Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Preparing for August July 27, 2009

Filed under: school,TCRWP,writing conferences,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 3:54 pm
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Depending on which side of the pendulum you ride, hearing the words Back to School can either strike dread and form a pit in your stomach or produce euphoria! 

I go back to work full-time August 3rd, part-time this week.

I should figure out a way to word it better. It doesn’t sound nearly dramatic enough that way.

I have been working full-time this summer as the mother of two young children, but August 3rd sees the recombination of full-time work outside the home with full-time work inside the home.

My children don’t care for what that means for them.

Neither does my husband.

Me? I’m most worried about keeping my house ready for a showing at a moment’s notice. I will get this thing sold! I will admit I had a spring in my step as I headed into school office on my way to work. 

It is the last week of July and I am preparing for the class I will be teaching next week as well as trying to get my head wrapped around another week out-of-town for work-all sandwiched around picking up my daughter from camp in Michigan, and her 10th birthday.

I’m not afraid to admit that life does get easier for me when the kids go back to school in 3 weeks because that at least reduces my mom-guilt and need to be in too many places at once. I am not a mom who has ever cried or thought about crying when school starts. I actually feel kind of bad for those moms who feel that Back to School equals loss or a tear-worthy event. Mom-guilt makes me wonder if it means I’m not as dedicated of a mother as they are. Common sense tells me that I LOVE school and have a hard time imagining anyone not LOVING school. School is such a part of childhood, like losing a tooth or falling off your bike, that it has always just been part of the rhythm of my children growing up. I find it fascinating that there are moms who have parties to celebrate their children going back to school and others who have parties to mourn the same thing. I’m going to be at school having a great time with their children, no judgement attached.


Here’s what August has in store for me:

The first week of August I am teaching a class for Teachers on Writing Workshop and conferring with writers.

The second week of August I am back at Columbia’s TCRWP for a week of intense training in Writer’s Workshop.

The third week has me in consulting meetings throughout buildings and with teachers who have willingly given up one of their last free days to meet and plan with me for this upcoming year.

What does the year have in store? Everyday Math version 3 adoption in full swing; a Writing Units of Study Calendar that has each grade level having a dedicated 4 and half days to meet before each new unit of study in writing commences; further training of staff in reading assessments; Response to Intervention work-working to get the buildings in-sync and not falling into a cart-before-the-horse trap; Professional Learning Communities throughout the district; Book Studies.  And of course all the emergencies that can’t be planned for that crop in the day, week, life of a school. 


It’s going to be a great ride.


Life’s Not Always Fair

Filed under: authors — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:06 am
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My young friend Christopher’s cancer has returned. He spent fifth grade going through treatment. The cancer’s only been gone since April and now it’s back and it’s not the end of July. He looked so great-happy and healthy over the Fourth of July. Wilms’ spots in his lungs. Surgery this past week and an aggressive two year plan of chemotherapy for his sixth and seventh grade year.

My friend Christopher loves to read and to do Legos.

Christopher’s Wish is to go to England and meet his favorite author-Brian Jacques! I gave Christopher an autographed copy of Doomwyte , the newest Redwall book, while he was sick last year.  Brian Jacques was at Cover to Cover and I got so lucky when I decided to get a copy for Chris. To be able to give a voracious reader a new book they haven’t read, is really a gift to the giver! I’ve already started compiling a stack of books for Christopher that perhaps he hasn’t read-it lets me feel like I can do something to help him, when really I can’t.

Maybe you can help? If you can help Christopher’s wish come true, please donate to

Make a Wish Foundation

No amount is too small. Do you live in Central Ohio? How about participating in the Merill Lynch 5K Bull Run 2009 in the Arena district of Columbus, Ohio to support Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Make-a-Wish Foundation of Central Ohio. It’s on my calendar and will be good motivation to keep up the running I recently restarted after a year’s rest. My children are both game to do it and there is a walk/run for kids as well as a Fun Walk for adults.

I also think it would be amazing if Children’s authors and illustrators would donate autographed copies of their books (The publisher should really be the one to donate) to Children’s Hospitals that treat children with life-threatening diseases. I’m sure that Christopher is not alone in having a book-related wish!