What I Did This Summer

I haven’t been blogging too much on this blog this summer, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy.  So, in homage to all the inevitable first day of school, “What I did this summer” essays, I thought I’d add mine–partly to convince myself that I haven’t been languishing around all summer and partly because I don’t know if most people in my life actually understand what it is that academics (especially pre-tenured ones) do during the summer “break.”


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This summer has been FULL of writing.  Writing conference proposals, writing papers, working with co-authors…and even getting things published! My first research article on new teacher professional identity came out online and there are submissions at all stage of the pipeline (in progress, under review, in press, and published) so I’m feeling like spending most of my summer at my kitchen table and office desk have been worth it.

Black Sheep #1

Oh, and I started a food blog which was my own personal writing project over the summer.

Escondido Unified School District Middle School STEM Summer Institute

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For a week of this summer, I was fortunate enough to work with an amazing group of middle school teachers who teach for the Escondido Unified School District at their summer STEM institute where we explore cross-curricular Project Based Learning in ELA (English Language Arts), Science (Life & Physical Science) and Mathematics.  As part of the ELA segment that I was facilitating, we read text sets about the feud between Sir Isaac Newton and Sir Robert Hooke, culminating in both “Fakebook” pages and a preface to a revision of a section of Newton’s Optics or Hooke’s Micrographia.

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(This photo, in preparation for institute, demonstrates that I’m not just an ELA teacher…I’m a math nerd at heart!)

CSU Linked Learning Convening Meeting

Wow, it’s a good thing for Instagram because I had actually forgotten about this one! In early summer, the CSULB Linked Learning planning team that I have been a part of for the last year helped to coordinate a CSU Systemwide convening to discuss the ways in which Linked Learning and College & Career Readiness inform our work in educator preparation.  It was a great but exhausting (for the planning team for sure!) two-day learning and planning convening meeting.

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Preparing for Retention Review

Last year, I was fortunate to participate in an Academic Portfolio workshop based on the work of Peter Seldin and Beth Miller.  This year, I came back to the workshop as an internal mentor, which prompted me to spend a chunk of my summer revising my portfolio for my upcoming retention review in the fall.

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(Last year’s version of my portfolio–this year I’ve got more binders!)

Rediscovering my Family and Life Outside of Academia

It wasn’t exactly ALL work this summer.  I also spent some time being the mommy taxi (especially in these last 3 weeks of half-day camp) and took an anniversary trip to Oahu and a weekend family trip to San Diego.

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As the sun is setting on my summer, I’m really proud of how much I’ve grown since I started this blog mid-way through my first year in academia.  Here I am, ready to enter my third year and excited to meet a new group of credential candidates, do more research and writing, and visit the classrooms of more of my first year students, many of whom are starting their first full year in their own classrooms!

Grateful times in the life of an assistant professor.  Hope you all had a great summer too!

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