Further Thoughts On Going Back To School

A few short weeks ago, I found myself standing in front of a classroom of high school students, teaching a pre-reading lesson I’d prepared on the Shakespearean play Julius Caesar. After almost eight years out of the classroom, the moment, complete with new students, a new locale, and new educators evaluating me, initially felt surreal. People say that once you learn to ride a bike, you can stop for years and then one day get on again, and it’s as if you never stopped riding. When I walked in that classroom and started teaching, after that first moment of hesitation, it felt as natural as breathing, as if I’d never left.

But what does this have to do with An Island Mom, you rightly ask? Let me explain.

First, though, let me state that, while I have covered many topics on An Island Mom, first and foremost, this blog is about living on an island, framed by my experience of moving from a big city (Chicago), first to one small island in Carolina and now to another. This perspective, and my love for this place and the life that it offers is what inspired me to start this blog, and it will remain my overriding theme.

When I was preparing for the lesson I taught, however, I ended up spending several hours going through old teaching materials, as much out of nostalgia as anything else. This exercise made me think about how much the internet has continued to influence education during my eight-year teaching hiatus. It only makes sense to me, then, since I will soon apparently be a blogging educator, to incorporate some aspects of my teaching into this blog. In particular, I’d like to share some ideas and lesson plans. I know some of you are professional educators, and some of you are homeschooling educators, so I’m hoping to include some practical ideas and lessons that you can actually use in your teaching. I am, after all, a firm believer in sharing ideas as much as possible, so that we all can work toward providing the best possible education for the students in our charge.

As it stands, I’ll be teaching three high school English classes, classes that will include literature, writing, reading, and etymology, among other things. I’m in the midst of acquiring curriculum for my new classes, so I still have yet to uncover most of the particulars. I’m reasonably sure, for instance, that I will be teaching some etymology, the research paper, and two of my favorite works, Julius Caesar and To Kill a Mockingbird, but beyond this, I’ve yet to determine much.

I imagine, too, that teaching by the beach will present its own unique stories. Snow days hopefully won’t be replaced with hurricane days, but we shall see. Instead of the mouse that dropped through the ceiling tile of my suburban Chicago classroom one day those many years ago, this time around it might be a gecko. I might even catch a student ditching my class to head to the beach instead of ditching my class to head downtown. We’ll see.

Here, also, is where I’d love to hear from you. If you have any specific requests or suggestions about educational posts (or any posts, for that matter), I would absolutely love to hear them. And once I get going, please feel free to use any of the materials you’ll find on An Island Mom with your students. You don’t know the thrill I’ll get if some of you end up using some of my ideas and lessons in your classrooms. Seriously. All I ask is that you tell people you found it on anislandmom.com.

Class dismissed. 🙂


7 Replies to “Further Thoughts On Going Back To School”

  1. Etymology is one of my favorite things.
    This year, we did a test alternate to our Shakespeare plays; some of the kids created Facebook pages or Twitter profiles/feeds for their characters. It was a TON of fun!
    Good luck – you’ll do great (from one English teacher to another)!!!

    1. Wow, that sounds great! I’d love to hear about what you did, especially since Facebook was barely even in its infancy the last time I taught. Thanks for the words of encouragement!

  2. I cannot wait to see what you create. And you are going to be very busy next fall!

    1. Thanks! Me, too. It’s been a while. 🙂

  3. Oooo! I can’t wait to see what you come up with (read: I can implement.) 🙂

    1. Thanks. Hey, maybe you could tweak the lessons, even make them more age-appropriate for your boys, and then share them on Comfortably Domestic. It’d be like what you do with recipes, except this time with lessons. 😉

  4. Well, I’m new here and I am very happy to have found you although I can’t find how to follow you in a reader and I don’t like to subscribe by email because my email is overloaded
    I’m new here and like what I see! I’d love to subscribe in a reader but I don’t see a button for it and don’t want to subscribe via email because my email is so clogged up as it is. So if you have a way to subscribe to new posts via a reader, let me know. I’m a little intimidated that you are an English teacher because, I am sure that some of my writing is not up to calibre grammar and punctuation wise so I hope you won’t judge to harshly when grading. Also, since I’m new, I haven’t perused enough of your site to know if you’ve ever explained why and how you came to have your own www. site instead of a site on blogger or one of the other hosted websites. I’ve been wanting to change but don’t know of a good one or how to go about it. I love how professional yet friendly your site looks and reads. If you get a chance, I could use some enlightenment. Those are all my questions for today teacher. Thanks! Tia

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