Welcome July

Happy 1st of July! 

I am really excited to begin this new month.  It’s going to be the craziest and busiest month for us because we have so many friends and family members who are coming to meet our son, Cliff.  How blessed are we that many people love us enough to take time out of their schedules for us.  Thank goodness Cliff has been working on his selfie faces because I’m sure there will be plenty of picture taking and memory making!

June was an interesting month for us, and went out like a bang…literally.  Here are the highlights:

  • I spoke at my school’s graduation ceremony and watched my first group of students walk across the stage.
  • Dan wrapped up the school year and started his summer vacation.  It’s been great having all three of us home during the day.
  • I joined Bailey’s Gym to help get me closer to my pre-baby body.  I forgot how much I enjoyed working out in a legit gym.  The atmosphere inspires me to push myself more than when I’m at home.
  • Dan celebrated his first ever Father’s Day.  I wish I could have done more to express how much Cliff and I love him and what a phenomenal father he is.
  • I attended a week-long Advanced Placement Literature conference and got SOOOO inspired!  I have been developing my new courses and reading/rereading books like a curriculum planning-aholic.
  • Dan and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary by watching “Hail, Caesar!” and eating a delicious dinner at home.  #NewParents
  • Two wonderful young ladies that graduated a few years ago came over to visit, and it was nice catching up with them.
  • Cliff also had his 3-month appointment and got a solid bill of healthy from his pediatrician.  We are working on his sleeping at night because it has been fluctuating lately.  The doctor suggested that he may be having some digestive issues because she noticed a pattern between the pace and quantity of his eating habits and his poor sleeping sessions.  She suggested some Mylicon, and that has made a huge difference already!

NOT my baby =)

What’s In Store for July

July is going to be hectic but in a good way.  Just because we will be entertaining friends and family doesn’t mean that I don’t have goals to keep up with.

Books/Reading & Curriculum Planning:

I want to review the books that I have included in my curriculums for this upcoming school year.  I have read all of them before, but not necessarily used them for direct instruction.  Also, with teaching a section of Advanced Placement Literature, I will need to revamp my teaching strategies to support a new way to analyze and write about the texts they will be studying.

One of the strategies that I took away from my week-long conference was to give students a specific task for their reading that qualifies under a “Seek and List” title.  For example: Read the poem, “Groceries” by Cathy Smith Bowers, and create a list of similes and/or metaphors for things that are damaged.  Then, choose two and explain how and why the author used these devices to create tone.

Goal: Review the following books & create “Lists”

  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Health and Wellness:

New moms have a difficult standard to live up to when they’re trying to lose the baby weight.  I don’t like the term “get back” your body because that assumes that there’s a loss, a void, a deficit when you don’t have the same physique after having a baby.  A woman’s body is put through total trauma to carry and deliver a new life, and it should be handled with tenderness and love.  As a culture, we are too violent with our expectations that women should “snap back” and quickly.  EVERY SINGLE aspect of your life changes once you become a parent or add another sibling to the pack, so why stress about having a different body?  That’s not to say that there is anything wrong with wanting to be healthy and in shape, or ever aspire to fit back into your old wardrobe; I am someone who has focused on that specific goal now that I’ve had my son.  The difference is that I don’t demand it to happen before it’s time, or set unrealistic expectations.  I work out every day, true, but I also did that before and during my pregnancy.  I slowly built my cardio and strength training routines back up, slowly and carefully.  I am not back to my fitness level, but I am not beating myself up about it.  Some women may achieve their goals sooner than me, some may take longer.  Just like all pregnancies, like all babies, each woman’s journey is specific to them and shouldn’t be compared to others’.  With that being said, I do have a goal for July to help me get closer to my ultimate goal.

July Goal: Workout daily & fit into my black and khaki capri pants.

Ultimate Goal: Workout daily & fit into my old wardrobe.

*Notice I don’t have a weight or pant size goal.  I just want to fit into the clothes that I used to wear.

Family:

Clearly, it is going to be a full month for the Ferrari family!  My ultimate goal is to enjoy each and every moment that we will get to spend with our out-of-town guests.

Curriculum Overload in July

To the people who think that teachers sit around and sip margaritas by the poolside all summer, allow me a moment to correct that fallacy.

a-teacher-s-summer-vacation-30b2c40174debbc50bcd1f10f2b9b5

My circle of friends just happens to be comprised of mostly people in the world of Education and our summers have a planning theme.  We reflect and make adjustments to what we did in the previous school year and begin implementing those changes in our annual plans for the next.  There just is not an “off switch” in a teacher’s brain.

0003d6444c16939532187de6459212b2

I won’t deny that I’ve spent my fair share of intimate times with my Netflix account or brought a good book to the beach, but planning for next year has always been on my mind.  Between office updates and family visits, I’ve been plugging away at creating a whole new curriculum for my new English IV and Pre AP English course.  Part of that development has included attending the CollegeBoard’s Advanced Placement Summer Institute at Bolles School for AP Literature.

ap-institute-header

If you don’t know anything about the Bolles School, you need to know that it’s an immaculate campus!  I feel as though I am either on a college campus or backpacking my way through a rustic villa in Spain.

Bolles 1

0aad5646-d057-44c4-8788-89e01fb84cbc

communications

I will be spending four full days of being full immersed in learning the ins and outs of AP Literature with the objectives of 1.) learning what is required of the course to support my development of our Pre-AP course, and 2.) to support my own instructional knowledge for my English IV development.  I really enjoyed the first day, and while it was quite intense versus my normal 3-4 hours of reading and note-taking in the early afternoons of my DIY professional development, I am very glad that I am dedicating a week of my summer to this.

Speaking of AP, I received my students’ test results on Sunday night.  I am very pleased with the overall scores and was pleasantly surprised that some students did better than was expected.  I wish that I could take credit for their scores, but the truth is that I was blessed with a very advanced group of students who not only are intelligent, but they have the maturity to take AP classes seriously.  Regardless of whether my students “passed” or “failed” according to this one test, I am incredibly proud of them and I cannot wait to start round two of AP Lang.