Sunday, August 23, 2009

TSS - Last Sunday of Summer

Well, tomorrow the 2009/2010 school year begins. This will be my 6th year teaching at Christ Prep Academy and my classes have filled up quite nicely. I am very excited about the curriculum that I will be teaching in each of the courses (7th grade English - 8th grade English - 9th grade English - and British Literature), but I am not looking forward to grading the umpteen papers that will be assigned. Oh well, I must be willing to take the bitter with the sweet.

I am a bit nervous as to what tomorrow morning might hold. The move to the new location has not gone as smoothly as we had hoped, and while I initially thought I would have my own classroom, I have learned that I have the "chapel" which is used throughout the week for church functions. This means I will not be able to leave ANY materials out (and for an English teacher with shelves full of books, this is a real issue), and I will never know what state my room will be in when I arrive. Such are the challenges of teaching at a small, private school. I know that I will not have a white board tomorrow - and possibly all week, so that creates another challenge for a grammar teacher who uses the white board extensively. Most of today will be spent brainstorming how to overcome these bumps in the road, as well as developing ice breaker games.

I am sincerely hoping that I can find enough time in today's schedule to be able to sit down and read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I had this book on hold from my local library since February, and when my turn finally arrived, I found myself in the middle of back-to-school preparations. The book is due tomorrow and I simply do not want to return it without having read it (who knows how long I would have to wait for another opportunity to read it). I think it would be a fitting way to spend this last day of summer.

I would like to end this Sunday Salon post by publicly acknowledging Belle at Ms. Bookish for her wonderful friendship and encouragement. If you are not familiar with her blog, you simply must check it out. Each Sunday Belle posts The Big List of Book Giveaways: a summary of ALL book giveaways in the blogosphere. I simply cannot imagine how much time and effort it takes her to coordinate this information, but it is a wonderful weekly feature and we all benefit from her hard work. In addition, Belle is a tremendously talented and disciplined writer. She is almost finished with one novel, Nantucket, and she has started on another. Periodically she will post her progress and frustrations with a writer's lifestyle, and I have greatly enjoyed reading each and every one of those entries.

I have always been interested in reading how and why writers write - but after taking the Revising a Life writing course this summer, I returned home with a real desire to implement the writing process into my own daily life. I have not done much in the past three weeks, but Friday night, while watching the evening news, I was struck with an idea for a fictional story. Now I don't know where this will lead - and it may only lead to frustration -but I at least want to try and develop this seed of an idea. I contacted Belle immediately and asked for guidance and she, not surprisingly, responded with incredibly kind, encouraging counsel. Once again I was touched by the true community spirit of book bloggers (and perhaps it can be extended into the writer bloggers as well).

If you have not yet experienced this amazing comraderie among cyber literary friends, then I strongly recommend that you take part in the Book Blogger Appreciation Week the week of September 14-18. Amy has coordinated a spectular event (with the help of several other book blogging buddies) that will be sure to showcase the community spirit that is prevalent among the nearly 1,000 registered book blogs.

I hope you all have a relaxing Sunday and a productive week!


  1. My prayers are with you tomorrow as you head off to your chapel/classroom. I appreciate the difference good teachers made in the lives of my children. I'm sure you are doing the same for someone else's children.

  2. Good luck with the classroom situation. I'm sure it will all work out after you and your students settle in. Maybe an overhead projector in place of the white board? Just a thought.

  3. I had some teachers in high school that had to "share" their classrooms...they basically had a different room each hour, while that teacher had their planning hour. The English teachers had carts on wheels that they wheeled from classroom to classroom and put in a closet or another teacher's classroom at night. Good luck solving all the bumps the new school year will bring!

  4. I hope you have a wonderful school year. Somehow, I think you and your students will persevere and come out stronger and closer because of your situation.

  5. I'll be thinking about you in the morning. And oh, do I know what you mean about grading papers. When the students used to moan about having an essay to write I would point out that they had one to write, but I had sometimes as many as 80 to mark! It's the one aspect of teaching I am really glad to have left behind.

  6. Good luck with your first day of classes, Molly! Do you know what stories/books you'll be teaching in your classes?

    And how exciting about the writing idea! I hope you'll share with us how your process is going--you know we'll be here to cheer you on!

    Hope you have a wonderful evening before tomorrow and that you've been able to dig into The Graveyard Book a bit (ya, couldn't help myself...). :)

  7. What a lovely and deserved tribute to Belle!

    Best of luck getting your part-time classroom to work out!

  8. When my daughter went to pre-school, her class was held in the chapel as well and as a parent I just thought it was neat to be in a non-classroom atmosphere. I never even thought about what a pain it would be for the teacher!

    As challenging as it may be for the first few weeks, I know you will come up with some way to make it all work. Good luck!

  9. An English teacher without a whiteboard?! I can't imagine. I was a science teacher and I couldn't have lived without one, but an English teacher. Wow! I wonder if the students will behave wonderfully meeting in the chapel.

    Best wishes for a great year.

  10. I hope this first week of school is going well, Molly!

    Good luck with your writing project; so nice to have a supportive and experienced friend to turn to.

  11. thanks for the heads up on Book Blogger Appreciation Week. that's sounds very cool.

    And best of luck for a great school year.


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