Summertime and the living is easy?

I am officially on vacation. I managed to slog through my last week of work, pack everything up for my move to the middle school and only take a few things home. The summer looks long, yet I know it will be over in an instant. I have so much to do to prepare for the fall, at the same time that I need to rest and renew my energy. I decided that I need to begin this first day by filling out a calendar, so I can see everything I have committed to do in the next six or seven weeks. Seems like an odd way to relax I think, but by knowing when I’m supposed to be somewhere, I can more easily let go the rest of the time.

I may wait a few days before I dig into McDougal Littel and the pacing chart. I’m not quite ready to face that yet, but having it gives me comfort. I have some time to figure out how I will use it, how I will supplement it if I feel the need. With three hours a day, surely I can add something to this box of books and workbooks. Will I need to? I suspect I’m already seen as a potentially subversive element about to be launched on these unsuspecting seventh-graders. How often will the pacing police be hanging around my classroom?

While I’m excited about the prospect of being in the classroom again, any classroom, I am feeling particularly challenged and excited about teaching ELD AVID. This is a class in which I will be able to try things that aren’t in the adopted curriculum. We can do the “Moon Journals” project that I have wanted to try ever since I bought the book by Gina Rester-Zodrow and Joni Chancer about ten years ago. That is a lovely project which involves reading, writing, art and inquiry. What a great combination!

I can also try some digital stories with them, even a class blog if I can ever get Edublogs opened up as promised several months ago. I know already that Voice Threads is unprotected by the district firewall, which is something I’m excited to try as well. I will look for a deal on headphones with a mike this summer, so I’ll be prepared for that. Of course I will teach them to take Cornell notes and ask level two and three questions, and have intelligent discussions – that is all part of AVID. But at this grade level, AVID has to be fun, and I plan to do my best to make that happen!

But wait – with all this planning for next school year, what happens to the resting and renewing? Maybe it is the thinking about what is to come that brings the greatest renewal for me. I’m heading into something I love, which is all I really need. Well, that and a daily trip to the gym and some early morning photo walks. And some other things that I’ll ignore until I can’t stand the dead grass and the messy house any longer. Enjoy your time off, if you are lucky enough to have some!

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