The sunscreen, beach towels, and waking with no alarm are all slowly fading away. I know many of you are sad to see summer go, but I hope you're getting excited about your last first day of middle school! Your 8th grade year is going to be wonderful; I can't wait to meet you and get started!
This year will mark my 9th year as a classroom teacher and I am so excited to be at this place in my career. I've experienced the crazy, exciting, and challenging life of the eighth grade classroom for several years; yet I still have so much ahead of me. While I've been able to refine my teaching practice, I continue to find ways to grow and stretch myself to help my students learn each year. One of my favorite things about being a teacher is that I'm constantly learning - learning about my students, my teaching practice, and myself!
Even though teachers aren't in front of students during the summer months, we do still work! I find myself using time to reflect on how I can adjust and change my teaching practice to better meet the needs of my students. I spend time searching for new lesson ideas, and this summer, I've immersed myself in connecting with educators through social media like Twitter and Pinterest. In June, I visited my family in Michigan and attended an edcamp put on by a group called the Nerdy Book Club. I discovered this group as I connected with educators on Twitter and it reinforced my views on reading and literacy in the classroom. Over 150 passionate teachers joined the discussion and continue to do so using the hashtag #nerdybookclub. I am so excited to see what I learned spill over into my teaching practice. The design and format of the camp made me think about how I run my classroom - I want to rework and remodel the structure of my teaching.
I also read several professional books like Notice & Note by Kylene Beers, Pathways to the Common Core, and Book Love by Penny Kittle. I'm anxious to get into my room, meet my students (who I'll most likely refer to as "my kids" soon), and practice what I've learned from these amazing educators.
I can't wait to meet my students and begin the year, and I'm soaking in the last few days with my family. Our summer has been wonderful and filled with travel. We went to Louisville and Lexington for the first time, visited family in Nashville and Michigan, played in the city parks and pool, took walks and played with our dog - it was fabulous.
Like I said, I love the seasons of my job and while I'm sad to see summer go, I am so excited to get the school year started!