I’m back from the AVID Summer Institute feeling energized to start the new year . . . and lamenting that the summer is now flying out the door. This morning I took care of the 4000+ emails I had in my google in-box which was mildly satisfying. I just stuffed them all into a folder and metaphorically “hid them under the bed.” I’ve noted a few activities I’d like to do with the kids the first week of school — and I’ve tiptoed over to StudySync, our newly adopted ELA program, and clicked on the link. That’s as far as I’ve gotten — I’ve clicked on the link. Whoohoo!
But the children will be here soon! Seriously, I need to start organizing and planning. At the very least, I need to get into my room and arrange the desks. But here I am, surrounded by a bit of inertia, playing Hurk — whatever that is.
*It was my senior high school language arts teacher, Mr. Dennis Jensen, who introduced our class to Shel Silverstein. In those days, Silverstein was newly published and Mr. Jensen would read to us each morning one or two poems. The class would chuckle or groan — smile behind those “all-too-cool” eyes and then we’d move on for the morning, discussing heavy themes, far from the silly rhymes of Where the Sidewalk Ends. But our mornings started lightly, with the light of humor — and just like that first cup of coffee I now must have before starting my day, Shel Silverstein helped us move in the right direction. Shel Silverstein and Mr. Jensen teamed up with humor to create a classroom culture where everyone was welcome, where everyone would learn and grow.
**I know this is ridiculous, but I feel very special to have been among the first to hear Shel Silverstein’s poems and to watch his books become legendary classics. Thanks Mr. Jensen, wherever you are!