What should I be reading???

Do you do much “professional reading in the summer?” I hate to admit it but in the past i have not. I read ALOT of books but never things that i might consider PD.

This summer, in addition to 14 personal reads, I read 3 books that have inspired me so much that I’m almost chomping at the bit to get back to school and try new and engaging things in my classroom!

If you haven’t done it yet, no matter your subject, please consider reading these three books as the summer winds down and you’re gearing up for an exciting start to the new year!

First is The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease! This book has me so inspired to read chapter books aloud in my classes! I think even upper levels will enjoy Brandon Brown quivered in perro by Carol Gaab!

Second: The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. I have been reading all wrong in my classroom and i am determined to fix this problem…. Starting this weekend with the folding of 175 origami bookmarks that I’ll give as gifts to my guinea pigs on this free reading journey!

Last is Teach like a Pirate by Dave Burgess. I have studied and presented on Understanding by Design/Backward Planning for years and this book just marries into that idea perfectly! From hooking the kids at the beginning of each unit to building a rapport with them, it will get you so excited to see your new crop of faces!!!

Please take time to read something this week that will help you rejuvenate yourself as you head back! Never get a second chance to make a first impression!

Is burnout in teaching inevitable?

When I started teaching, I was next door to two veteran teachers who met every day at lunch to share their cynical views of everything from students to admin to the future of education. Total victims of teacher burnout! It was difficult for me to listen to their complaining because I was so excited to have my own classroom, my own students… They always invited me and i ate with them for a while but it just didn’t feel right.

One day another teacher gave me the best advice of my career. “Avoid those two. They will ruin your good feelings about teaching.” I’m sure it is true in any field that a negative attitude can rub off on those around us but where is it more important than teaching to avoid that burnout attitude like crazy???

As the years have passed, I have strived to constantly maintain strong relationships with my students, to be on the lookout for the best way to teach them to love learning Spanish, and to keep a positive attitude. When people make me feel down (like I did those early days in the lunchroom) with their negativity about what I am passionate for, I run the other way!

On Monday I’ll say hello to my 20th class of Freshmen. My 20th year of excitement about new markers, new notebooks, and new faces in my room! No burnout for me!! I’m more excited about it each year because I have always learned something new over the summer that I can’t wait to try or because I have a great new way to approach something that failed the year before!

So here’s to the class of 2017! Welcome to high school! I hope you leave my room every day excited about learning Spanish and knowing that you’re important to me! Only 15 more first days of school for me! I’m not counting them down excited for the last one, I’m counting how lucky I am to have 15 more to look forward to! Forget the burnout, I’m going to make the most of every one!