Professional Bucket List

To be updated as new (or, old, but forgotten…lol) ideas come to me.

I have had a list of “things I wanted to do” related to my profession before leaving the profession. Now, mind you, I still have a good 50 some years 😉 left before I am “done” with my profession. I have written these down before and have continued adding to the list, but most of them have been written here and there and not really in one list. Some of them have been achieved. Some are likely pipe dreams, but I know if I put my list in writing and out there, I will work harder towards making them a reality!

In no particular order

My Professional Bucket List

Meet Taylor Mali

I was introduced to the poetry of Taylor Mali when I was an undergrad pursuing my teaching degree. His poem “What Teachers Make” always stuck with me. But, just recently a student renewed my love of his work. As we began getting ready for National Poetry Month (2012), a student asked if I had heard of Mali. I told her I had and she said he was one of her favorites. So, being the nerdy researcher I am, I began a search for Mali’s work again. And I have a few new favorites. “Miracle Worker” is so me!

Be a Horace Mann Abraham Lincoln Fellow

I was honored to qualify as a Horace Mann Abraham Lincoln Fellow in the summer of 2010. It was one of the BEST professional experiences of my life. For those not in the know-the HMAL Fellowship is an opportunity provided to 50 teachers, from across the nation, to spend a week studying, learning, and doing all things related to Abraham Lincoln in Springfield, IL. The fellows are from all grades and content areas, which makes it one of the best professional learning opportunities ever. And the things you get to do–tour the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, tour Lincoln’s Springfield home and law office, visit Lincoln’s burial site, and so much more. It was one of the most influential opportunities of my life. I met and connected with great professionals, learned so much about one of my role models, and was able to introduce my kids to Lincoln’s greatness. If you have any desire–go for it!

Meet Ron Clark

Since his first book, The Essential 55, came out I have been a Ron Clark fan. His zeal and energy in the classroom is amazing. The things he has done for his students and the Ron Clark Academy he founded are inspirational. I love that while he founded the Academy he is still a teacher–so is the Executive Director. Who better than an actual teacher, to run a school.

Host a Foreign Exchange Student

I was always jealous of those families who sponsored Foreign Exchange Students when I was in high school. I have always loved learning about other cultures and hosting an exchange student is the perfect way to learn. Someday I will!

Become a James Madison Fellow

This opportunity would provide me the opportunity to go back to school to get a Master’s degree in History/Government. I teach English and history/government. I have a Master’s degree in Education. I have taught at the college level-Intro to Ed classes-and I loved it. It’s hard to find positions in Education in Kansas, so I thought getting a degree in History would open a few college opportunities for me. History and government are passions of mine and have been since high school. I applied two years ago and was the alternate for my state, so I am hoping next year will be a good year for me.

Take Students Somewhere They Have Never Been

I have had the opportunity to take students to places they had never been twice. The first time, I was an “assistant” chaperone, so I didn’t have to arrange the trip or anything. Just showed up and watched kids. Three of us took 35 8th graders to Washington, DC for 4 days. It was a great experience. Great enough to convince me to try it on my own with high schoolers. I do NOT like the planning, fundraising, and logistics of such a trip. BUT, in the end, it was ALL worth it! I, by myself, took 10 AP History and Government students on an 8 day trip to the East Coast. The students were from Arizona and most had never been east of the Mississippi. We hit Boston, NYC, Philly, and DC. Seeing the kids interact with the surroundings they had only learned about in the classroom was priceless. I am still in contact with every one of those students and we reminisce often about that trip.

Take Part in the National Writing Project

I am a closet writer. I write, mainly for myself. But, I know I could get better, even if it is just for myself. I have heard rave reviews about the National Writing Project and hope to take part one day.

Having Students Participate in NaNoWriMo

And, of course, participate myself! I have followed the National Novel Writing Month for a few years now and each year I say to myself, “This is going to be the year.” Then, November goes by and I haven’t participated. Again! So, if I structure it into my classes, I can force myself to do it…maybe. And, give the kids an authentic writing task!

Please feel free to comment, make suggestions, or ask questions!


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