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Don't Panic: I'm a Teacher

Navigating the Galaxies of 21st Century Learning

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Using Goodreads.com in the Classroom

Digital Learning Sunday Linkup with Reflections on the Teche
Digital Learning Sunday Linkup with Reflections on the Teche

I hate reading logs. Seriously. I haven’t had any meaningful success with real students using them. I mean, they’re great in theory: keep track of books and pages read. Some teachers even have parents/guardians sign the reading logs in order to add some extra authenticity to them. But, all I’ve ever faced is frustration. By the time I am asking my teens to fill out their page count for the day, they are packing up to leave or they’re ready to move on to the next thing. Some of them fake numbers for fear that they are disappointing me (they’re not–for some students, just getting through a few pages is an accomplishment) and some just flatly refuse because they don’t see an authentic connection to anything in their lives, academic or otherwise.

Enter Goodreads (available online, apps for Apple and Android devices) 

Goodreads Book View
Goodreads Book View

I wanted to find a way to do reading logs that would reflect an authentic reading life. Continue reading “Using Goodreads.com in the Classroom”

August 1(Don’t) Panic: a #celebration Saturdays post.

Today is August 1st, which honestly is causing me more than a little anxiety. This weekend is my last two days of actual summer vacation.

I teach in an ABE (adult basic education) program designed to support adults on their way to passing the GED. Classes are on Tuesdays, but we have orientation on Monday.

On Tuesday, I’m also attending mentor training. For the first time, I will be someone’s official mentor (it’s official when you get paid a stipend for it, I think). I mentored teachers at my old school, but that was much more along the lines of how to teach so as to minimize pencils being thrown at your back. That school wasn’t very supportive of teachers, or students if I’m honest. But I digress…

Anxiety fills me because I haven’t read all the books I wanted to this summer. There’s still a shelf full of books, and I know for a fact that I can’t get through them in time.

I’m a bit panicked because I’m starting a writing center and I haven’t yet begun writing lesson plans for the tutors.

I am also new to the school management team this year. I now have to actually know things.

Psst my mind whispers, this is supposed to be a celebration Saturday post. Yes yes, I’m getting to that.

My roommate and I agreed once that if I have a superpower, it is the ability to put a positive spin on anything. I think it comes from being a middle child and being, at my core, a people-pleaser. I’m an optimistic realist.

So, while it won’t stop me from stressing, let’s reframe my anxiety into celebrations, shall we?

1. I love my ABE classes. Working with adults is such a joy! They come into class with a different attitude than teenagers. They ask questions, they want feedback, and they have an ultimate goal. I work with awesome teachers who are supportive of each other and our adult students.

2. We will have a new reading specialist at my school! I’m looking forward to showing her or him the ropes and introducing our diverse students. I know I can be a supportive mentor who inspires creativity, because I have friend who was once my mentee who has become a fantastic teacher. This will be great!

3. No, I didn’t get through my completely unrealistic stack of summer reading. I never will read all the books I want to read: it is just not possible. And that’s okay! What a pleasure to know that I can quite literally never run out of good books to read! Also, I read a lot of good books, and there will be more good books to come!

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4. I haven’t written the lesson plans because I haven’t met my students yet. I’m a lucky teacher: none of the classes I teach have a set curriculum. I create a framework at the start of the year for what I think my students will need, and then I adapt and plan lessons according to my kids. I get to personalize my educational practices. All I can do at this point is create goals. After I meet the students, my hard work begins.

5. I get to be on the school management team. I get to know the inside scoop and plan on working with teachers based on the things we discuss. I can be a real leader. Because I actually do know things.

Today, I celebrate the last two weeks of summer, in which I can focus on preparations while still finding time to go to the pool. I celebrate two more weeks of binge watching TV shows that I’ll inevitably miss during the school year.

What are you celebrating today? Thanks to Ruth Ayers for the Celebrate Link Up.

 

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