Friday, August 27, 2010
Now I'm wondering how it will affect my professional life.
First...our school year has gone from a year round schedule to the more traditional schedule and I'm already missing the "intersession" between quarters that would give us time to breathe, look at students with a fresh eye and attitude, reflect, and prepare for the next round of objectives, lessons, creative teaching, behavior plans, and general all around clearing of the head.
But mostly, as a reading teacher I'm already thinking of how much our kids might have lost over a longer summer without daily reading. Many of our kids don't get read to, have libraries at home, or get to the library often. I'm wondering about administering beginning of year baseline assessments that we previously didn't have to do because students were only away from teachers, guided reading and books for five weeks. What's twelve weeks going to do to their processing? I'm wondering what that data's going to tell us and how we will work to get kids caught up.
Anticipating our longer summer, our librarian, administration, and a cadre of teachers who know the deal opened the library over the summer to give our neighborhood kids a good place to read and get a good read. These teachers lead book clubs, book talks, read aloud stories and gave time to keep the rhythms of reading in our kids' heads. Our PTA provided book bags for those treasures students got to check out and take home. It was a good move. Kids loved it, but is it enough?
Summer has gone by in a blink. When it comes to reading skills, sometimes a blink can be too long.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Thanks Stacy and Ruth for lending space on Two Writing Teachers for another month of slicing. Thanks slicers for another month of great reading. I'm late posting here but, sincere none the less. This month I looked forward to the few moments during the day or night when I could get a glimpse, I wouldn't have otherwise have had, into my virtual compadres' lives. Knowing we were all writing about the small, fleeting things in life affirmed the importance of recording and reflecting. I read wonderful vignettes about appointments, pets, children, writing, food, travel, relatives and how each of those topics written in one word seems sterile and empty, but with a bit of description and reflection forms something else... a meaningful part of our day.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Wednesday is my day to stretch mind and body and quiet my thoughts with a few friends at school. Our principal set up a yoga class for teachers after school.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I'm going to have to disguise this post a bit. My January daughter is a little shy about some things. Like attention. She's also brilliant so who am I kidding when I think I can disguise anything enough so she won't get it? She's the one who reads Margaret Atwood after me and figures out the "who dunit" long before I had in the book which of course is at the end. She is a scientist who loves research. She also figures out the whole plot of movies early on. She is at least kind enough to not share her thoughts until everyone's seen it. She's got her dad pegged. Well, maybe we all do. I have three daughters. But, her theories often come quicker and seem funnier.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
At Kiss and Ride those on duty open car doors, deposit cute kids in the car with, "Don't forget to read and have a great night." We are generally pretty pleasant. But "Safety first" is our motto.
He had stared at me as my arms flailed and pointed not moving an inch. I swear I heard him say, "Make me." Then he just got out of his car, past dozens of kids, past the Head Start, kindergarten and first grade teachers who are always out there to help the process along and walked over to get his child just coming out of the school door a hundred yards away. Wait... your car is running. "Please stay with your car. I'll get your student. What's your child's name? What grade?" I was practically running after him with my questions as he purposely walked fast right by me without one word. Didn't he see the long line behind him? Was he trying to be rude? Maybe he didn't understand me? I was running along pretty fast. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. But now I just doubted his cooperative spirit.
On his way back I kindly delivered another explanation, with full rationale of why we want adults to stay with their running cars or not park in the Kiss and Ride lane or why it's just not polite to stare and walk past people who are talking to you.
For the first time in awhile, today I just couldn't muster the usual friendly wave goodbye to a parent.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I’m not one to dwell on my age. Once in a while when I have to get the oil can out or curtail some activity I think about it but, only briefly. Today I thought about it.
As part of my over-50 wellness program I got an EKG. I went into a nice medical office building well after the usual working hours grateful to be able to just walk in, show some ID and insurance information and be set to have it done. I walked over to the sitting area noticing a cute elderly couple. They were also waiting. I wondered what condition they had. I mean at their age it could be just about anything. I watched them (actually stared) as they sat across from me. As I continued to watch I had to suppress a little chuckle. Both sat with their heads down. Both had hands with fingers moving wildly on their touch screen phones. They were reading intently between moves. I thought they must be the coolest great-grandparents around.
Heck I have years ahead of me.
Monday, March 8, 2010
It was but an inkling of what would become a two foot plus covering of snow in our area of Virginia. If you live in the US you may have heard about how we got socked on national news. The white stuff came so quickly that day my gloves barely had time to shrivel and dry between shovelings. I'd forgotten how white everything was until I uploaded this image today.
A few days after this storm my family left for a holiday trip. We went someplace warm. We'd only vacationed once in the winter to try skiing. We are usually summer vacationers. When we made plans for the trip we thought maybe it would be a good idea to be someplace warm in December, never realizing it would be a really, really good idea. In a matter of hours we slid between these two extremes of weather. Happily so.
I loved this little flashback today.
Saturday, March 6, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Before Two Writing Teachers started this month's Slice of Life Challenge it had been months since my last post. I decided to reacquaint myself with my own writing. Today I read one of my last posts. It was about transitioning to a new position in my school. I noticed there was a comment which must have been left months ago. It was in Japanese. My heart skipped. What did it say? Who was it from? How did they find my blog? It was probably some teacher in Japan wanting to know more about how we teach literacy in the United States. I suddenly felt like an ambassador of all things reading and writing. I felt responsible. I mustered my fledgling knowledge. I wanted to reply to his/her comment with thoughtfulness and just the right words.
So I entered the characters into the google translator and waited for the English version.
I read down the list of terms trying to make connections. Wait. What did those words have to do with literacy? Ohhh... My commenter, Otemoyan who doesn't represent the comical Japanese song very well, is as they say, "furyō shōjo" (bad girl).
The right words would not be necessary. The delete button would be necessary. I immediately deleted the comment but not before I mourned my lost Japanese teacher friend. I offer my apologies to all who may have read and understood that comment prior to my knowledge.
I've got to read my comments more often.