Thursday, August 31, 2006

Welcome Back to Another School Year

Whether you are a teacher, student, parent or just someone who remembers being one of those, it’s time for yet another year of school to begin. Our local school district began classes on Tuesday two weeks ago. The library media graduate classes I’m taking started this past Tuesday. And, for some of my students, the countdown to the last day has already begun!

The beginning of this year means I’ve now spent 43 years of my life in a classroom as either a student or a teacher. Students might not realize that they have a definite advantage over teachers. After twelve years of school, students at least GRADUATE! Teachers are there until they meet the requirements for retirement.

So, what is a teacher’s life really like? A brand new school year brings lots of new children to learn names for, lesson plans to design, changes in curriculum as dictated by state or local boards of education, and starting all over with teaching policies and procedures to a new crop of students. The days fly by, but sometimes the weeks seem to drag for teachers just like they do for students.

In reality, school is not much different from year to year. No matter what your perspective—teacher, student, or parent— it becomes your goal to make this school year the best one ever. I hope my blogs, E-zines, and newspaper columns give you ideas that will make this true for your classroom or experiences at home as you help children work on reading.

One thing I plan to do it update this blog more often with book reviews. I read an incredible number of books each year and write reviews for my newspaper columns, E-zine, and various teacher publications. I want to make the reviews more available to my student readers as well. By posting them here on the blog, my students will be able to access them too.

Of course, as a writer, I am still working like a fiend, packing in as much writing as I can around both teaching and studying. In the last few weeks I’ve accomplished the following:

1. Written both of my newspaper columns, "Read All About It" and "Out of the Best Books."
2. Updated my blog and sent out issues of my E-zine.
3. Submitted an op-ed piece to the Wall Street Journal.
4. Submitted a query to Covenant Communications.
5. Submitted three book reviews to SIGNAL Journal.
6. Wrote an article on Self-Editing for Byline Magazine.
7. Submitted a spec script to a producer.

And, I'd say it is starting to pay off. I've had the following postive results happen as a result:

1. Disney Press is keeping me on file for a possible upcoming project.
2. A producer has sent me an option on a film script I wrote several years ago.
3. I got my check from Byline and received the magazine with my article.

A few of my friends have been a little jealous and amazed at how much I’ve been able to write in such a short time. Actually, what I’ve always found is that when I give myself an impossible deadline, I reach it. That’s what I’ve been doing with my reading and my writing. It works for me. Maybe it will work for some of you. I only have one question left at the end of the day--When will I ever be able to get some sleep?

As always, thanks for reading. Check back soon for my first book review.

Lu Ann