Earlier this weekend, I read Tara’s weekly Week in Review over at The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say Shhh! and got to thinking about ways to share some of the events that make up my own ‘life process’ in a week’s time. There are always so many things happening in our lives that influence everything else, and sometimes – at least for me – slowing down to reflect on how they’re related, takes a backseat to the effects they cause. When I asked if she minded if I borrow her format, I’m sure it seemed like a newbie question to Tara, but it was more to say, “Hey, I like the style you’ve created.” She was not only gracious in her response, “Borrow away!” but also suggested I link to other bloggers as well – to show off more styles. This lady is a true connector and I’ve got some blog homework to do. It’s been a few years since I participated in a weekly link-up, but looking forward to joining the Caffeinated Book Reviewer’s here very soon! Tara’s weekly feature got me thinking about what I might want to share. Last week I did a Friday Five post, but realized I don’t want to get locked into five every week. What if I only have one event to share? Or ten things? I’m kind of stuck with a Five in my title, right? So as I was commenting on Tara’s Week in Review post this week, two things struck me: I take a lot of pictures, and, in my life as a high school teacher, there’s always something going on! Thankfully, the rest of my life is fairly quiet. After that intro, you’re ready, right? Last week had a lot going on – some good, some not so much.
I finished the resignation process from my adjunct position. This felt really good to be done with! While I enjoy teaching, especially online, I desperately wanted to recapture the hours I was losing each week and get back to my writing projects. Done! Last week, I logged 20+ writing hours, the most in a week since last summer. Finally!
I also found and interacted with many fellow writers on Twitter – some published, some not – all #writing. It’s a great way to help me focus my time and goals while learning from others, and hopefully, offering something of value in return.
In addition to productivity, I also found tragedy impacting my week. A student, just a few weeks shy of her 18th birthday, was killed a week ago today, as she returned home from a day at the beach. Clipped by another car on a local highway, the car Brandie was riding in flipped numerous times, I’m told. I’m also told she was not wearing a seat belt. In the twenty years I’ve been teaching, there have been countless students in whichever school I was teaching, to die. This time it was one of my own, current students. I took the news very hard and we collectively struggled through the week. This came just a month after we lost two other students. It’s been a tough year at our high school.
As March gave way to April this past week, we began National Poetry Month and the final days ’til my students sit for FCAT, the mandated state test here in Florida. Poetry lends itself to lots of language learning, particularly the figurative and descriptive kinds. Remember these from high school: similes, metaphors, allusions, alliteration, hyperbole, onomatopoeia, and idioms? To get my kiddos’ creative thinking cooking and to do final test preparation, I introduced Newspaper Blackout Poetry to my juniors and seniors, via Mr. Austin Kleon, one of my favorite writers. He doesn’t know it yet, but his books have inspired my own, in progress: compact size, large, cool font, and immediately-applicable ideas – love it all!
After sharing some of our first attempts at blackout poetry on Edmodo and getting lots of replies from fellow ELA teachers – of all grade levels – who said their students love it, too, I discovered more ideas from the National Writing Project, through their tweet:
Overall, it was a week filled with new things to learn, new questions to ask, and tragedy to keep us grounded. I hope that I offered a few things in return… Looking forward to the week ahead!
P.S. ~ Plenty of web design (learning) happening, too. You might have noticed some design changes to the blog already… Saving that for another post. 😉