Joy Kirr is a middle school teacher, author, and speaker. Her 7th grade ELA (English Language Arts) classes are working to improve their lives through student-directed learning - without marks throughout the year. This is a log of their learning experiences... Want to have her speak with your staff or facilitate a workshop? Here is Joy's PORTFOLIO.

Friday, August 3, 2018

The School Year Is Almost Here

The 2018-2019 school year is quickly approaching - so many signs that summer for many of us is over. There are so many things that were on my to-do list I did NOT do. I tried to promote the book a bit, had at least three podcasts, spent a few fun lunches and dinners with other educators, presented at two conferences, but most of the time - I spent loving the summer and time with my family. Before we head to our last vacation of the summer, I had to get these thoughts out, as I'm feeling like I did not do ENOUGH.

Here's what I haven't yet done, and most likely won't be doing...

  • I won't be starting a podcast - unless my students want to start their own.
  • I purchased 50 (teeny) stickers for Shift This - I won't be purchasing more. I understand the sticker is an advertisement. It can spark discussions - great! And even though I have myriad stickers on my school laptop, I just won't take time to design a sticker and send them out. It's just not me.
  • I won't be tweeting out a link for readers to fill in a form so I can send them "swag." As mentioned above, I don't have swag.
  • I won't be presenting if it's a conflict with what I'm trying to do in my classroom. My students come first once the school year is in session.
  • I won't be a full-time consultant. My place right now is in front of seventh graders.
  • I won't be setting up "summits" for other teachers. These are very valuable, and I sign up for as many as I can. I realize it must take a TON of time to set up and execute. Time I could use to improve my own practice. Thank you to those who take the time to do this (some - many? - are not teaching children directly anymore).


Here's what I have done and will keep doing...

  • I will be available for a video conference if you have a group that is reading Shift This and time permits. I will NOT charge for this half hour. I'd love it if educators took the ideas and ran with them, even after they hear first-hand about issues I've had!
  • I will still be available for podcasts. This will be dependent on time I spend preparing for students.
  • I will still be available for presentations - if it fits with my schedule and does not conflict with my current position as a classroom teacher.
  • I will still organize the #ShiftThis chat on Tuesdays. We have guest moderators who will bring their own voice, so I'll be able to enjoy this hour with contributors!
  • I will try to self-promote without going "overboard." I still think educators should read Shift This, so I will be sharing what others have said about it, and perhaps quotes from the book itself.
  • I will continue reading young adult and middle grades literature and sharing them with followers if I feel they will benefit our students.
  • I will continue saving quotes from this literature to use as mentor texts for use in our ELA classes.
  • I will continue to scour tweets for ideas for #geniushour, #goinggradeless (#tg2chat, #ttog), along with the #1st5Days, and add these ideas to the free LiveBinders I curate.
  • I will continue to take small breaks from social media - to reflect on where I am and where I need to be going.
  • I will continue to share - though blogging, too - ideas that I believe other teachers can connect with or learn from.


The school year brings its own struggles. These things listed are some of the things I can control in my life. I may not be able to "do it all," but I have to be okay with that.


1 comment:

  1. “I won't be a full-time consultant. My place right now is in front of seventh graders.”

    There could hardly be better news for the families and followers you serve. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete