by Oona Marie Abrams
I’ll never forget my first summer vacation as a teacher. On the morning after school closed, I boarded a plane to Hawaii, enjoying a two week long trip with my parents and sister. The year after that I took a trip to Florida with my teacher friends, and the year after that was my summer semester at the Breadloaf’s Oxford campus. One of my favorite summers was 2003, when I spent a month with a cohort of 25 other English teachers from across the country. We were recipients of an NEH Fellowship, living on the campus of Smith College, studying with artists in residence from a Shakespeare repertory company. Those summers were full of enriching travel, quality time spent with friends and family, and abundant reading. As this summer nears, my travel mostly involves driving the minivan circuit from band camp to tennis camp, from basketball games to swimming lessons, to the town pool in fair weather, and to the library on rainy days. Much has changed, but the reading is still abundant!
For some teachers, summer means working a second job. For others, it means being the primary caregiver for children who are home from school. There are so many great professional learning opportunities happening in July and August, but many of us simply aren’t able to attend them due to cost, work schedules or child care obligations. The good news is that no matter what your schedule might look like this summer, you can take time to read NJCTE’s selected professional book and join the virtual conversation whenever it’s convenient for you. This summer, our professional book is Connected Reading by Kristen Hawley Turner and Troy Hicks. Throughout the first two weeks of August, our slow chat on Twitter will launch one question about Connected Reading each weekday. Respond to the questions at any time, from any location. The questions will align with the book’s chronology, so you can read the entire book beforehand or a little each day over the course of the ten slow chat days. All of the questions will be posted to our blog and @NJCTENews in late July. Our book study will be a great way to prepare for the Fall Conference, where author Kristin Hawley Turner will be the keynote speaker.
Interested? You can purchase the print version or the e-book from the NCTE Store between July 1st and August 16th. NJCTE and NCTE members can use the code READ19 to receive a 15% discount. Mark your calendar, buy your copy of the book, and get ready to join our conversation on Twitter!