I just completed my first year of teaching high school English. During the year, I spent time planning, grading, lamenting, crying, drinking, and sleeping in various proportions depending on the time of year (does inadvertently becoming an amateur wine connoisseur count as teacher PD??).
I had a lot of OMG moments – good ones, bad ones, and ugly ones. By the end of the year, I was a wet mess and couldn’t wait for it to be over.
The other interesting emotion I had was panic. It’s all over! I had so much more to do! So much more to teach! How could I have fixed things?? I have failed as a teacher!! Oh, the horror! Within the first few days of summer break, however, that feeling blissfully passed away and I was in full teacher summer break mode.
Now, I’m in that wonderful state of being where I’m not panicked and I’m not dreading the upcoming year. I’m looking forward to setting a new classroom up, and piecing together some of the things I’ll be teaching this next year. I can reflect on my first school year without going into a depression. I can read articles without a sense of dread. I can watch videos and be inspired. Speaking of which, one of my favorite video resources is Teaching Channel. A colleague from my CREP days at the University of Memphis introduced me to this website and I have found myself going back again and again (you’re my hero, Sarah Brown Wessling!!). Teaching Channel has every video you can imagine and I look at a ton of them. I don’t even limit myself to English or high school. Most of the videos you watch on this site can be adapted to your particular grade in some way. AND they also have a place where you can add and save notes for any of the videos so you can go back and review.
It IS summer break, though, so I also have lots of time to stay in my jammies, sleep until 10 am, binge-watch Netflix, eat whenever I want, and read books that I don’t have to make notes in. Here’s to enjoying summer break in all its unstructured bliss!
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