My own children have begun to sing Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out for the Summer,” so the school year must be coming to an end. I began singing the song when I was in sixth grade, and one day the line, “School’s out forever!” will become a reality for me.
For now, though, the end is a time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t; a time to recognize how much the students have matured; and a time to begin to create new plans for torturing the next year’s classes.
This summer, I will be working with Ohio’s new CORE curriculum for English / Language Arts. It is similar to the old curriculum. Kids read and write. Plus, current teachers have been doing what the new curriculum is advocating: creativity in lessons, utilizing technology, and assessing student achievement in many ways. Nonetheless, working with the new curriculum is energizing, for one of the joys of teaching English / Language Arts is being able to change what we read. Teaching new stories, novels, plays, and nonfiction selections allows me to stay fresh, be creative, and challenge myself. For example, I some new books this year may be The Secret Life of Bees, Ship Breaker, The Seven Habits of Successful Teenagers, and more poetry.
Do you have any ideas for novels, short stories, nonfiction, or poems?