant B&W Greeting Cards and Postcards, six different designs, each bearing a positive and inspiring message for students—ideal for every time of the year.

Stay tuned for Strategy 5 next week and savor this upcoming summer weekend.