Catching Up-A Long One

So much has gone on lately, but I haven’t had the will to sit and type about it. Sometimes I wish I could get back into the blogging groove and write an entry at least once a week. Other times, I sort of forget about my blog altogether.

It’s just weird, you know? How much do you tell? How much do I want to tell?

I do think that I should start updating once a week. Work it into my schedule like I do with my grading—I hang out on Friday afternoon to get all caught up.

So in an effort to get this all up to date, I offer to you a bulleted list:

• Spring Break Challenge
Every break that we get from school, I usually assign my students homework in the form of reading. For the ones that are already going to do it, it’s really no big deal. For this vacation, my kids challenged me to read five books. I only read three. Still, it was cool. I read Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment, Chanda’s Wars, and Stop Pretending. I’m reading through The Knife of Never Letting Go and have Joseph on queue. I’ve been doing a few freelance projects here and there that prevent me from really getting into the reading.
• Spring Break Road Trip
For Spring Break, we drove out to Brenham, Texas home of the Blue Bell Factory. We stayed at the Far View Inn for a few days. All around, it was pretty awesome. More than anything, it was really, really relaxing—something I needed. Of course, the week we returned to work was udder hell, but at least I got some time to chill.
• Education in the News
I’ve seen all the reports and articles about teaching. Currently, I’m trying to stay away from them because what some of these people assume just infuriates me. Teaching and education is just one of those things that if you’ve never done it, you don’t understand. Yes, the teacher is the X-factor, but many times, even the best teacher, has so many issues beyond their control. Until the playing field is completely even, there may not be success with current “education fixes.” Otherwise, a new approach needs to be taken.
• Abydos Conference
Speaking of teaching, I went to the Abydos conference the weekend prior to Spring Break. It was really awesome. It was at the end of Big State Test #1, and it was just what I needed to rejuvenate me. I have used something from each of the sessions I attended. It’s probably been The Best conference I have attended.
• Hair
So it’s pretty long now. Long considering how short I used to keep it. I need to go in for a trim, but I’m afraid of how much will be chopped off. I’m planning on donating it to Locks of Love which means I need to grow it ten inches. I really like the idea of growing it out to donate it. It makes me think twice about the products and techniques I use.
• Poetry Month
 April is poetry month. I didn’t exactly kick off the month how I would have liked, but at least I am doing more than last year. On Wednesday, I took the kids to the library to create Book Spine Poems. At first, they were a bit apprehensive, but once they experienced the process, they were all about it. Currently, I’m creating some poet bios to put up around the ELAR classes. I was supposed to find five, but I’ve doubled my list after a visit to Barnes and Noble this weekend.
The poem really reads:

What the Moon Saw
On This Date
Rocks in His Head

For the first time, in a few years, our school admin decided we would have an SJI Teacher of the Year. I was nominated and I won! The principal called me into her office afterschool a couple weeks ago to get some information from me for the district application, and she also said I would be nominated for State TOTY. It was humbling and validating to receive this honor from my colleagues. I’m not sure what I get, and I haven’t mentioned it to my students. In due time, it will all come out. It does, however, put a little more pressure on me to continue to raise the bar on my work.

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