For all of those people who don’t know how teachers roll, let me give you a bit of insight.  After the initial rejoicing at the end of the school year, many of us use our vacation time to attend workshops or take classes to improve our practice.  Those workshops may last one or two days, depending on the topic, but the thinking process lasts a lot longer.  Putting all of the learning and thinking together to create classroom activities takes even more of our vacation time.

That’s been my experience, especially after the Martina Bex Comprehensible Input workshop last week in Lincoln.  I’m sure I’m not alone.  I spent this week rehashing and rereading the handouts she provided for us.  Now I’m almost ready to start choosing vocabulary to use in my own stories.  Then comes the actual writing process.  I’m sure I’ll have a few false starts, but the results will be worth the time.

For more information about Martina Bex, visit her at


Summer is Coming!

The end of school

Is drawing near

Teachers and students

All want to cheer!

But at the end

Of this school year,

You notice your grade

And begin to fear.

I have a few things to say

That you need to hear.

Work not turned in

Can never be graded.

Pardon me, please,

If I sound a bit jaded.

The numbers aren’t crunched

By a magical elf,

If you want to succeed,

Take your book off the shelf!

Even though your grade

Is looking quite grim,

Don’t blame the teacher;

It’s not her or him!

I’ve asked for assignments

Almost every day,

You didn’t hand them in,

So the price you must pay!

You whine and cry

And even pout.

As smart as you are,

Just figure it out!

Mind your manners,

And do your work.

When I speak to you,

Don’t sass like a jerk!

Don’t threaten me with a call

From mommy or dad.

All that will do

Is make me mad!

It’s not our fault

That your work is not done.

It’s not my fault

That it’s not always fun.

Summer is coming,

But not soon enough.

Just turn in your work.

Don’t get in a huff!


After spending almost all day in classes and putting my lesson plans on the school website, it dawned on me—-we have to go back again tomorrow….and Friday and all next week! WHAT????? REALLY????? The kids feel the same judging by the comments I heard. I know my own teen was not excited about returning to school. Summer vacation was simply not long enough. Enough said.

End of Year

This school year has flown by, but it was a tough year just the same. By the end of the school year, kids and teachers have had enough of each other. Every parent becomes a critic while students and teachers fight “spring fever” and symptoms of “senioritis.” It’s par for the course. Summer is a welcome respite from the daily battles concerning homework, lesson plans and grading. Even teacher workdays are great. With no students to distract us, we can finalize grades and straighten our classrooms. It’s almost therapeutic. It is our ritual to close the year. We have time to reflect upon the good and the bad so we can improve.

I feel like I can breathe now. I can spend time with loved ones, have some fun and be mentally ready when August rolls around.

Grading papers takes more time than people think!

Grading papers takes more time than people think!