Spring Break Reflections

best-nature-wallpaper-09

It’s the eve of spring break and that always leaves me with a chance to pause and consider what the end of the year will bring. How quickly the year culminates after the break never ceases to amaze me honestly. Technically, what I lovingly refer to as ‘testing season’ has already started this past week, but it’ll hit its stride when we return–and from there it’s a snowball effect where before any of us know it, we’re celebrating graduation, heading out on vacation, and planning for next year.

As I’ve mentioned before, next year will look very different for me, but in a way that is exciting. I learned a little more about my new position yesterday and while the responsibility will be great, the work I’ll be doing is going to be meaningful and transformative.

My pilot study is also coming to a close. I’m in the midst of post-interviews with a handful of students, and while only about fifteen minutes each, they’ve already given me interesting insight into the process of zine creation and its potential effects on students and the classroom. I’m looking forward to chatting with a mentor or two about what I think I may be finding so far. I realize I won’t really know what I’m looking at until I’ve transcribed a little and begin coding, but my initial observations are quite exciting. It’s fascinating to think how alternative literacies can change the landscape of a classroom in meaningful ways.

Beyond my pilot study work, I’ll be waiting anxiously to find out if I’ll get an interview for a fellowship I’ve applied for that would change everything financially for me going forward with my doctoral studies. It’s a long shot, but one worth taking for sure!

Finally, as I look at my students, their progress, their abilities, their experience in my classroom, I consider how much they’ve helped me grow this year as a teacher. I’ve undoubtedly learned as much from them as they may have from me. They consistently surprise me with their abilities and what they are able to accomplish. This is the first year in the last four that I feel both my full-time PBL classrooms and my ‘regular’ classrooms align themselves fully to student growth in skills that are more important than their ability to decipher a classic text. (The idea is that ability is there and enriched by experiencing writing from many genres and discourses!) All my classes are thinking and looking (and writing) about the world a bit differently, and that does my heart some good.

For those near my area and interested, we’ll be holding our 4th annual Studio Expo event on Monday, April 28th at North Gwinnett High School. This is probably the last event of it’s kind (or at least as we’ve known it the last four years), so if you’ve always wanted to go but missed out, I highly encourage you to come out and join us. I’ve embedded the flyer below; feel free to share with others. It’s an amazing opportunity to see the power of real project building in action!

SpringStudioExpo2014

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