Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Summer School Lull

My husband commented to me late last night that it's been a while since I updated on my journey. Sure, I've been suffering some major guilt since falling slightly behind my goal, but my guilt was amplified by my frustrations over preparing for summer school. So for all your rapid fans out there (I'm not that deluded) just dying to know what in the world happened and if I am still on my journey, here is a little update with a promise to deliver.

Social Commitments: I had to attend a family party over the weekend, which is always exhausting in its own way when you have a toddler. It was nice to get out in the sun and see everyone and kind of relax, considering it was the day after school let out.

I've also had to plan a trip to Florida and start to plan our family trip to Myrtle Beach, so I've been doing a lot of research on what to do with an old woman and a toddler in Florida without being destroyed by mutant
mosquitoes. Oh goodness and my daughter's birthday party. There's a lot of planning going on. Oh to be social. . . it takes so much effort! j/k

Film Commitments: I might have mentioned it somewhere before, but I'm not sure. I work with the Milwaukee Film Festival's Children's Film Festival outside of being just a teacher. I started this when I moved back to Wisconsin, after having Isabelle. I knew in my heart that I wanted to still be involved in the film community in some  way, even though I had left my post-doctoral dissertation behind with a loss of hope to move forward as a film professor. So I met with the Children's Film director and she saw potential and passion in me and brought me on board. The first year I was a volunteer and led some Talk Backs. The second year I was part of the screening committee for the films, wrote educational curriculum for one of the films, conducted Q&A's with filmmakers and worked one of the festival locations and the craft table. This year I'm doing something similar, but with a little more experience. So Tuesday was my first screening committee commitment. We spend about four hours watching movies for the festival and discussing the potential of screening them. The reason this was such a distraction from my journey was because I have to drive two hours down to Milwaukee now to be part of this and due to it running from 6-10, I also need to stay at my mother's house. So that was a two-day activity. If you have a kid, you know an overnight trip is never just a wham-bam-thank-you-maam.

Essentially I saw a pretty cool feature film that has potential to be shown and some really interesting short films. Then fought the neverending construction that goes on in Milwaukee just to get home to the suburbs. So yeah, I didn't disappear, I was just watching some movies and discussing their worth.

School Commitments: Those who say a teacher's job ends when school ends is so full of it. I was a little behind on my grades, it being my first year and, well, there's a lot to grade in literacy. So I was up early Sunday morning punching in the last of the Poetry Parlor grades and the term and semester effort grades so that the grades could go live Monday morning. Strangely, I was up way too early for a weekend in the summer, but so was my daughter! So that was a doubly hard task to accomplish.

Then I had to head up to my classroom Monday and try to get some cleaning and organizing done. Wow, I didn't realize how much I have to do, but I'm trying to get back to square one and organize everything I didn't get to organize throughout the year. I'll get there. It'll just take a while.

And finally, I have summer school. I'm stressing over how to go about all of this, which isn't good, but I'm still stressing. I have decided the young writer's class will spend their time writing, editing and creating their own hardcover story book. The first week will be creating some fun smaller writing activities. The final week will be constructing their book.

The sixth grade literacy class, though, is a little tougher for me. I have to cram a whole school year into three weeks. I have an idea in mind, but it keeps fizzling, which means it's not solid. So I'm trying to figure out what day one will be and I want to meet the kids before I commit to something. I enjoy creating lessons that are personalized to the kids in my class, but they're wanting lesson plans by Friday with formative assessment pieces for each day! Sigh. . . see the stress coming through already? Yes, yes you do.

And that brings me up to Thursday. I have to go up to the school today to prep for my summer school and get a lay of everything. I really do need to get these lessons unfolding. I have an idea for day 1 to find where the kids are. I already know that one of the kids is one of the "I don't do anything" kind. So I chose a short story I didn't use at the end of my first year and I'll have the lesson on here soon enough.

So hopefully starting tonight I'll be getting in 2-3 episodes of Star Trek a night through the weekend, while also getting outside to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. Goodness knows my geek-of-a-husband loathes the outdoors and all it has to offer. Somebody's got to take our daughter to the park. We'll see how much I get caught up on. I even have some awesome geek stories to post, but haven't had an opportunity to sit down and write them. Someday!

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