Projects, Planning, and Surviving Burn Out

It’s been quite some time since my last post.  My apologies for neglecting my blog, folks.  As I’m sure all teachers end up saying each year, this year has been even busier than any other year.  Since I have a moment to breathe, I figured I’d talk education and writing for a little bit.

I began my eighth year of teaching this semester, and it certainly had its ups and downs.  Alongside the many changes included my largest Honors English 3 and English 101 classes to date, starting a brand new club for gamers, and dealing with the interesting task of changing yearbook companies.

The number of students and subsequent number of essays weighed me down throughout the semester.  I tell myself each year I’m not going to allow myself to fall behind, but invariably it happens every year.  I only just finished my semester grades yesterday by the deadline, and that came after spending all but 4 days of my break doing some level of grading and planning.

Speaking of planning, I am working on two new academic projects for this second semester:  creating a writing center at the high school and switching my English 3 courses to a standards-based grading system.  Both have been more than daunting tasks thus far, and I plan on chronicling some of my work here on my blog.  I think it might be interesting for others to see the work that we end up doing and how it either transforms the students and their work or falls flat on its face.

In case you’re curious about the progress of the OHS Writing Center, check out our website:  Orion High School Writing Center.

The starting of the Social Gaming Club has been fairly successful thus far.  Aside from dealing with the busy lives of teenagers, we’ve met and played N64 and Wii games, had a board game day, and even hosted a holiday-themed RPG run in the Grimm system.  I’m happy to report that despite somewhat low turnouts, they have been fairly successful.

I’m continuing my teaching at the local community college into the spring this time around.  I’ll be teaching a composition course two nights out of the week, which should be a difficult addition to my already overflowing plate.  Good thing I like seconds.

Beyond education, I managed to launch my podcast project, Shadowvane.  Not only did it launch, but we’re already moving onto our sixth episode in our first story arc, Progenix Labs.  We have also produced two episodes of classic horror stories.  I’ve learned a lot about writing and producing a podcast throughout this endeavor.  Not only is writing an episode every two weeks demanding, but hearing people read your words out loud makes you realize all the flaws in your work.

Thankfully I’ve been working with some absolutely AMAZING voice actors that have really brought the story to life.  Give it a listen by going to the website, which has the links for iTunes, Stitcher, and Podomatic.

Until next update.  Hang in there, folks!  And if you’re in part of the world suffering from ridiculous cold, stay warm!  If you’re somewhere warm, I wish I could join you!

Oh yeah, it’s been so long I almost forgot.  I’ll leave you with a quote:

“Three things in human life are important.  The first is to be kind.  The second is to be kind.  And the third is to be kind.” -Henry James

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