You read that right -- Happy New Year! As in school year, of course! We are ending day 5 at MAHS today, and so far, we are off to an amazing start. I have a great group of students, and I am already impressed with their writing and class discussion.
Each of my AP and Honors classes had a summer assignment, so we were able to hit the ground running. My AP students (count 'em, 56 of them!) wrote 10 blog posts throughout the summer in addition to writing 10 journal entries about Jeannette Walls's memoir, The Glass Castle. (Wait. That means 56 x 20 = 1, 120 pieces of writing I've graded already . . . by day 5). My honors students (I have 50 of those!) wrote 10 journal entries about the beautiful novel A Thousand Splendid Suns. (We are up to 1, 620, for those of you keeping track at home.)
I am also teaching three drama classes, and the students are enthusiastic and genuine. Tomorrow, I announce the theatre production season at our annual theatre arts club meeting. These are truly exciting times! There is nothing quite like the start of the school year, that's for sure!
As part of my first day festivities, I taught my students about the Six Word Memoir Project that is hosted by Smith Magazine. Essentially, it's the life story of a person told in six words. I had students write one for themselves after seeing a variety of examples. I invited them to share their six-word memoirs on my classroom door. Before school started, I asked teachers to contribute as well, so the result is a pretty interesting collection of our stories!
What was mine? "Starting over never felt so good."
Aidan, Ellie, and Liam are also off to an amazing start! Aidan is in 6th grade, and he absolutely loves his teachers this year. He misses his favorite chorus teacher who took a job at a different district, but otherwise, he's happy as a clam. Ellie is top dog at the elementary school this year: my little 4th grader is a crossing guard! She loves her teacher and is so happy having the responsibility that she does this year. And, while I can't truly fathom it, Liam started kindergarten this year! He seemed to grow up instantly on his first day of school. He walked to my classroom with Ellie, and despite the fact that his book bag is bigger than he is, Liam is a bona fide big kid.
This is the cutest thing ever:
Gene's daughter is having a good start to her 11th grade year, too, except for the fact that her AP English teacher made her write 20 essays over the summer. ;)
The new year is also a new year of my life. I have an end-of-summer birthday, and this one was one of the most special I've ever had. I can't remember being so spoiled for my birthday in my adult life! Gene took the kids shopping, and they showered me with presents. And, evidently, Gene shouldn't be left unsupervised in a jewelry store. I am beyond blessed and loved!
When I returned to school, a special student gave me a necklace that came with this card:
And THAT is precisely what I mean by Happy New Year! Amazing things are indeed ahead!