I've been lucky this summer. The month of July seemed to pass, if not slowly, at least not quickly. The good news is that I feel as though I used every day well, and on a good chunk of those days, I spent time refueling, mostly. The "bad" news (but really, how dare I say "bad" when we have this much time away from the classroom) is that now, sufficiently refueled, it is time to put it in overdrive as August speeds by. And it will. This I know. The month is booked already.
I spent yesterday and today organizing. Listing. Emailing. Prioritizing. Phone-calling. Calendar-ing. Anyone who knows me can confirm that the color-coding of calendars and the listing of to-dos and tasks are some of my favorite things. Give me some lined paper and fine-tipped Crayola markers and my multiple calendars (Google, Outlook, wall, and planner) and I am an organizing machine. But I also quite enjoy the more abstract parts of preparing for the school year: dreaming and scheming.
So this is what I'm thinking about and these are the questions I'm asking as August looms, as the school year beckons, as I shift into high gear:
A new advisement component for new teachers in the union
Engaging 14-year-old boys in reading literature
My role as a leader within the parent group at my younger daughter's college
Using Twitter as a resource for students and parents
My professional goal(s) for the year
How do we build capacity within our local Association?
Changes to my classroom expectations and grading policies
Building relationships in Advisory
Parent involvement in the classroom and beyond
Goals and topics for this blog
What is exciting about English?
Collaborative work in my gradel level for the first time in 3 years
How can I bring more of the union membership together for service or social events?
Piloting the new state evaluation document
How will our curriculum revisions work?
What do I do well?
What do I need to work on?
What should I stop doing?
These are not simple ideas or easily-answered questions; there's no check-off box for this list. But I hope to address each and every one of these items as I spend August preparing for another school year.
First, though, I think I'll go to the parent-teacher store. I feel a new lesson plan book, bulletin board borders, and desk calendar in my future. Bring on the markers!!