It’s summer, but I still manage to wake up around six on most mornings, which is I guess an improvement from the 5ish groove I had gotten into during the school year. I resolved earlier this year that I would stay active this summer, even if I can’t afford to go or do much of anything, so I’ve been spending that morning down time mostly at the local park doing the mile loop a couple of times. Gas prices have become ridiculous, but that was something that was bound to happen eventually, so I’m not so much complaining as I’m trying to figure out how to manage. I’ve thought about getting a bike, and it makes me wish I was back in prov again where at least I could get by reasonably well on foot or with a bike, here it’s a different story, pedestrians and bikers travel at their own risk.
I’ve been on a book reading splurge pretty much since the first day of summer. I realized fairly quickly that as a language arts teacher you have very little time to do the one thing that you tell your students they should be doing: reading. So my books to read list just kept growing and growing and growing. In truth it feels pretty hypocritical to tell students they should find time to read at least 30 minutes every night and then not do the same yourself, but my mind couldn’t even focus on a book most of the time with all the other things swimming in my head.
In hindsight there are some things that I wish I had done differently with my classes, the reading classes in particular. Reading for me has always been something I’ve loved doing. No one ever had to push me to pick up a book, or bribe me to read a certain number of pages, I would do it regardless. That’s not of course true of every middle school student. I don’t think I managed to find a way to make reading more relevant and exciting, if anything it became just as tedious for me as it already appeared to them. Freak the Mighty is a great middle school book, but so much gets lost when students are reading it force fed and in little bits. I’m not so sure how to change that quite yet, but I’ve been thinking about it since student teaching, when even The Giver seemed more meaningful before it entered the classroom and became assignments and reading journals and comprehension questions.
I’m not so sure if this summer I’ll find the answer to that one; I’m still trying to find a classroom at this point.