I’ve never had the winter break creep up on me like this. Between coaching responsibilities, Student Council activities, and English IV team lead duties, I always kept an eye on finals week, not because I wished for the semester to be over, but because that week meant we were out of time and every minute up to that point better have been accounted for.
The changes in my responsibilities, duties, and campus freed me up, I’ve come to realize, to just flat-out teach. Thus, I find myself staring at one more week of school remaining in the semester, confident I’m living my best teacher-life.
So I thought I’d share a few items I sent to Santa in the hopes he’s thought I was a good boy this year. I only included a few of the items from my list because I’ll probably just end up with a lump of coal:
Item #1 – A Really Nice Pair of Shoes
My wingtips are hand-me-downs and the soles are so bad that by the end of the day my knees and ankles feel like I’m almost forty years old. Wait…um…
Item #3 – Notebooks and Pens
I love notebooks and pens and after reading Amy’s list of teacher supplies, I’m hoping to see a Moleskin notebook or a pack of Flair pens in my stocking.
Item #7 – More Amazing Reading Experiences
I read a ton of books this semester, but most were assigned as required reading for my young adult literature class. Since that class wrapped up, I’ve treated myself to Dry by Neil Shusterman and son, and I savored the immaculate The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. I also snuck in the guilty pleasure known as a Lee Child novel. Past Tense, like all Jack Reacher books, ended before I was ready for it to be finished. Currently, I’m bouncing back and forth between Nic Stone’s new book, Odd One Out, and A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi. I love both of these books and will be talking about them in my classes in January.
Item #8 – More Amazing Reading, Writing, Thinking, Talking Experiences in My Classroom
Thursday, I whet their literacy palates with the first three pages from Dry before we looked at the pairing of this piece by Leonard Pitts and “The World is Too Much with Us” by William Wordsworth. I should have an Elf on the Shelf in my classroom so that maybe Santa will catch wind of the amazing thinking, talking, reading and writing that the kids are doing in room D120.
Item #12 – Organic and Authentic Professional Learning
Maybe Santa can bring me more learning opportunities like this most recent adventure with the whole class novel. A Novel Approach by Kate Roberts is a great resource and I’ve read Gena’s post at least three times, but I can’t say enough about how my colleagues facilitated my exploration of the shared reading experience in a workshop setting. They handed me a blueprint and I took it and ran…away from boring, disengaging, traditional teaching practices.
Item #15 – More Experiences like NCTE
Co-presenting with a team from Three Teachers Talk is going to be one of those “career highlights.” I may never get the chance to speak on a stage like that again and I refuse to take it for granted. I can’t believe I’m so lucky. My batteries recharged from meeting Cornelius Minor, receiving a giant hug from Penny Kittle, sitting slack jawed absorbing the power of Christopher Emdin. I run on inspirational people and those were just a few of the men and women I look up to. I’m flying solo as a presenter at TCTELA, and my session is about research writing in the workshop setting. Bring your popcorn because this sesh is gonna knock your socks off. It will be fun, and a growth experience. ILA, in the fall, is the next big conference for which I’m crossing my fingers and praying.
Item #19 – A Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl Win
Is that too much to ask?
Charles Moore loves watching college and professional football with his son, but he hates losing to his mother-in-law in fantasy football. Maybe the third time will be a charm as they face off again this week in the playoff semifinals. Perhaps an upset is brewing. He’s so proud of his daughter’s Snowy Christmas Tree and his son’s tenacious love of reading.