1. Reconnect with family who sacrificed time
- One week road trip to Boston, ten visits to Michigan's Adventure (local amusement park with season pass), and countless backyard bonfires. Success!
2. Read a professional development book monthly
- Dave Burgess's Teach Like a Pirate, Stephen King's On Writing, Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird, Emily Bazelon's Sticks and Stones, and more. Success!
3. Promote "Theune Fireside Chats" to students
- Though there was only one chat (which was wonderful, by the way, and resulted in a particularly good working relationship with a student--we share a bond in graphic novels), I did promote each one through emails to parents, posts on Facebook, and direct messages on Twitter. Success!
4. Allow English colleagues to motivate me
- NERDVANA! Though the groups were a little smaller this summer, I was able to take advantage of two Nerdvana gatherings. We talked about Penny Kittle and we discussed male success (or lack thereof) in high school English classes. Every time we meet, I find myself newly inspired. So, I was inspired twice. Success!
5. Be silly with friends, laugh lots
- I just got done shooting eighteen holes at a local golf course with some of my best friends! There were many occasions at local watering holes. I went to two professional baseball games this summer: one good team (Tigers) and one not as good (Cubs). Success!
6. Learn from unexpected moments and transform
- Mostly, I thank my friends and mentors at the LAKE MICHIGAN WRITING PROJECT for this one. They let me re-identify myself as a teacher/writer, not just a teacher. They encouraged me in some wild ideas, namely a community book club which will be kicking off this fall to over 100 people. Also, I transformed as a dad and husband. My twins just turned ten three days ago. They are different and, because of them, I am transformed into a better man. Success!
So, yeah, great summer. But the cool part? I anticipate an even better school year.