If you’ve never visited https://booksandbassets.wordpress.com, I highly recommend that you check out this blog. I always look forward to reading Adrienne’s posts and today, I was hooked by the first two sentences: “I’m worried about summer slide. MY summer slide.” Adrienne’s post prompted me to think about my plans for the summer. What am I doing to prevent my own summer slide?
One way that I’m avoiding a summer slide is by attending Shenandoah University’s Children’s Literature conference at the end of the month. This conference has been at the top of my list for several years, but I’ve never had the opportunity to attend until this year. Some of the authors and illustrators include Jon Scieszka, Jewell Parker Rhodes, Lisa Graff, Sophie Blackall, and Melissa Sweet. Staying on top of children’s literature is important to me. I read a lot and participate in Donalyn Miller’s #bookaday as much as possible, but I’m always searching for opportunities to build my knowledge of the books that are available. This conference will help me avoid the slide by providing opportunities to be immersed in children’s literature.
Like Adrienne, I’ve also signed up for Teachers Write. This year will be the first when I haven’t had graduate school competing with Teachers Write and I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my writer’s notebook. While I love to write, I also know that if I’m going to be a teacher of writers, then I have to be a writer, too. How can I teach what I haven’t experienced as a writer? How can I help my students in their writing journeys if I don’t experience the same things that they experience?
Throughout the summer, I’ll also spend time reading journal articles and professional books. I’m attending the Graham Lecture at UVa and working on a project to extend my dissertation study. Next month, I am planning to attend the International Literacy Association conference in Orlando and I can’t wait to soak in everything!
So as I think about what I’m doing to prevent a summer slide, I feel energized by my plans. Like Adrienne, the summer slide will not be happening for this teacher!