Friday, November 30, 2012

Things to Remember as a Teacher...

I'm starting to get the hang of this! It was never the classroom teaching part that I found difficult. Instead it was keeping my head above water as I sorted through paperwork, grading papers, IEPS, parent meetings, responding to e-mails, keeping a clean desk, and lesson planning that has made the first few months hard.

My administrator and feloow teachers told me to slow down---they said I'd burn out before I even truly began teaching and they were right. The late nights--sometimes to 9:30 and 10 at night spent at school caused me to be tired and dread going to work. It was developing into an unhealthy habit.

What I have learned is that you will burn out. You will lose that spark if you run yourself ragged!      You must take care of yourself so that you can be the best version of your self for those students. Here is what I have changed to make sure I'm always the best version of me:
  • Set an afterschool schedule: So you may not be Wonder woman and you can't do everything in one day., BUT you can feel organized and make a plan of attack--Wednesday could be parent contact day, unless there is an emergency of course. My plan is to grade papers on Monday and Wednesday. To lesson plan on Tuesday and Friday, and to use Thursday as parent contact day. Now, things do't always go according to plan and I have to learn to deal with that! At least, I'm not stressed trying to do it all everyday and getting nothing done at all.
  • Take time for yourself and do things you enjoy: I go to the gym. Its my me-time! I go alone and I have it quiet in the car, no phone or radio. When I get to the gym I burn off stress in Zumba! Its a fun way to end the day and its good for me too!
  • Spend time with people you love: Don't miss out on life because yours seems to revolve around youngsters and state standards. Have your adult time and use it to be happy! Talk about the peak and the pit of your day! Smile at the good, laugh at the bad, and move on! These things in life come to make us strong.
  • EAT....LIVE....AND PRAY!! Have great food that makes you weak its so tasty! Go Outside and enjoy life, and lastly pray. Remember God is near and He wants you to lean on and trust in Him. He made plans to give you a future and a hope, so when things seem bleakest, lean on Him.
I hope these tips help others! (Mostly, I wrote them to hold myself accountable.)

Always Faithful,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Student Project!

Two blog posts in one day! Boy oh boy, am I on a roll this Monday. I had to take a minute and share a project one of my sweeties made. We were talking about the Native Americans and he said that the class should make houses for each Indian group. I replied, "I dare you to do it!" Little did I know, my dare could mean so much. The next week he marched in with a beautiful igloo. The moments like that make teaching so worthwhile!
He was so proud of his igloo. He talked about how long it took to make. He used sugar cubes and icing, and he even made it in the spiral formation we talked about. We played a trick on the class when he brought it in because no one else had completed one, so they all wondered if they actually had a project due! I had a bunch of scared kiddies on my hands!

Any of your students doing projects on their own?

Always Faithful,


Teacher Planner

This week's Monday Made It brings you a new planner!

As a new teacher, I have found that there were not many planners that matched what I need. The first planner I saw at Wal-Mart just had the month section and each day was a small section, about the size of a hand written paragraph. Well, when I need to write down my entire lesson plan for three different classes, those types of plan books do not fit my needs! Then, I need to write different plans for the next day when I have three more classes. I needed something that would allow me to write plans for my six classes--honors, C-level, and collaborative classes. Thats a lot of accomodations that need to written down.

Well, when you identify a problem, you have to identify a solution! So what else to do than create your own! I have read a ton of blogs where teachers have created their own planners and plan books. There is no way that the plan books offered in stores are made by teachers.
So without further ado, my plan book is below!

So here is the cover of my book! I made the cover in Power Point. I used a chevron graphic and changed the color of it to gray and white. Then, I streatched a blue rectangle (from shapes) across the front. The rest was easy. I added the title and the date. I think for an amateur, I did pretty well.
The next step was completed by using a table in word: The table is 8x3 so that I can have Monday and Tuesday on one side and Wed-Fri. on the other. My headings along the side are: Date, SOL and Objectives, Bell Work, Teaching Activities, Evaluation & Assessment, Homework, and finally Supplies/Resources. I LOVE my new planner. I also left room in the planner so that I could have a whole month calendar. I took this to Staples to have it bound after making the copies front and back. All total, my planner was less than five dollars! Wal-Mart planner was ten dollars! I highly suggest you make your own!
Always Faithful,

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Its amazing how, when you're a student, all you want is a day out of school. as an adult, I cannot lie, I wanted to be out also. Here in Central Virginia, Hurricane Sandy put us out of school for two days. Ordinarily, a storm would have been a great thing and missing school would have been a bonus, but from this storm, I learned two very important things.

First, hurricanes can completely change your world overnight. I was unharmed here in Virginia; it was more like a normal rain day here. In New York, New Jersey, and in other places on the northeastern seaboard, Hurricane Sandy was as vicious as they come. For those teachers and students, they do not have schools to go back to, and in that instance I am both humbled and blessed. My prayers go out to those in need. I should never take for granted the school/classroom/job/students that God has blessed me with. Its sometimes so easy to do that--to get lost in the daily grind of work, but find a moment everyday to feel thankful.

Lesson number two is not as spiritual in nature, but far more practical. Missing days of school can be hard on a teacher. Your lesson plans change; you have to get your students focused! For me, I had a test scheduled that week, and with the even/odd schedule that the school functions on, we are a whole week behind. The most important thig is to be prepared for any change. We were supposed to have a celebration for our students the day we returned to school. I had students sitting in my room when I received an e-mail saying the celebration was cancelled. If my collaborative teacher and I weren't ready, we could have been caught in a huge mess!

Two days of rest was great, but lesson learned: Always be prepared for anything!

Always Faithful,