The return makes one love the farewell.
Alfred De Musset
In a few short days I am due to give birth to my second child! Early on in the pregnancy, my husband and I discussed different childcare options and we decided that after the baby was born, I should take an extended maternity leave and stay home with the baby for the remainder of the school year.
As I’ve been working with my principal to secure and prepare a substitute to take my place, he’s repeatedly asked me to confirm the fact that I will be coming back to my position next school year, and every time I answer, “Of course I will!”
This past week he probed a little further. “You’re sure that once you’re home with your kids you won’t decide to become a full-time stay-at-home mom?”
Without hesitation, I answered again, “I will be back next year.”
On my drive home from work that day, I started thinking about why I always answer this question with such assurance and without a second thought, how I just know that I will want to return to my teaching even after a long break. The truth is, I love being a mom. I treasure my summers when I get to be home with my daughter, Sophie. I am thrilled when we have an unexpected snow day, allowing the two of us to play and have fun together all day. I am looking forward to having the time to bond with my new child, to enjoy her without the stress of an impending return to work. How do I know that I won’t want to do that indefinitely?
I realized the answer is that teaching is more than a job for me. Much like being a mom, it is something that has become an integral part of my identity, and I could never give that up. Reading, writing, and learning along with my students gives meaning to my life, just as parenting my children does, and that is why I know with such certainty that I’ll be back. As I drove down the highway heading home, I felt awash with gratitude–grateful to be a mom and grateful to be a teacher. Both of which I could never label as “jobs;” they’re just simply who I am.
This week we take a closer look at nonfiction. Plus more as always — enjoy!
Contributor, Choice Literacy
Gretchen Schroeder teaches 11th and 12th grade English at Millersport High School in Ohio and is a teacher consultant for the Columbus Area Writing Project.
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Franki Sibberson explains how teachers can go Beyond Text Features in Nonfiction Instruction:
The previous essay is an excerpt from Franki’s book, The Joy of Planning. You can purchase the book at this link:
If you’re itching to get outdoors this time of year Karen Terlecky has suggestions of Books for Studying the Ecosystem:
Weird and Wonderful is a booklist of from the Interesting Nonfiction for Kids website of children’s picture books that won’t win any awards, but have that magical gross and ick factor which will draw in bored or reluctant readers:
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Justin Stygles finds a Nonfiction Book Blitz is the perfect unit for closing out the school year:
Sarah Klim’s latest booklist includes a half-dozen titles for honoring those who serve on Memorial Day:
In this week’s video, Katie Baydo-Reed confers with an eighth-grade student moving between fiction and nonfiction texts, and gives advice about which books are appropriate for home reading:
The Habit of Budding is a new poem and reflection from Shirl McPhillips that delights in wordplay and emergent greenery in the spring:
That’s all for this week!