Sunday, July 28, 2013

I'm Back!

I'M BACK!! I've probably lost my entire readership after this impressively long hiatus, but I'm excited to get back to writing regardless.  My last post was in early February, about six months ago, so you can imagine that a lot has happened in the time since I last shared the wisdom of my delightful middle school students.  My reasons for taking a break from the blog were both personal and professional.  In a nutshell, my life just got out of balance.  In late January, my dad was diagnosed with lymphoma, which was a really tough experience for my whole family.  His strength and positive attitude throughout his treatment was incredibly inspiring, and last week we found out that he is 100% cancer free!  Needless to say, it was a very happy week for our whole family.

Since I left my small but mighty audience hanging when I stopped writing in February, here are some highlights on how my classroom rounded out the year...

  • We increased our use of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) by using our cell phones to build vocabulary acquisition and comprehension skills.
  • We created iBooks using our new and exciting knowledge of the elements of science fiction writing.
  • We did AWESOME on the ACTAAP! 97% of my students scored Proficient or Advanced on their state tests in literacy.  I totally did a happy dance when I found that out.
Then, it was summer time!  Well, sort of... Summer school started the day after school let out for the year.  For the second year in a row, I was fortunate to work with a diligent, determined, and delightful group of kids in summer school.  We read S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, which they loved, and we diagrammed sentences, which they loved a little less.  It was so rewarding to see such a great group of kids make the progress they need to be more successful in the next school year.  

Post-summer school, there was finally a little time for rest and relaxation to get excited for a new school year.  I am finishing up my Masters degree, and I'm pretty darn excited to start my third year of teaching as my first year not being a student, too.  Of course, I'm a student of my students.  I'm sure this new group will come in ready to teach me lots of new lessons, and I'm excited to learn from them. Today marks the beginning of the end for Ms.Herring's summer break.  This Thursday, August 1, is my first day back at work.  I can't lie, I'm thrilled to get back.  I'm antsy to get my classroom ready and meet my new students and try new things in my classroom.  It's going to be good to be back!


  1. YAY you're back!! I have missed your blog.

  2. Jessica,

    My brother is going to be the 7th/8th grade English teacher at IC this fall! We are so excited for him, but this will be his first year teaching! Do you have any advice I can pass on?

    Thank you! Love reading your blog!

    Caitlin Vestal

  3. Caitlin,

    I saw your mom last night at a wedding and she told me about your brother! How exciting for him! The best advice I can give is to create as much structure in the classroom as possible. It will help with organization and discipline if everything is set up on the front end. And as girly as it may seem, there are TONS of great lesson plans on Pinterest that can be adapted to fit what you're looking for :) Tell him good luck for me!! It's the BEST job!!