It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 8/28/17

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It’s the second Monday of the school year, and I am already beat. This past week has been nothing but go, go, go for me, and instead of entering this week refreshed, I am dragging myself forward at the speed of a turtle. I can already tell this week is going to require some serious caffeine and determination.

AND some serious bookage (is that even a word? If it isn’t, I think it should be.). You guys. I am ashamed to say it, but my reading life is looking a bit dismal at the moment. My days are filled with boiling classrooms, stiflingly hot rayon shirts (darn my habit of not actually reading the fabric before buying online), and middle schoolers. I need to get back into the habit of reading for fun instead of reading as a chore. Feel free to drop any and all reading suggestions below – I’m always up for a new adventure!

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This week, I read This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki. This was my first taste of graphic novels, and I must say, I am impressed. Wow – who knew pictures could enhance a story line so much? The story showed depth and explored real questions teens have. Readers follow the lives of Alice and Windy, two city girls who spend their summers beachside in Awago. Awago Beach has always served as a refuge of sorts for Alice, but this summer is different. Between Dunc, the boy harboring a secret that could potentially change his life forever, and her parents’ fighting, Alice’s summer is nothing like the past. The most heartwarming part of this novel is Alice and Wendy’s friendship. Through thick and thin the girls have each other to lean on, which is refreshing. This graphic novel doesn’t shy away from tough subjects, including (but certainly not limited to) depression, miscarriage, teen pregnancy, gender stereotyping, and the ever-uncomfortable teen years. With beautiful illustrations and a solid plot line, this is a graphic novel I would recommend to anyone looking to crack into a new book.

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I also finished up Huntley Fitzgerald’s YA novel What I Thought Was True this week. If you consider yourself to be a fan of happy endings and YA love, this is a book for you. Gwen Castle wants two things: to escape the life she was born into and to forget what happened with Cassidy Somers, the dreamboat transfer. As Gwen grapples with her version of the past and Cassidy’s constant presence as an out-of-place yard boy on the island, she struggles to define reality and escape what she believes to be the biggest mistake of her life. Can she let go and move on? Or will she be stuck in the past, refusing to acknowledge that a future is there for her to take? First love, summer, and swoon-worthy moments fill the pages of this novel. This is one of my favorite summer reads of 2017.

 

 

 

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Jitters & Joy – Confessions of a Senior

You know the moment when all of your dreams and big plans are right at your fingertips? When the dream you have been chasing for years is suddenly so close you can see it? That’s where I am right now.

I’m not sure how, but I’ve made it. As of August 21st, I have officially embarked upon my Professional Year at Chadron State College. I have 15 weeks left of being the student sitting at a desk before I transition into being the (sorta) professional person at the front of the classroom. In 15 short weeks, I will have students whose learning and hearts are in my hands; if that doesn’t make a girl nervous, I’m not sure what will.

Even though I am anxious, I also am bursting with excitement. Seriously. The dream that I have been steadily moving towards is finally on the horizon. Reading and writing have always been passions of mine, and I am so excited to share those passions with my future students.

But how do I share these passions? What am I responsible for teaching? Knowing? Being a master of? After discussing these questions in class, I realize that I have a lot of growing to do in the next 15 weeks. I want to equip myself with as much knowledge as possible prior to jumping in the big, scary ocean that is teaching. This week, my Special Methods class worked together to create a list of visions and values we want to design our classroom experience from. I found this to be beneficial, so I’ve adopted some of these and added a few of my own into a list of visions and goals for my future classroom. I want to share on this blog in order to hold myself accountable; after all, if I’m asking my students to do extra work and actively put their best foot forward, I too should do that.

Ms. Garey’s learners will:

  • Show respect towards each other and themselves; they will understand that their thoughts matter and will respect the thoughts that don’t always align with theirs.
  • Experience personal transformation; reading and writing is unique in the fact that it can directly lead to personal reflection and transformation. I want to see that.
  • Feel free to use their new found knowledge for their own purposes – not mine.
  • Discover their personal likes and develop as both readers and writers.
  • Find and develop their voice.

At the end of the day, I want to provide a safe space for students to learn and grow. I want to learn from them. I want to be the most effective teacher possible and, if I truly want that, I need to spend the next 15 weeks digging into the research and techniques and strategies to see what works and what doesn’t.

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First day of Kindergarten —–> First week of Senior Year at CSC

You guys. I am pumped. Knowing that I am this close to having my own classroom is both terrifying and exhilarating. Teaching is an important profession, and it is one I am proud to align myself with. I care about my future students and want to be the best teacher I can be for them. After all, I remember being the shy girl with bangs and a stuffed teddy bear, sitting quietly on the first day of school. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the love and guidance from teachers over the years. It’s finally my turn; bring on senior year.

Here’s to a great Professional Year!

 

-Ms. Garey