As the school year winds down (there are still a stacks of student journals, portfolios and exams that have to be graded over the next week and a half), I'm already beginning to shift into summer mode.
For a teacher, that means getting ready for next year.
And as an English teacher, that means reading.
I'll be teaching an AP Composition course next year, and as I've never taught that course before, it means I have to read all the material. Some things I've read before, but years ago. And others are entirely new.
The students' summer reading list for that class includes The Scarlet Letter, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and Thomas Foster's How to Read Literature Like a Professor.
They are stacked and waiting for me.
For my sophomore's I'll also be teaching the last half of To Kill a Mockingbird, which I always loved, but I haven't taught in nearly 30 year. Reread time!
There are other works I'm considering for the AP course. Black Like Me, for example, or Reading Lolita in Tehran, or Chesterton's Everlasting Man. I'll be looking at several works that I might use during the year.
Then there's my personal/spiritual reading. I'm currently reading Paul Sabatier's The Road to Assisi: The Essential Biography of St. Francis, and joyfully working my way through In Defense of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton.
But first, there's all that pesky grading!
Pax et bonum