Thursday, August 8, 2013

My summer has been amazing and it isn't over yet! Nope, I still have a few days left, even if they are peppered with meetings and my mind is on prepping for school. I want to take a minute and review all the interesting things I have found/learned this summer.

1. A use for Twitter - I finally found a purpose for it, and that is Professional Development. This summer I was able to connect with other teachers, librarians, authors, and organizations that are in line with what I do a living. So much fun to be connected to the big wide world out there. I think our hours on Twitter should count for back to school inservice.

2. Diigo - on online bookmark for websites. Imagine if you could take your favorites with you onto any computer. You can! You can also create lists and annotate so you know what you are looking at.

3. - an amazing resource for information that is authoritative and easy to use. It will be an opening screen on my school computers this year.

4. The Book Whisperer - This is a book written by Donalyn Miller that explains why I think we should read books in reading class, instead of do worksheets ad nauseum and play games and talk instead of think. It's like someone took my idea, wrote the book, got it published, and did all the work so people could know what I think.

5. I have not found my next "favorite" "addicting" "amazing" book. I think it just hasn't been written yet. But I am still looking. I have read a lot of "eh,ok" and some "waste of my precious summer" books.

6. Jonathan Friesen - an author with a Christian world view. You can follow him on Facebook with some combination of his name and the word "author". He just published a book called Aquifer with Zondervan's Blink (YA) Publishing. I read snippets and it looks really good. I also got to chat with him at a virtual conference in July. He has Tourette's and a heart for Jesus.

7. The director of the Percy Jackson movie, Thor somebody, and Tamora Pierce, queen of fantasy writing, each answered a question I submitted and it was like they were talking to me! So fun to have a touch with "the big leagues".

8. Getting away from academic and vocational stuff, I learned that my kids are amazing. Not because they are cute or funny or smart. They are amazing because they get along, most of the time. They are amazing because they entertain themselves. They are amazing because they understand that when I say "Take some initiative and do something" I mean "go do chores without me telling you what needs to be done." They are still working on it, but they are learning and I see a great future for them. Future wives, you are welcome.

9. Teaching you child how to make coffee can be an emotional experience. It's a family right of passage.

10. I never want my snuggler to outgrow his need to crawl up in my lap and give me a big ol hug. I'm sure when he is 6 ft tall, I will feel differently, but for now, I want to hang on to those last remaining pieces of childhood. I am really going to miss this stage of life with him.

Those are the top 10 things I discovered this summer. It has been a great break from the routine. I'm still not ready to head back, but at least I know I used my summer well. Living a life of no regrets is a powerful thing.


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