Monday, June 22, 2009

Lazy days of summer

I've been out of school a week. As usual being relieved of the daily pressure to meaningfully fill three ninety-minute classes with engaging activities, read and respond to student work, contact parents, sit in on meetings, yadda-yadda-yadda has resulted in a burst of energy to get my own agenda out of the way.
What agenda is that? Read ahead for the two new courses I have to teach in the fall for one. (Already read or re-read and done my own assignments on Seamus Heany's Beowulf, Waiting for Godot, The Elephant Man and part of Robin Hood) started The Book Thief for fun, piled up three or four professional books I want to get through, read through 350 AP listserve emails and gleaned three new techniques (gonna try Interrupted Reading in the poetry unit - always looking for a way to get kids to think their own thoughts), wrote the outline of the syllabi for AP Lit, cleaned and repainted my office, tossed out papers, sorted piles and piles of books.....and mentally began designing a student newspaper and functioning student team...whew.
That's week #1 and just a partial list.
Summer is the time when many teachers reconnect with their personal lives too. I always count on the summer to get myself back into good health and make exercise a priority - visit with family, take a trip to somewhere I've never been (that starts tomorrow).
Then there's the push to get ready for the Writing Project summer institute. That will mean loading a truck and physically moving into a space we'll occupy for five weeks - then moving out again. Teachers are professional schleppers.