Friday, June 23, 2017

My favorite verb: To summer

In my house, summer is a verb.

To summer means...

  • Sitting on the front porch at sunset drinking chilled white wine (or jalapeño margaritas in our school-branded margarita glasses!) 
  • Running up through the water at City Creek in the heat of the day (not so much this summer- I have a torn MCL so am instead on the couch...sad)
  • This isn't even my cat. 
  • Sleeping in and cuddling with the kitties.
  • Making elaborate salads and no-cook meals for leisurely dinners
  • Reading several books at once, including school summer reads, non-fiction, and whatever else is interesting to me in the moment
  • Having the time to read all kinds of articles on the interwebs that I am interested in but don't have the time to read during the rest of the year
  • Attending multiple conferences
  • Rewriting a scope and sequence for K-5
  • Writing an English-Spanish TPRS glossary and basic training materials 
  • Working on my Spanish
  • Thinking about how to better my curriculum
  • And more school stuff
  • Also, going back to GUATEMALA

Many teachers write blogs about how to get the most out of your summer- with the assumption that too many teachers spend their summer working on things for the school year.  Well, I do a lot of work to look ahead for the next year, and I try to keep it well balanced for the sake of rest and margaritas and rejuvenation.  That being said, I am doing three language conferences and going to Guatemala (just for two weeks) and will be back just in time to set up my classroom.  And I feel great about that!

For me, summer needs to be full of movement and excitement.  Part of that is because Salt Lake is hot and kind of miserable in the summer, unless you drive to the mountains.  Part of it is that my husband was working from home and both of us in our small house for eight weeks was probably a recipe for disaster. But mostly, it is that I recharge by meeting new people and learning new things.  And traveling.  The one year I spent mostly in the area was the year I felt least ready to go back to school.  (And, come to think of it, I did three workshops that summer too- they were just local!)

This year, I get to attend Comprehensible Cascadia in my adopted hometown of Portland, OR.  I am so excited to be attending a conference with an entire Equity and Inclusion track!  Also, Cherokee!  I am eager to learn about the much talked about Invisibles, One Word Images, and Story Listening.  And I am eager to go home for a few days and see my friends.

Next, it will be off to a Fluency Fast class with my father.  This is in lieu of going back to Costa Rica, both cheaper and less grammar focused for both of us.  We will be in Denver, where we have lots of family and the conference takes place at my dad's old high school.  I am excited to be a student in an advanced class and see what that looks like, and I am thrilled for my father to get to experience a TPRS class.

Shortly after, I will return to NTPRS, this time in Texas, with my newly hired colleague.  Last year blew my mind- I learned so much in so few days and became a much better teacher as a result.  This year, I am going to be on the coaching track, which is both nerve-wracking and exciting.

Finally, after all that thinking about language teaching, I get to go back to my beloved little community/school in Guatemala and be a student for a couple of weeks, with the rain storms and earthquakes and revolutionaries that I adore. I really missed not going last year (I try to go every other year.) so my husband surprised me with some finances to help with the plane ticket.  Here is a link to a review I wrote about the school, if anyone is interested.  I am passionate about this place.

So, I think that I am summering quite well.

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