23$ and One Library Book Sale Later

Once a month, our public library holds a book sale. It’s 2$ to get in and books are anywhere from 25 cents to 2 dollars. It’s great! Today was my first time.

I popped my library sale cherry and check out my haul!

I’ve only read The Goldfinch before but I think I might read it again. I was so enthralled in the plot that I found myself reading too quickly to savour her delicious syntax.

Happy summer reading, friends!


4:17 AM

I’ve been unable to sleep for the last three hours, after waking up to dogs barking and a loud crash from our roof.  It turns out, when we had our roof redone two years ago, the roofers did not completely reattach the solar panels. Ooops.  Now one is hanging literally by a thread/some sort of electrical cords. Thanks, wind.

Home ownership is no joke.

But now I can’t seem to go back to sleep.  My mind is racing, while my body is tired.

Tomorrow we graduate another class of seniors and getting these 311 students to the finish line and through the seemingly endless assortment of ceremonies has plumb worn me out. It’s such an exciting time, while also emotionally exhausting and physically grueling.

But I didn’t come here to complain!

I haven’t written here in two years, which seems about right.  Last year all of my writing energy went into my National Boards (which I finally passed this past November!) and this year I’ve committed 100% of my energy into my class and the Dual Language program.  And it has paid off!

We had 55 seniors graduate with the Bilingual Seal on their diploma (58 were eligible but unfortunately, 3 did not graduate).  I am so proud of these young men and women and their commitment to their education.  These kids sacrifice an elective each year to take Spanish Language Arts and take an average of 5-6 credits taught in Spanish, exceeding the minimum district requirement of 4 content credits in Spanish. They are amazing! In addition to this, they must pass an oral and written portfolio assessment in both English and Spanish, in which they reflect on and present their educational experience throughout their Dual Language education. Amazing!

Next time, maybe I’ll share more about our philosophy and program structure. And maybe that next time won’t be two years from now.

Is this real life? What do we give up, as educators?

Zero to Hero Day 3 Challenge: Write the post that was on your mind when you decided to start a blog.

Is This Real Life?

That is probably one of my all-time favorite, go-to YouTube videos when I’m having a crummy day.

But in my first week back from school, after winter break, I find myself asking, “Is this real life?”

This winter break, I vowed to spend more time in my “real life,” with my husband, friends, and family. And it was great!  All week, however, I had the nagging feeling that I needed to grade, that I should be planning, and that I wasn’t writing my entries for the National Boards process in which I’m currently engaged. It’s like I couldn’t turn “school life” off and just enjoy myself.

I did have fun. I did relax. And tomorrow is my first anniversary with my husband. We’re going to the same B&B we stayed at on the night we married. Tomorrow night, on the eve of returning to school, I vow to just shut “school life” off.  But in order to do that, I worked for the past two days to plan the first few weeks back to school and tomorrow morning I’ll get up early to grade a little in order to alleviate the guilt.

And as I’m writing this, I just got a text from a very hardworking teacher friend of mine: “I’m in major freak out mode!” She was freaked out that hasn’t planned for the semester, other than what we managed to get done together one afternoon during break, before letting ourselves get distracted with Christmas shopping.

So is this real life?  Do we have to choose one or the other? A real life or a school life?

When I debated leaving education, what kept me were the things that I’ve already committed myself to.  The things I want to see through.  This semester I received a grant to start a writing center in our bilingual office for peer tutoring in Spanish and English writing across the curriculum.  I’m continually revising my curriculum, I’m on the PD committee at school and can participate in the conversation to help support teachers as we move to the CCSS, and most importantly I love my students. I made a commitment to them on the first day of school.

And the kids in my classroom are amazing and it is a privilege to work with them each day.

But what is our commitment to ourselves?

Gallery: Beautiful words from TEDxMet, immortalized as art

Note-taking as an art form. AVID’s Cornell Notes just got a lot less cool but by contrast a lot more helpful. I wonder what the curve of forgetting is for these notes?

TED Blog

When the lights went down at TEDxMet, a TEDx event hosted by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in October, anyone looking very closely could see a tiny light in the first row, casting a dim glow on a lucite desk. The desk was created for artist Alice Attie, who sat with a piece of paper and pen in hand, drawing intently as each speaker took the stage.

The drawings were part of a project she calls Class Notes, which started as visual reimaginings of Columbia University graduate lectures on physics and philosophy. Her collaboration with the Met captured the spirit of that project, using the talks at TEDxMet as fodder for her art. As you’ll see in the gallery below, each drawing is a delicate web of words spoken during the talk, intricately arranged into a shape that captures the feel of that talk’s content and delivery. In short, they’re…

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