June 30, 2013

Next School Year

Go figure that it's the end of July, and I'm finally feeling like I can take a deep breath.  School has officially been out for three weeks, but not a day has gone by where I haven't been at the middle school to teach summer school, work in the book room, participate in a data retreat, etc., etc.  This week really isn't going to be any different.  I am not complaining-I am one of those people who love to get items checked off of my to-do list.  In order to fully enjoy my summer, I want to get as much done as possible in order to set myself up for success next school year.  If I can go in for a couple of hours each day and get something done so that I can hit the ground running next school year, I will do it.  Plus, when it really comes down to it I am just a bit of a workaholic, can't help what's in my nature :).

I wanted to share with the blogging world what my job will entail next year.  Last school year being my first school year as our middle school literacy coach, I soon found out that the job required me to play many different roles within our school and be incredibly flexible.  I team-taught a 90 minute literacy block daily in a sixth grade Language Arts classroom, coached each of the 12 Language Arts teachers during a literacy block once every two weeks, conducted two guided reading groups daily, taught a bi-weekly professional development class on literacy for the 12 language arts teachers in the middle school plus our ELL teacher, an alternative school teacher, and our GT coordinator.  In addition, I did the ordering and headed up constructing our middle school book room and maintaining that resource for teachers throughout the year, lead our Middle School Literacy Leadership Team, and organized a summer guided reading program for middle school students reading below grade level to coincide with our district's summer school program.  All in all, I would say that it was quite the busy year, but I loved all of the different roles and people I was able to work with on a daily basis.  I was NEVER bored, and I really developed a passion and a drive for the work that our staff is doing to get middle school students to read and write.  Stepping back and now having a few weeks away from the day-to-day of the school year, the number one thing that amazes me in reflection is how hard we worked as a staff and as a team to implement Literacy Collaborative.

Just to give all of you a little preview of some possible blog topics based on what my experiences will be next year here ya go:


  • Teach a section of 8th grade Language Arts.  I will be teaching a section of my own this year and going back to the grade that I taught my first four years of teaching before giving 6th grade a try last year.  I'm looking forward to going back to working with 8th graders.
  • Coach each of the 12 Language Arts teachers monthly during a literacy block.  I have my schedule set so that I'll be on a four-week rotation.  I will meet and plan with a grade-level one week and then coach each teacher from that grade level the following week.  I'm looking forward to giving this new approach a try and hoping that it will give me the big picture of what is happening at each grade level so that I can be as helpful as possible to the teachers I work with.
  • Teach ongoing literacy professional development monthly to the 12 LA teachers.
  • Teach a professional development class for the special education teachers at the middle school so that they can come into classrooms and best support the literacy framework.
  • Teach an initial literacy training class to a group of high school teachers geared toward content literacy.  Teachers taking this class will be from a variety of content-areas, so I'm really looking forward to the discussions we will have on how to bring reading and writing strategies, constructive and inquiry-based teaching, and whole group, small group, and individualized instruction into a variety of high school classrooms.  This is an area that is not well-paved so to speak, so it's really exciting to venture into this territory and start this journey with an awesome and eager group of high school teachers.
  • Lead the Middle School Literacy Team.
  • Provide guided reading and possibly reading intervention depending on how/what fits into my schedule.
Oh yeah....I'm also starting my Master's in the fall.  You know that deep breath I talked about at the beginning of this blog post, I'm now beginning to hyperventilate after putting this into list form. :)  I'm currently thankful for the organizational skills that I inherited from my mom and the drive and enthusiasm that was instilled in me through my literacy coach training at Lesley.  I know that these things will definitely help! :)

But for now, it's summer, I just got new living room furniture which is quite exciting and comfortable, and there are three running races and a good friend's wedding on my agenda over the next couple of weeks.  I see daily runs, lake time, celebration, and beautiful Wisconsin summer sun in my future.  Although I could look ahead, embracing the present is so important as well.

I hope all of you out there are having your summer get off to a fantastic start!  Enjoy and relax!!

Kasey

8 comments :

  1. That is a huge task! I really wish we had more structured opportunities to meet and plan. Your school sounds incredible. Make sure you get some rest this summer:)

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    1. We're definitely lucky to have strong support and vision from our administration in order to make awesome things happen at our level!

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  2. Sounds interesting! I'm starting a new venture this year as a District Reading Specialist/Coach for K-12 in a small Wisconsin district... a little scary, but I can't wait to use your blog to help me out, especially with the middle school portions of my job!

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    1. That sounds awesome! I'm teach in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Where do you teach at? Good luck to you in the upcoming school year. It makes me so happy to know that my blog can help others!

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  3. Wow, Kasey! You're making my hyperventilate. Please make sure you take some serious time to unwind and recharge.

    - @newfirewithin

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    1. Oh don't worry! I'm good at the unwinding and recharging part too! Haha! Once the weather gets this beautiful during Wisconsin summers I can't resist spending full days on the lake!!

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  4. Kasey! I hope you are taking time for yourself. Young teachers often burn out in the first 5 because we are so keen. I wish you could come and coach my team. We would love it. I am only teaching 8 days of summer school Grade 8 remedial math. I got called in to supply teach it yesterday. It was fun! I hope we can chat this summer. I have so much to ask you! Kristy @ 2 Peas and a Dog Teaching Blog

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    1. Hey Kristy! I completely agree that sometimes it's easy to take on way too much. Teaching is a job where during the school year you could honestly work an unlimited amount of hours but never feel "done". I'm a running fanatic though and love my lake time, so I do definitely take time for myself in the summer. I hope you're having a great summer too! Would definitely love to chat this summer!

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