Summer school just finished for me at Rebecca School, so now I'm on a three week break. When I return it'll only be twice a week to run workshops which is exciting and a little duanting. It's going to be a big change both professionally and personally for me. I've taken some time to pause and reflect over the break and in that reflection, I've realized what a special time summer can be for teachers.
Summer is an amazing opportunity for experimentation and change.
It was over a summer session that I first ran workshops at Rebecca School and it was summer time when I first really tested the Sensorimotor Poetry Workshop model. The lack of academic pressures makes it a season for discovery and even rediscovery.
Outside of school walls, summer is also the time of year when I work with the New York Restoration Project, or NYRP, running programming in their gardens! This is always a lot of fun, it's nice to be outdoors and to have an opportunity to do some nature play. This summer the workshops are "Ceramic Stories" involving students painting a story onto a pot like Greek pottery. Once the pots are painted they'll plant something hardy in them and take the plants home to have something to grow!
As a hiker and outdoor enthusiast myself, it's a wonderful opportunity to blend that passion with my poetry and education work. This year I'm running two sessions: one was at the Lucille McClary Wicked Friendship Garden in June and the next one will be in September at the Rodale Pleasant Community Garden.
Meanwhile, in school, I started a "Shadow Puppet Poetry" unit with a couple of the groups . We've gone and visited the roof playground to catch the sun and trace our full shadows onto poster paper, along with some silly hand-animals made along the way as well. We also stayed indoors on a rainy day and played with flashlights.
Where exactly this project will lead I'm not sure yet, but it's a ton of fun and is a great body awareness and sensory practice for the students.
With so many amazing things going on over the summer, I'm sure I'll be back in school before I know it! When I am, it'll be the start of a whole new adventure!
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