I love summer for so many reasons but professionally I enjoy the time to process my school year.  I am a ponderer always thinking if I could have taught that differently? Could I have improved that lesson with a better hook for the students?  Did I choose the correct picture book to introduce the class to a reading mini lesson?  I honestly think a part of my brain stores all these questions for summer and then I have time to process. For that gift of summer, I am thankful.  I have the above picture on my desk at school. It is my reminder, can I see the forest through the trees or in my case, can I see the ducks among the reeds? As I begin to reflect about my school year, there were so many changes.  After teaching 23 years, I would think that parts of my profession I love would stay the same, but education is ever evolving and at a rapid pace the last few years. I wonder if I am changing quickly enough, and am I changing because I had to? This past year, I had to restructure my reading block which changed my writing block. This was not a comfortable change for me. I do believe my instruction for lowers readers was stronger; however, I lost my higher readers and that is one area that I am not pleased with from this year.  I held on to my word study block by my fingertips, but I still cut some parts out that I know in the past my students loved or found valuable in their instruction. Just as a slip of doubt came to me, I opened my email and read this letter from Sara. She will never know how much I needed to read this. Thanks Sara, your teacher is smiling from ear to ear and Yes I wrote write back to her quickly :)

 

Dear Mrs. Caplin,

Hi! Are you enjoying your summer? I am SO excited because my brother, my friend Mazie, and I are having a lemonade and dessert stand in our neighborhood. All the money we earn will be donated to Relay For Life. It reminds me about Alex and the Lemonade Stand that we read in class. Speaking about reading, I have already read 2 books meaning that I only have to read 48 more to complete my summer reading goal of reading 50 books. I am having a great summer and I can’t wait until Thursday. I miss you so much and I wish school wasn’t over because I had such a fun time in your class. Please write back soon!

Your Former Student,

Sara

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