Graduation/teachers’ last day was Friday and I have to say this was a pretty strange year end for me. Usually, I’m sad to see the kids go and all keyed up, but instead I was very calm and other than worrying over technical issues, I was just happy to have the whole thing over with. I guess it was because only one of “my” students was graduating, whereas, in the past I’ve had a handful or more graduating. I did, however, enjoy the get together with some of our faculty at Hartley’s Pond to celebrate the closing of another successful year. BTW, the image I’ve inserted was the one I wanted to use on the senior tribute video, but while it fit my personality, I didn’t think it would please everyone in the audience – not as dignified as the event should be I guess. Instead, I used a photo of baby shoes.
This year was a busy one: ERT, HSTW, Five Year Renewal Plan, new administration, new policies and procedures, new faculty members, freshman academy, etc. I think this year was a successful one – as with past years, it had it’s ups and downs, but overall, I think there were more positives than negatives. We’ve got a handful of teacher turnover: 2 retireing, 2 moving on, 1 left in 3rd quarter due to her husbands job transfer, shuffling of positions, new teachers coming in, … things should be just as exciting and hectic next year.
But, I still have two more workdays left for me this year – both will be spent in meetings: Aiken County Media Educators on Monday and a TAV (Technical Assistance Visit) Workshop on Wednesday. Then the summer vacation officially begins. Hopefully, it will be a good one – time for me to recharge and prepare for next year. Here is a short list of my plans for the summer:
√ Graduation Video – I have to work on the graduation video this week. My deadline is June 16th and I don’t want to put it off – I want it to be a great souvenir. This is only the 2nd year we’ve been selling them since I came to Wagener. I don’t want anyone to be disappointed with it. Completed!
√ Upstate Technology Conference, Greenville, SC (June 23-25) – Very much enjoyed my time there last year and looking forward to learning even more this time around. I’m also looking forward to seeing some old and new friends. Completed! Notes to follow soon!
2 Read or Not 2 Read Blog (not up and running YET) – I created a blog for my teens and the students from Midland Valley to correspond over the books they are reading for our book club(s) next year. Unfortunately, I have to submit a proposal to the powers that be for approval before I can open it up. Wish me luck.
√ Process new books – Our school received a Palmetto Silver Award that came with a monetary award that my principal graciously allowed me part of in order to place my one and only book order for the year. I received the books ON GRADUATION DAY! *sigh* but at least I’ll have new books for the kids in August. Completed!
Reading!!! - I have a LOT of books to read over the summer. My goal is to read most, if not all, of the SC Young Adult Book Award Nominees for this year. I also need to re-read My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult as I’m going to use it as one of our book club selections next year. There are a bunch of new YA titles I want to get to as well – see my LibraryThing widget/catalog. I’ll be updating it with the books we just received. I have a huge backlog of book review magazines (Voya, School Library Journal, Library Media Connection, etc.) that I have to go through and update my “wish list” in case we actually have money next year. Of course, there are some adult titles/authors I want to finally get to this summer as well.
“Scrapbooking” – I put that in quotation marks as I’m not actually going to do any scrapbooking, but its the only term that comes to mind. I’ve got 4 years of drama club photos and memorabilia that I need to organize and put in some kind of display. The photos I want to turn into picture books to keep in the library. The memorabilia I’m going to try to put in some kind of memory/shadow boxes or something. Just not sure what since it consists of t-shirts, photos, awards/metals, programs, etc.
Moodle/PowerSchool – Our state is changing over its student records program/system. I need to learn how to use it before the teachers get back. I have to train them on how to use the PowerTeacher features (attendance, gradebook) and see what other perks it contains. I was told it was “moodle-like” but from what I’ve “seen” I’m not so sure. I have to figure it all out before our Moodle subscription runs out so decisions can be made. I hope we keep Moodle, but if PowerSchool will do the same thing and is paid by the district, there is no point in paying extra for Moodle. Anyone out there use PowerSchool who could answer some questions for me?
Ten Minute Tech – I want to offer short introductions to different technology at our faculty meetings next year. I need to identify, learn to use (if I don’t already know!), and create handouts for the things I want to cover. Basically, a mini 23 Things kind of overview where teachers can either explore the tools on their own or sign up with me for more indepth workshops. There will be some software items in there, too, like: Windows Movie Maker, PhotoStory, Inspiration, Library Card Catalog, using/accessing the student drive, etc.
Okay, that’s a start on my “to do list” even though I have a LOT more to do over the summer. I do plan to spend some time relaxing. The pool is finally fixed and up and running – and as soon as it’s not green anymore I’ll be spending part of my days out there floating and reading. Maybe I’ll actually get a tan this summer!