This summer I moved to the hot humid land of Houston where I knew few street signs and felt like my dog had more friends despite her slobber and dirty paws. I left an amazing school where I taught 53 remarkable 4th and 5th graders and had the ability to teach the way I truly wanted to. I thought I wanted to take a break from being in the classroom after nearly pulling out my hair and thinking I was on the verge of a stress-related heart attack. But now that I had moved to Texas, that idea seemed like a huge mistake.
I found myself walking up and down aisles of stores during the back to school sales wishing I had a reason to purchase multiple packs of glue sticks or crayons. My Pinterest board was overflowing with new ideas for classroom management and adorable anchor charts for reader’s workshop. I knew that the lingering reality was upon me, I needed to find a teaching job.
Now I am a creative writing teacher with Writers in the Schools. I’ve been told that I will be teaching 4th graders at a nearby elementary school. The pressure is on. What to do first? What do I plan? How do I not look like an idiot from Indiana? I started with getting a public library card and jumping head first into picture books to use as mentor texts as my source of inspiration for upcoming lessons. Do you have a favorite picture book you like to use when you teach writing?