Nice Try, Dr. Schmidt

At the start of the summer, I signed up for a NetGalley account. Quite honestly, I didn’t think I’d be approved for an account, but I figured my role as an ELA teacher and YA blogger might help. I was quickly approved, found myself requesting titles, and then I waited. The first book I requested was rejected. I figured, “Oh well.” I certainly have a million and two titles sitting here to read. My friend Kate is an enabler recommends great YA for me to read and passes along ARCs for my classroom. I certainly wasn’t going to go without books to read.

Posted in Coming of Age, Window or Mirror | Tagged as: , , , , , ,

Restriction or Release

I cringe every time I see the “joke” what three things do teachers love best about teaching? June, July, August.

In reality, at least for teachers in the Northeast, June is a nightmare. It’s rush, rush, rush to finish up: cram in one more lesson, complete the unit, administer the final, get everything graded, pack up the classroom, sign yearbooks, and by the last week in June, we look like we’ve been run over by a school bus.

Posted in Independent Reading/SSR/Reader's Workshop | Tagged as: , , , ,

Preparing faces

“Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right.”
This Song Will Save Your Life, Leila Sales

Full disclosure: I haven’t read This Song Will Save Your Life. I was merely looking for a quote about YA books, and of course, google gave me quotes from YA books, and a blog post from Barnes and Noble titled “12 YA Quotes that Perfectly Express the Teen Condition.” Now, I don’t know if the quotes do or not. It’s been a really long time since I was a teen. And while the biology of adolescence hasn’t changed, adolescent life today seems far more complicated than it was in the 80s.

Posted in Coming of Age, Mystery/Thriller | Tagged as: , , , , , ,

Dagaz: New Beginnings

The dagaz rune is the rune given to Magnus on his room key at the Hotel Valhalla. It symbolizes new beginnings. I think this is a fitting way to start this post since this is the follow up to “My Reading Journey” post.

In August of 2007, I started a new beginning. This August I will also start a new beginning, as I add graduate instructor to my titles. 10 years after I first started classes at UPenn, I’ll return to teach a secondary ELA methods class at GSE. I’ve been back on campus since graduation, but when I returned for the instructor institute in late June, it was like returning home. It truly is a new beginning for me. From being told I wouldn’t get be accepted into the doctoral program to now being a teacher at America’s oldest university, it has been a road I only dreamed of.

Posted in Independent Reading/SSR/Reader's Workshop, Teacher Tips, Window or Mirror | Tagged as: , , , , , , , , ,

A Reader’s Journey

This summer I’ve participated in two book study groups. During June, I had the pleasure of studying Teaching Reading with YA Literature: Complex Texts, Complex Lives by Jennifer Buehler with a group of very smart, very thoughtful educators. Starting the end of June and continuing through late August, I’m participating in the Book Love Summer Book Club. We are currently studying Disruptive Thinking: Why How We Read Matters by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst. I have the pleasure of studying with an equally smart and thoughtful group of educators. I love that the conversations have pushed my thinking. It’s caused me to reflect on my practice and the practices in the field. I’ve thought about why we do what we do in the classroom. I’ve thought about how my reading practices have shaped my teaching practices.

Posted in Teacher Tips, Window or Mirror | Tagged as: , , , , ,
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