I can’t believe the end of another school year is upon us; I feel like it was just yesterday I was setting up my classroom for my new 2015-2016 students. My honors sophomores did their last in-class synthesis timed essay for me last week and as they wrote frantically the entire hour to complete it, I thought to myself, “Whoa, they look like AP juniors today.” My sweet freshmen are becoming those sassy, sarcastic sophomores we all know and some love.
It is definitely May. It is time to reflect on the year and also get ready for some new adventures.
Adventure 1: Moving a Mile
Well, my time at Perry High has ended as I move back to my old “stomping grounds” at Campo Verde High School next year. Looking around my classroom, I am anxious to take things down and pack things up. I have been trying to purge unnecessary items and I am amazed at just how much “stuff” I can acquire over two years. I am excited to return home to old friends and meet new faces and experience new curriculum and technology. I will miss my fellow Puma colleagues for sure, but am hopeful that this choice is right for myself and my family.
Adventure 2: Baby Bumpin’
Speaking of family, we have some news! Our newest addition, a baby boy, will be joining our family in late September of 2016. This makes this summer with Q even more sweet as I try to soak up every last minute of the “just of two of us” love before her brother arrives. This also makes packing a classroom and redecorating a new one a bit more challenging, but luckily I have awesome family in my life to help me with this transition.
Adventure 3: Teaching Teachers
Last but not least is the adventure I am perhaps the most nervous about. This summer, I will be teaching teachers at the SEATA Conference in Graham County, Arizona June 6-8. Even though I have done a ton of training for teachers at my school sites, I have never taught at a conference before. I am hopeful that the teachers will enjoy the content I am bringing with me and will be able to use it next year in their own classrooms. I will be posting my conference materials and presentations here after June 4th so check back for some FREEBIE materials and teacher lessons.
I can’t wait for these new adventures and to grow as a mother and teacher this year! However, I also can’t wait for summer break!
Every year, my colleagues ask me how I have time to gather new ideas on teaching English, as well as, teaching with technology. They think I am a walking database of this type of information, but in reality I just browse my Twitter and Pinterest when I have any downtime (usually on the couch with my iPad while the family watches football).
So the answer I give them is: Social Media. They ask me who I follow and I can usually rattle off a few.
Below is the “short-list” of educators that I follow on social media or have subscribed to their blogs that have really made a difference in my day-to-day teaching.
Vicki is an award winning teacher who blogs, writes, speaks, and is pretty much “the real deal.” If you want to know what 21st century teaching looks like, you have to check out and subscribe to this blog. She posts regularly on Twitter as well so there is always something new and fresh that I can usually take and apply in my classroom the next day.
Dawn blogs about teaching methods and good professional practice. I have looked to this blog for tiny tweaks to my current lessons that make a huge impact. Her ideas are easy to apply and relevant to the PLC teaching world of today. I appreciate her viewpoints on teaching.
Alex is nothing short of genius and does a fantastic job keeping a regularly updated blog on new and exciting teaching practices in the high school English classroom. I look to him frequently for inspiration during my lesson and curriculum planning.
McGuilvary’s blog is so engaging to read that I could literally get lost in it for hours. Her voice about teaching her 7th grade English and writing class is just positive and uplifting. She speaks of her students with warmth which is so rare to encounter in the lunchrooms of schools. In my opinion, she is a true writer. Her words touch the teacher’s soul.