Thursday, June 21, 2012

How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation

Hello friends! In case you were wondering, I do plan to update the blog over the summer. Today is just the first day that I've gotten a little breathing room to do so. I went immediately from the end-of-year teacher work day to a two-week writers' conference at Radford University. This conference not only gave me a lot of wonderful ideas about prompts in the classroom and helped me work on my own writing, I'm now only one class away from being able to teach dual enrollment English!

My first weekday back in town, I headed over to the new school where I'm working to meet with the twelfth grade curriculum team. I went back the next day to put the finishing touches on my first week plans and continue to get a feel for the space (I anticipate having to ask students for directions a lot in the first couple of weeks). Now, I'm spending most of my mornings planning because I have two completely new-to-me classes next year. In the afternoons, I volunteer at a campaign office. It's not hiking the AT, but as far as summer goes, it'll do.

I think I'd be remiss to talk about how this isn't really a vacation. I have work to do every day. I'm trying to plan through my first unit for tenth and twelfth grade so I can take most of July off to rejuvenate and be ready to go when I start my new teacher orientation in the first week of August. This is the first break I've had where I haven't had grading or reading to do. And before you think "Oh, Maggie is my friend and she's a hard worker. What about all those other lazy teachers?" let me tell you that one of the science teachers at my old school just took the SADD club to a national conference for her start to the summer, one of my curriculum teammates was headed to a conference on how to make the senior year English curriculum align best to the worlds of work and college, and a lot of my teacher friends have found summer jobs in the service industry to supplement what they make during the year.

My favorite part of the summer so far is being able to go to the ladies' room whenever I need to without getting someone to cover for me. My second favorite part will be catching up with all of y'all I missed during my crazy first year. Drop me a note so we can hang out!

3 comments:

annkemery said...

Maggie,

You're a rockstar! Keep up the great work! Your students are so lucky to have you.

I'd love to read a few blog posts about what you learned in those writing courses. What kinds of prompts did you learn about? What other strategies will you be incorporating this year? I'm leading a lot of professional development in my data job (in-person trainings, webinars, etc.) and I'm also looking for ideas "outside my field" to help me become a better teacher.

Thanks, Ann

Maggie said...

Thanks for the kind words, Ann! But I'm not really a rockstar. I'm like millions of other teachers using the summer as a time to reset and plan for the coming year.

I got two really great prompts out of my conference. Both revolve around using poems as mentor texts to write your own. I plan to use one, "Ars Poetica," as a capstone for my seniors who will put together a final portfolio. Another one about driving lessons will provide a model for writing about learning to do something before my tenth graders write process-analysis papers. More details to come, but I hope these help in the meantime!

Thanks so much for being such a loyal blog reader,

Maggie

Unknown said...

By the way, I got a note from Charles Swanson. (He sat in on your class.) He said the piece you read "especially shone with strength or organization and climactic effect." He wants you to submit work to ALCAlines.
Oh. And keep up the good work.