The Beauty of August

Today is August 1st. For the past couple years, this meant that I would be creating and uploading my first #VEDA video (Vlog Every Day in August). I’m not doing VEDA this year, but August still brings some important things with it:

The nitty-gritty prep work for school
I don’t know if I’ll admit this if you corner me, but I really like prepping for school. I love putting together lessons that I hope will reach my students in new and exciting ways. I love thinking of the books we’ll be sharing that the writing that we’ll be doing. I love thinking up or finding new units to do throughout the year, or new ways of approaching certain concepts.

That’s largely July’s work, though. August is when the rubber meets the road. Maybe in July I thought of a new letter I want to send home with parents. Well, August is when I have to make sure I write and revise that letter. Maybe in July I thought of doing more play-acting or pantomime in the classroom for a softer transition into formal speeches. August is the time to put that together. In July this year, I was spending a lot of time doing big idea planning for a new course I’m teaching, Contemporary Literature & Writing. August is the time when I’ll create the rubrics and the unit overviews and the syllabus.

August is also the time to figure out what I’m going to do with my desk this year (I envy those who go deskless, but haven’t been able to figure out how to make that work with my lack of classroom storage space). Also: how are my student desks going to be arranged? Will the TV be a focal point, or more periphery? How much will I use my whiteboards this year? What will go on the bulletin boards?

I love asking these questions in July, but I love even more answering them in August.

Staff/State/National PD
This year, I’ve been asked to lead a PD for my coworkers on two topics: Google Drive and positive relationships with students. I spent July putting together some outlines, but August is the time to finalize and actually give those presentations. It’s also a time to think about proposals for the Michigan Reading Association conference (proposals due September 30) and begin crafting my NCTE presentation (for November).

The Students!
This year, my school is starting on August 24. Prior to that, I’ll be teaching a summer “boot camp” for those who want a little warm-up to school. This is my absolute favorite time of year. Everyone is refreshed from summer, and I am reminded of why I love my job so much: I get to interact with teenagers on a daily basis. I get to see their smiles and their frustrations and watch them grow into young men and women. It’s an absolute blessing. As much as I need the summer to recharge for the school year, I need the school year to recharge for life.

I can’t wait.

What are you looking forward to in August?

Rabbit, Rabbit.

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