I signed up for the free online writing summer camp for teachers, hosted by YA authors Kate Messner, Jo Knowles, and Gae Polisner–Teachers Write 2015. I am beginning (again!) a new position in a new school district, and it is back to junior high! Perhaps the thing I love most about seventh and eighth graders is the possibility of their remaining enthusiasm…before it dwindles and they don their cool as high school students. And the possibility of connecting them with books that speak directly to them. I wonder if other teachers feel as I feel that the pressure to read classics in high school replaces the acceptance of reading widely, diversely– for fun, pleasure, practice– in junior high. That is my feeling. And I wonder what great conversations and sharing I might experience with students this year as I wade back into “the middle.” I am so excited. So, I plan to read and write a lot this summer, hoping to bring lots of thoughts–a pile of recent creative reflecting and writing experiences– to share and to add depth to our work this fall.
Writing prompt day one: Kate asks what do we wonder about. It inspired the blog name 🙂 And it doesn’t hurt that my family and I just spent last week in Acadia National Park where we started our first day’s explorations in the cool, dark Welcome Center’s theater, watching “Acadia…for the Wonderer and the Wonderer.” I don’t think that was the official film title, but the kindly white-haired gentleman narrator/host repeatedly uttered such phrases as “how can you get to know this friend, Acadia? As a wonderer and as a wanderer….” much to our family’s cockeyed delight. We found many opportunities in the coming work to quote the film’s host as we “wondered” and “wandered” about Mount Desert Island, soaking up the ocean and harbor views, scrambled up coastal mountains and biked along the carriage roads.
Yes. Thank you, John Muir. I will take some time for “beauty as well as bread” this summer. And I will take time to write. What do I wonder about? I wonder if I can strike the elusive summertime balance….prepping for school, house projects, fun times, creativity. One can try!