BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


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I’m Going to the Show!

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Well, not really a show. A conference. Two of them actually, back to back.

I’m going to St. Louis to the National Writing Project Conference, followed by the National Council of Teachers of English Conference. NWP and NCTE, for short.

Am I excited? You bet!

Am I nervous? Ditto!

You see, I’m supposed to present a round table discussion at NWP. I’ve never done this before. Not successfully, anyway. I’ve never even been to a big conference before. I have done a breakout session at our state conference, but only one person wandered in. By mistake. She thought I was someone else. To my shame, I didn’t graciously let her go. I forged ahead with my presentation anyway, no doubt wasting her time. You see, I was an elementary level presenter at a conference full of high school educators. Maybe not the best fit.5124Osj9s0L.jpg

At NWP however, my topic extends into middle school, and there’s a much larger audience. Maybe more than one person will stray my way. Maybe even some people who are actually interested in my topic. It could happen.

The flip side is that I’ll get the chance to be a starry-eyed kid for the rest of the time, tracking down some of my literacy idols and gathering up pearls of knowledge. I’m especially geeked to hear from Jacqueline Woodson and Rick Riordan, both authors that my students and I adore.

I’m excited for November to come rolling around so I can finally get to St. Louis.

 


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Hiding From the Sun

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So today is the big eclipse. I remember the last one, sort of. I remember my father frightening me about going blind, then creating a pin-hole viewer of some sort. Do I remember what I actually saw? No.

I thought maybe this time around it would make more of a lasting impression. My older colleagues and I all recalled the hoopla surrounding the eclipse of our childhood, and we wanted our students to participate in this scientific phenomenon. We put out the call for cereal boxes so we could make our own viewers. Then we got the edict. No eclipse viewing.

Well, I was hardly surprised. After all, we have many kids who can’t (or won’t) follow a direction as simple as pick up your pencil, so why would they follow the direction of “don’t look at this remarkable thing that you’ve never seen before and will never see again?” Cardboard boxes and dark glasses are no match for the curiosity of a kid. They might peek around those pinhole viewers and slide off those shades to get a better look, in spite of warnings of the potential danger. I might even be tempted to do those things, and I know better.

So today we’ll stay indoors for most of the day. Recess will be pushed back, PE classes will stay indoors (where they’ve been due to the heat anyway) and the entire lunch schedule will be adjusted, since our cafeteria is only accessible by going outdoors. We’ll still learn about the eclipse, and thanks to modern technology we’ll get to view it, just not in person.

If you get a chance to see if for yourself, be safe, and don’t let those funky glasses slip.

 


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And Just Like That, Summer’s Over

images.jpgI know it’s just the end of July, and for many of you that means the middle of summer, but not for me and my colleagues. Tomorrow we head back to school to get ready for our students, who start the following week. Every year I feel like it’s just too early, but maybe that’s because I grew up where school starts after Labor Day, you know, in September!

Oh sure, we get out in May so we have the whole month of June and most of July off, but c’mon, it’s still summer. Roast-y, toast-y, blistering hot Summer. My pool is 92 degrees, and that’s without a heater. The pavement is too hot to walk on, so the dog is cooped up inside, but she doesn’t mind. It’s too hot for her taste too.

But I digress. Yes, I chose to live here, and I do love it, even though I just replaced my car battery yesterday. Again. They don’t last long here.

But school? In this heat?

It means heat advisory days with indoor recess, which makes everyone a little cranky. Not a great way to start the year.

Oh well, it’s coming whether I’m ready or not, and really, I’m just about ready. I’ve seen my class list, I’ve moved around all my furniture, I’ve even spent a few hours leveling my classroom library (don’t worry, that’s just teacher talk).

I’m looking forward to meeting my new students and their families, working with my colleagues, and, yes, getting a paycheck again. I’m not looking forward to waking up early, feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day, and hoarding my precious free time. You take the bad with the good, though, right?

So for all you teachers heading back to school, make those last days count, they slip away too quickly.