Up and At ‘Em

It’s almost that time again.

I hope you’ve all had a great summer.  Mine has been thrilling, terrifying and exhausting, all on a small domestic scale.  You will hear about some of it in the coming weeks.  The upshot: school begins on Monday, and I am neither refreshed nor enthusiastic, but I am nothing if not dogged, so I am lacing up my boots and printing up my course outlines.

I AM looking forward to communicating with you all again, so, beginning Monday, I will return to regular posting!  Once again, I will post on Mondays and Thursdays, but I am going to shake things up a bit.

Mondays will bring a current post on the events in Siobhan’s teaching life and/or the thoughts in Siobhan’s teaching brain.  On Thursdays, I will dig into the archives and re-publish a post I love that has disappeared from view, possibly with small edits and additions.

Look for the following new posts in the coming weeks:

  • Things I Learned From Buying a House
  • A commentary on Paul Tough’s new book, How Children Succeed (a previous post, “Fail Better,” explored an excerpt published last year)
  • Thoughts on introversion, and on Susan Cain’s book on the subject
  • More advice, solicited and non-, from Auntie Siobhan (send me your questions!)
  • …and of course, much much more.

As ever, I welcome your suggestions of topics.  Post them in the comments here, or visit this page to contact me.  And happy new school year!  See you on Monday.

Image by Dave Dyet


12 thoughts on “Up and At ‘Em

  1. “The upshot: school begins on Monday, and I am neither refreshed nor enthusiastic, but I am nothing if not dogged, so I am lacing up my boots and printing up my course outlines.”

    Love the attitude–am with you in spirit!


  2. Really looking forward to your thoughts on introversion. I recently read Susan Cain’s book and found it fascinating. It’s definitely made me contemplate changing my classroom practice. Good luck for the new school year!


    1. TUS: I listened to Quiet as an audiobook and through the whole thing I kept muttering, “Oh! So THAT’S why I’m such a weirdo.” I’ve just ordered it as a real, honest-to-goodness book so I can comb through it again. So illuminating!


  3. I sympathise *s* Look on the bright side though, you can print out your course outlines. My timetable has changed so much this year that luxury is denied to me. I work with ASN children so usually have to edit (quite heavily sometimes) the outlines, but this year I have to start from scratch with most classes. I choose to look at it as a challenge, because it will be! But I know that I’ll settle in, find my feet and do what has to be done. I suppose I’m lucky though, I don’t have to get up until half six. I’m hoping to step up my blogging, so I look forward to something interesting to read…


    1. Eduscrawl:

      Believe me, I thank my lucky stars every day that I have tenure and so have a relatively good idea what I’ll be teaching well in advance of the semester – although, because of the courses I teach, I also sometimes get last-minute surprises! This term, for example, I was supposed to teach an intensive August course and it was cancelled, so I had to scramble to reconfigure some things. And today I checked my course lists to discover that two problem students are going to be on my hands again…yes, there’s nothing to do but see it as a challenge and go in with all cylinders firing!


  4. Hey! Wait a minute. My year DOESN’T begin tomorrow. Maybe it should. The rhythms of the school year or any working year get into your blood, and, whether or not you’re printing up course outlines or trying to find a decent pair of shoes to spend the year in, the cycle is comforting.

    So, little miss Shioban, I envy you. I envy the anticipation, I envy the new beginning, I envy looks on students’ faces as they try to read you.

    Like a good book, make sure every page they turn has a “wow” moment. “Wows” are satisfying to the wower and the wowee. As are words that get red lines under them as you type and you don’t particularly care about any more.



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