Working Towards Summer

Working Towards Summer


Section 6/6 of my Capstone portfolio will be submitted for edits tonight before I go to sleep—keeping me awake as long as I need to be. The luxury in this is that I have enough energy to be awake. After concerning bouts of exhaustion I was recently diagnosed with a very common thyroid condition, and now with medication, I am returning to the energy level that my Capstone portfolio necessitates. It was a battle for a while there, and I still require a nap here and there until the medication levels me out. I live on the third floor and my laundry is in the basement of the building attached to mine. So, when I reached the I’m completely out of underwear moment I took advantage of being too tired to make multiple stair trips to sit outside in my yard with my iPad writing Capstone reflection statements. It was the most summer I have experienced so far.

The MAT thesis, or Capstone, is a six-section professional teaching portfolio. By the time of my next post it will be available online for all to see! Assembling 200 pages of documentation about my teaching philosophy and MAT experience is tedious, but it is gearing me up to apply for jobs. I have a polished resume, cover letters, and the scope of my MAT and student teaching experiences fresh in my head. I recently completed my Chicago Public Schools Teacher Quality Pool, which means I’m now eligible to submit application materials through the CPS Careers website. I’ve reached out to a few schools and hope to hear back.

Although Capstone has mostly consumed my life, I have had a bit more flexibility in my schedule since the Spring Semester wrapped up. I’ve been returning to some things, and looking forward to others in the coming weeks.


I recently returned to Senn to visit my Art 1 students for the first time since I wrapped up the high school portion of student teaching three months ago. It was the last day for seniors and unofficial senior skip day. I’m sure students are kicking themselves for ditching on the day Ms. Crone came to visit.


I made it in to 826CHI to illustrate the last field trip of the year. A class of third graders wrote an amazing story about a soccer-playing puppy and a robot mouse living in a sewer in Paris. Their day is interrupted when a hockey-playing space cat lands on the Eiffel Tower in a golden hotdog spaceship. There was a time when I would illustrate two field trips every week, and it was good to get in one more. Hoping to transition to full-time teacher life in the fall I won’t be available in the mornings anymore.


My book club read a book written by Steve Martin for June. I did not have time to read the book, but I still get to join the Lady Woolfs for our sophisticated snack spread. I am determined to read our July book.


July is also a month for making activity goals. After lots of time inside and feeling rundown and week after being so tired, I’m looking forward to spending time at the beach and walking along the lake. I invested in a FitBit and new shoes. Technology and colorful Nikes: A motivating force.


Much less exhausting than my experience teaching classes of thirty five-year-olds, is art time with one five-year-old. I was able to spend a few hours this past week with Emma, who had big plans when she found out I was coming over. I don’t babysit as much anymore, as I transition into other things. Before grad school it was my main source of income. Working the art teacher angle always made me pretty popular among my charges. I’ve known Emma since she was born, and seeing her develop creatively and artistically is one of my favorite things. Also, she told me “unicorns are mammals, but they lay eggs.” Now we all know where unicorns come from.


The past week also brought me back to celebrate with my former CCAP colleagues at the release and celebration for a book I put many hours into as part of my work with the TEAM program. It is available at ShopColumbia and features reflections from TEAM teaching artists and unit plans from media arts residencies with 7th and 8th grade students in CPS.

While I may feel like I’ve mostly just been in my apartment staring at screens and writing things, a few other things have been going on. It’s 10:25 PM, and I’m off to bust through that last section of my Capstone. Things won’t get any less busy on the other side of it, but hopefully there will be more room for multitasking at the beach.