Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself
My name is Dionna, Mrs. Roberts to most. I am the creative director, writer, thinker, storyteller, and author of the literacy adventures found in this domain. Instagram has nicknamed me Dee the Teacher, while Twitter proclaims that I am Deesigned 2 Teach. Literacy Is My JAM and so is what my three children call Old School music. Here on the blog, I’ve written about some of my literacy adventures of the past and present, but if I’m honest, I don’t do it enough. Some of it is because of lack of time. A little fear is responsible. And a whole lotta doubt that anyone truly wants to read what’s going on in a forty-something-year-old teacher's brain when there are TikTok recipes and dances to devour. Yet, I still have this nagging tug to write. It’s been my favorite way to express myself since 2nd grade. Why stop now? But, It’s been a while since I’ve blogged (on public paper). So let’s just get caught up, shall we?
This year (2022-2023) I begin my 20th year in education. Funny how time flies when you’re having fun, right? At least that’s what Janet said back in 1986. (See Control album, 1986 for more info on that.) I will also be changing grade levels for the first time in forever. 4th grade has been my sweet spot with the exception of 4 years (3 years spent coaching/ half a year in a 5th/6th-grade split). More adventures will be coming this year with this shift I'm sure.
Last year (August 2021), almost to the date, Teacher/Artist Extraordinaire, Kellen Deau, and I began the planting process of 32 Little Free Libraries in our community. You can read all about that here, here, here, and also here. It’s been an exciting year!
In May 2020 I successfully completed my second master's degree in Educational Leadership, K-12 Principalship from Western Michigan University. It’s always a great day to be a Bronco.
I continue to lead and serve two of the greatest literacy-driven organizations in the land, Read and Write Kalamazoo (RAWK) and The Michigan Reading Association. Groups of wonderful folks doing wonderful things for young people and educators who value them.
Jason Reynolds remains this fan’s favorite author. Period. He is one of the greatest and also happens to have been the Library of Congress National Ambassador of Young People's Literature for the last 3 years. If you didn’t know, now you know (know).
Photo Credit: Library of Congress
My children are growing up faster than I’d like at the moment. Three teenagers in one house is a recipe for big feeling-fueled feuds and funny moments. This year my oldest graduated high school. How’d this happen?
Well, that’s a pretty solid summary for now. I can feel it in my bones that this school year is going to be EPIC, not without challenges, but EPIC nonetheless! For all my teacher friends reading this, I hope you are able to harness these last days
of summer and hold them close for as long as you can. Perhaps time will slow down for us just a little so we can have a bit more fun before Fall comes to visit.