Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Coffee

These past few weeks I have been much more the teacher than the reader and blogger. I've missed my blog. Thanks to those of you you've stuck around; I'll try to reward your loyalty with something interesting to read pretty soon! Would you believe that we have already had progress reports? We like to start our school year early in the south, and the first quarter will be over in a couple of weeks. My students are writing in their notebooks (and I am writing with them), and we are developing our classroom routines.

This week was an especially busy one. We had Back to School Night on Monday (that's a 13-hour day), then National Honor Society induction, and a meeting for English teachers that kept us at school until 5 p.m. I always find it funny when I hear people talk about how teachers don't really work a 40-hour week. I had two days this week that stretched to 13 hours, and one that stretched to 10 hours. And that's not even counting the night I voluntarily stayed until nearly 6 p.m. planning and grading. I'm probably preaching to the choir, but I wish that the general public understood how many hours we put in. And I'm really not complaining about working those hours-I just dislike the assumption that teachers have it easy. (By the way, that's the title of a book: edited by Dave Eggers).

Next weekend I'm presenting at a local conference. I hope people show up! My presentation is on using writer's notebook as part of writing workshop. I love writing with my students. It can be challenging to work it all in. Not just the writing in class part of it, but modeling assignments and doing the work of writing alongside my students while also delivering instruction. My creative writing students get it, but they are predisposed to want to write. This year I am doing writer's notebook in all of my classes, and I'm really hoping to see some progress in my students: not just in their writing, but in the way they see themselves. One of the goals is to have all of my students see themselves as writers.

I brought a TON of papers home to organize and grade! Why did I do that? Oh, it's because I didn't grade all week, what with meetings and long days and whatnot. Also, it is really difiicult to find uninterrupted time for grading during the school day. So today there will be a few hours at the kitchen table with piles of papers. I'll be glad I did it.

With the crazy busy summer I had and the crazy busy beginning of the school year stuff I really feel as though I have become disconnected from my book blogging universe. BBAW came and went (I think). Challenges and other fun stuff have passed me by. It seems as though my reading/blogging groove is no longer grooving. I'm so far behind in reading my favorite blogs-how long has it been since I left a comment? Aaarrgh. I think I might even have missed some important national events, like "talk like a pirate day."

I will get my reading/blogging groove back.

Check back tomorrow for an unpdate on what I've been reading and what I plan to read. But I have to holla at PK of Aisle B for making sure I got a copy of To Be Queen by Christy English. I'm finally reading it! Wow, just started it yesterday, and I'm almost halfway through. In fact, To Be Queen represents a serious threat to my grading pile....

Check in tomorrow to find out how and what this teacher reads (and how I find the time). Hey, if you're reading this and you have a blog, what did you do when you lost your blogging groove? What did you do to get your blogging groove back?


Allie said...

You've been busy!

I love the idea of a writer's notebook in class. I think that when and if I ever get my own classroom, I would want to do something similar.

I also laugh when people say that teachers have an easy job. I know that I am regularly at the school for 10 hours a day.

I hope you get some reading time in soon!

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

The beginning of the school year is always a busy time. I'm teaching 9-10 year olds this year and I'm getting to grips with how much more they can actually do (I was teaching 6 year olds last year!).

My blog has been neglected too, but I imagine that things will ease up for both of us soon when we get into the routine of this academic year.

bibliophiliac said...

@Allie-fervent prayers directed toward all deities and divinity that you will get your own classroom soon!
@Sam-going from 6yr olds to 9-10 yr olds is a pretty big leap! Hope your school year is off to a good start.

Cat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cat said...

Ugh, you are right about teachers! I am not one, but know many, and they put in many many hours planning and grading, not to mention having a job at which you can't really function when sick. It's crazy the lack of respect teachers generally get. Anyway, looking forward to more blog posts! I've been had less time myself to devote to blogging activities & hope to be more disciplined in the future.

bermudaonion said...

I can only imagine how difficult it would be to keep up with a blog at the beginning of a school year. Maybe you can aim for one or two posts a week until you get your groove back.

Christopher said...

I can relate to the 'fits-and-starts' that accompany book-blogging. I go through periods, like you, where I'm swamped with work and so forth. I miss posting my thoughts and observations on my literary world though, and do and try and get back to it when I'm able.

I think what inspires me to try and keep up with my blogging is reading all of the great stuff that the rest of you are posting. I love reading about the books that all of you are finding and reading. I love reading your opinions and reviews. It is like having this great network of very like-minded folks with whom we can share and discuss the best of what we are all reading.

Thanks for being a great teacher, a truly hugely important profession! And keep up the great work on your blog. Cheers! Chris

bibliophiliac said...

@zeteticat-thanks for tolerating my mini-rant!
@bermudaonion-at least one post per week keeps me from feeling like I've completely dropped the ball. And two is even better, if I can manage it.
@Christopher-you do drop off the face of the earth every once in a while! I get jealous of those disciplined bloggers who blog consistently and get tons of comments. That really takes a steady attention.

Aisle B said...

Holla back at ya girl! I told you it's a CAN"T PUT IT DOWN!

PS send me the papers to grade - consider me your ghost in the closet grader for those times you NEED to read ;)

PSS will always send the best your way - love ya to bits Lisa
xxxx OOOO xxxx.

PSSS Have I mentioned Strangers at the Feast?? Nothing historical - it' a modern tale set in our times. That one blew me away.

neer said...

Missed your sunday coffees. Glad to see you back.

Scriptor Senex said...

When I lost my blogging groove (not an expression I would normally use!) I worked my way back by getting up extra early each morning for a couple of weeks and spending the first two (quiet) hours of the day glued to the computer. Sometimes I even worked before my first cup of tea. That's dedication to recovering one's blogging habit!

Mayowa said...

Glad to have you back, Lisa. Missed the Sunday posts.

christina said...

Getting back into the groove is so exhausting. It's nearing 8PM and I'm ready for bed. Tomorrow is Open House so I know it'll be another long day.