What a year.
Things I’ve done since August 20:
1. Revived our dormant journalism program.
2. Written curriculum for three English classes.
3. Started writing a journalism textbook.
4. Created a children’s literature class — and watched my students learn by teaching younger kids.
5. Created this blog.
6. Learned to use my shiny new Promethean board.
7. Stepped outside my comfort zone to do weekly hands-on science lessons with seventh- through 12th-graders (and a few pre-K and kindergarten students here and there).
8. Installed a coffee/snack station in my classroom, to the immense delight of my students.
9. Established some new professional relationships; strengthened a few others.
10. Completed my first year as yearbook sponsor. (I’ll be submitting the pages to Jostens as soon as my boss has a chance to take a peek at it.)
11. Coaxed an 80% pass rate out of my seniors on the writing EOC.
12. Watched a group of seniors delve into symbolism and debate existentialism, nihilism, and the importance of the brute existent all year after John Gardner’s Grendel captured their imaginations in ways that would make my beloved American lit professor immensely proud.
I should be tired after all that — and I am, sort of, but I’m also energized. This time of year, I shift into summer mode, which basically means my creativity and enthusiasm for instructional design kick into turbo, and my brain starts racing umpteen miles a second with ideas for next semester.
We closed out our school year today with a fundraiser for our school secretary, who is facing a serious (and expensive) medical challenge. The kids held a car wash and bake sale to raise money for some of the expenses our insurance plan doesn’t cover. I came home sunburned and sweaty and sick of saying things like, “Do not spray each other with the fire hose” (the local fire department brought a pumper truck to help speed things along after lunch), but it really was a good project and a good way to kick off the summer.