Getting ready for the best year yet

Passion and being passionate is the theme for our new school year. As I have been working in my classroom and with my colleagues, I have been trying to plan with that theme in mind. I have to admit that passion is easily lost in the mountain of paperwork that I have to do every fall before students arrive and also in the first few weeks of a new school year.

Checking home language surveys and playing a detective to locate information from other school districts in order to place newly arrived students correctly. Then there are the new students from overseas; how much English can they speak? Can they read and write as well? When are they available for placement testing? Then there is the new MTSS screening that we need to implement this year. Will that apply to me and my students as well? I guess I will find out on Wednesday.

What about the new curriculum or an old curriculum with a few revisions? What did I learn last year that I promised to change for this year? Oh yeah, there were a few things:

  • keep better records of conferring with students (forms for me are just waiting to be printed)
  • implement a dedicated time for independent reading and writing daily (reading/writing journals are waiting for students to arrive)
  • more book talks–wonder if we could even make book trailers…..
  • get the Notice and Note materials ready

Then there are the parents that are waiting for an opportunity to get involved. For some it is learning about American high school and college. So we need to organize a college night early in the year. Dates are getting locked on Wednesday.

Really, there is so much to do. When shall I get to organizing my classroom? Oh yes, that was mostly done in June!! My teaching assistant and I organized all the papers ready for the new school year. It means that I need to plan my first day and first units, clean my tables, bring in the plants, and get materials ready for my students. Of course, I still need to find places for all the new books that I have collected over the summer! But, I think there will even be some time to relax over the holiday weekend!

I am still looking for a quote about passion that I could display in my classroom. If you know one, please share it with me!!!


Last Day of Vacation

This is today. My last day of summer vacation. Officially. So, what is on my agenda for the day:

  • Take my daughter to doc appointment and then to work
  • Go meet at the admin office about after school program
  • Deliver a few more supplies to my classroom (just to get them out the my house)
  • Shop for avocados that are on sale
  • Enjoy reading and commenting
  • Organize the papers that I have printed for their respective binders
  • Pick up my daughter from work
  • Cook dinner
  • get lunches ready for Wednesday
  • go to sleep early

What I should do but will probably not end up doing:

  • go to the gym
  • iron my classroom curtains
  • paint a bookshelf in my classroom
  • mop the floors
  • take the stuff to Goodwill that is sitting in a box in my bedroom (there is always Saturday, right)
  • pull weeds

What I might do if the mood strikes:

  • read a book (Nine, ten: A September 11 Story¬†is waiting for me)
  • read another book (just for fun)
  • Go get that free coffee–and make it a fancy one
  • Sharpen some pencils–should really try my new pencil sharpener
  • Go buy that toolbox that would help organize my supplies in my classroom and print the pretty labels for it
  • take a nap
  • watch a movie–there must be something free On Demand

And then, get ready for teacher meetings in the next few days and students after Labor Day. What does your day look like?

Blog renewal-Reclaiming my Writing Life


3.28 Plant #2

Renewal, reclaiming, restarting, rebirthing, rejuvenating, or just plain getting back to it. These have been my thoughts for the last few months.

I finally decided that getting back to blogging would be a good time to refresh my writing platform thus this new blog (still under construction).But I had forgotten how time consuming it can be to learn the ins and outs of a new format.

I had to figure out my new widgets, locate my dashboard (yes, but even here a quick Google search provided great results), pick my theme ( I tried a few, and I am still not sure if this will be the final), and all the other small things that go into learning a new platform. Have I mastered this format yet? Absolutely no, but I think I am on my way. Just like the tulips on the above photo I am reclaiming my writing life and getting back to blogging after almost a year just writing with my students or with my small group.

I am so grateful for the little comments and tweets that have asked if everything is okay when I was no longer posting weekly. These reminders have been at the back of my mind when I have pondered my writing journey. They have encouraged me and pushed me to return after being dormant these past months.

I am looking forward to new blooms blossoming in the next few months, sharing and being part of a community that writes!