Okay, so I already posted about this on Facebook, but it fits perfectly with the letter for today, so I’m going for it again.
I got to use a transparency today for the first time in years! YEARS, I tell you.
See, we have doc cams in almost every classroom here, which makes transparencies unnecessary and obsolete. But the classroom I was teaching in today doesn’t, and I needed to go over a student draft. What was I to do? AND THEN I REMEMBERED.
I got to use the bypass tray on the copier and everything.
Also, my transparency marker still worked. It was awesome.
For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, my theme is gratitude. Every day, I am going to post about something I am grateful for. Tune in tomorrow to see what I pick for R.
I met with two of my classes for the last time today.
In the first class (creative writing), I had more than one student tell me that they enjoyed the class. Creative writing is a fun class, right? So I think the bar was set pretty low. But then! A student tells me that she loved the class and she wants to be a professor and I am her favorite teacher and just cemented her desire to become a professor.
Then, on my way to my last class of the day, I ran into a former student. And he told me he had just this week looked back at the blog he created for the class. “I put so much work into your class, and I don’t even like English. I want to thank you.”
And then in my last class, one of my students said, “I would get so mad at you for being so picky about the missed periods and stuff in MLA, but now I pay more attention when I proofread to make sure I haven’t missed anything.”
So, yes, I teach my students and sometimes they learn things. And sometimes I even get a chance to find out about it.
For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, my theme is gratitude. Every day, I am going to post about something I am grateful for. Tune in tomorrow to see what I pick for Q.
Item #1: New Bloggers
Three out of my five classes did their blog wrap-ups today, and at least a handful said that they were going to keep blogging. Some said they had always wanted/meant to start a blog. One even said she thought you had to be interesting to blog but now she knows better. (And no, she didn’t read my blog to come to that conclusion. 😂) And another student is excited class is over so she can focus her blog on her favorite interest–something she’s always wanted to do.
So, basically, blogging in class gave some of my students the confidence to start their own blogs because they got to play around with the platform in a safe space with a safe audience.
Item #2: New Readers
Forcing my students to read (at least for those three classes) was a success. Almost all of them said they were glad to do it since it got them to read books they always meant to read but hadn’t gotten a chance to. Or they were glad (for 1102) that we read off the banned books list because it introduced them to books they may not have read otherwise.
I told two students about the Serial Reader app and they downloaded it. Oh, and one student told me he was going to keep reading to which I said “Yay!” but he quickly said, “NOT THAT MUCH.” Students: they giveth and taketh away.
Okay, but here is the best comment a student made: Reading off the banned books list made it easier for her to do her reading for other classes, including the textbooks.
READING FOR THE WIN. ALWAYS.
Item #3: Blogging Book Reviews
Forcing them to write reviews on their blog was also a success, especially for my creative writing students. They really did think more critically about the books they were reading when they had to explain why they liked them or not. One student said that the only reviews he ever read were from old people (professional book reviewers) and this was the first time he’d read reviews from his peers, which he really appreciated since people from his age group bring a different perspective. Another student said he never talked about the books he read before and was glad he got a chance to share his reading with people.
My favorite, though, is that one of my students has already positioned herself as a book blogger. Her about page says that she is accepting ARCs. 😍
So, yes. I wasn’t planning for this to be a reflection on using blogging in my classes. I just wanted to point out that some of my students are excited about blogging, which is great, and that most of them are now reading, which of course makes me the happiest.
For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, my theme is gratitude. Every day, I am going to post about something I am grateful for. Tune in tomorrow to see what I pick for O.
So, after making my to-do grid, I realized I had a lot of work to do this weekend and so spent most of it grading and/or doing prep for this week and finals. I have made so much progress, though, so it was totally worth it. And after next Friday? SCHOOL’S OUT FOR THE SUMMER. As long as I get my grades in by then.
So yeah. When I’m in that mode, everything gets super overwhelming, and I can’t focus on anything. It’s just all too much! And when it’s all too much, there’s only one thing that helps me.
Making a to-do list.
As I collected my students’ papers today, some of them said they felt so much better about these papers compared to the ones they were getting back. Why? “I know I did better on this one. I can feel myself improving.”
Yes, I said. Good. That’s what it’s all about: seeing how you’ve improved from the beginning of the semester to now–even if you don’t get the grade you want.
They weren’t so sure about that grade part, but they did acknowledge that it felt good to see their progress.
For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, my theme is gratitude. Every day, I am going to post about something I am grateful for. Tune in tomorrow to see what I pick for J.
Last summer, I applied to be an AP reader with ETS. While there is a main application, there are also follow-up bits and bobbles they occasionally ask you for. I found some of it tedious, and it felt like it was all for naught. But today I was invited to be an AP reader for English, and I am thrilled.
Even if I hadn’t gotten the job, I would have been glad I completed the process. Otherwise, I would have been constantly second-guessing whether I should have done it or not. And I would (and do) know what to expect for next time.
I also watched my friend defend her thesis today. Nothing says follow-through like completing the defense process. I’m so proud of her and so glad she invited me to be a part of her day.
For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, my theme is gratitude. Every day, I am going to post about something I am grateful for. Tune in tomorrow to see what I pick for G.
The people I work with are aces, especially the ones who work in my unit.
Just today, I had conversations that ranged from what classes to take at the local gym to frustrations with students. I also got to talk to a history professor who wants to use banned books in her class (to which I did a happy dance and emphatically encouraged). I had to borrow one co-worker’s key to get into the lab, and I called another in a panic (who doesn’t work in my unit!) because I couldn’t find information about a meeting that started in less than ten minutes.
I would almost never make a decision about textbooks or assignments if I didn’t have these wonderful people to bounce ideas off or steal ideas from.
And I would get all of my work done on time and be a boring and lonely person.
I am grateful for my co-workers.
For the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this year, my theme is gratitude. Every day, I am going to post about something I am grateful for. Tune in tomorrow to see what I pick for D.
Today was the fiction reading I coordinated for my creative writing students, and it went well. About 25 people showed up, and a few even stayed the whole time. (Since this is a mandatory/graded assignment, it’s during class, and the class time is awkward: 11-12:15 on a Wednesday. While there are some hour and fifteen minute classes, most Wednesday morning classes are fifty minutes and start on the hour.)
There were some slight technical difficulties: the AV people didn’t bring a mic stand (I have to remember to specifically request one next time apparently) and one of the speakers didn’t work (so it was hard to hear if you were sitting on the right). Thankfully, both of those things were rectified before the event was over.
The speaker thing was a bummer, though, especially because there was some, let’s say, ambient noise coming from the rest of the library AND some of my students are really soft-spoken. Still, I am impressed with how well they managed to ignore all of the chaos around them. I had heard all of the stories before when we practiced during class, but I still enjoyed hearing them again. A few students from some of my other classes showed up, and they were pleasantly surprised at how good the stories were. One student said to me later, “I didn’t know they were going to be sad.” And most of them were but all of them weren’t. I think he missed some of the funny ones that came a little later.
I am so glad I started doing this last semester. I already talked to the poetry teacher, and we’re going to do a joint reading again in the fall since our classes are back-to-back. I’m really excited about that one because I teach during her poetry class this time, which means I’m going to force that class to go. Mwahahahaha.
I am ALSO probably going to force all of my students to do some kind of Banned Books Week readout. One of the librarians and I have been plotting. Mwahahahahaha some more.
So yes, one month from the end of the semester, so of course I am planning for fall. Right on schedule.
Big Little Lies has given me a lot of feelings, so it is featured heavily in this post. Also, goddess and life goals queen Rep. Maxine Waters has breathed life back into my soul, so I may or may not have featured her, too.