Sunday, June 9, 2013

Reflecting on my first year

Teachers are natural reflectors.  We are constantly evaulating how things went and revamping to make it even better.  After all, who wants a lesson to go bad twice?  So of course, at the end of my first year I began reflecting on the year as a whole.  I did a lot of "experimenting."  Seeing what worked and what didn't.. and I learned a lot along the way.  Here are just a few of the important things I learned my first year teaching that can hopefully help future teachers get through their first year a little easier...

1. Stay true to you
I learned very quickly that I was not good at carrying out and implementing other teachers ideas.  Something may sound wonderful and work wonders in 1 classroom, but fail miserably in another.  This doesn't mean don't take ideas from other teachers or to share your own... it just means that every teacher has their own style.  Take the ideas and make them your own!  Make sense of it, figure out how it will fit with your teaching style and tailor it to your students..and then of course, implement and reflect!   You'll be happy that you did when you see that it worked. 

2. Collaborate and lean on your colleagues

This is so key to surviving as a first year teacher, actually... probably at any year.  That's what they are there for.  A shoulder to cry on, a brain to bounce ideas off, an experienced teacher to help you solve that parent or behavior problem or help you figure out the best way to teach that math concept... I had any amazing team this year, and I hope that is true for everyone!  I stole borrowed many of their ideas, asked them probably a million and one questions, and got things off of my chest that nobody else would understand.  As teachers, we are supposed to work together, collaborate, and help eachother grow.  And as a first year teacher you will bring fresh, new ideas to your grade & be a valuable member of your team.

3. Leave time for you

I cannot stress this enough.  There will NEVER be enough time to do everything that you want to/have to do.  Prioritize.  What is the most important and what can wait?  Cut yourself off at a certain time every night.  I got into the habit of coming home, taking my dog for a walk, having dinner, and then allowing myself only 2 hours TOPS to do work (usually I gave myself 1, but some nights I knew I had more to do than others) It seems kind of crazy.  Especially when you don't get all that planning done for the next day.. but you owe it to yourself.  Teaching is one of the hardest and most demading professions... You will tire yourself out too quickly if you don't leave time for you which will, in turn, have a negative affect on your classroom environment.  You become more easily frustrated, less energetic, and less invested because your just too darn exhuasted.  Trust me, leave "Me Time".  You'll be more happy- and so will your students.


I think this is the most important of them all.  If you're not enjoying your kids, you're not enjoying your job... which will lend to an early burn out and you being just plain miserable.  Laugh with them.  Be spontaneous. Don't be so serious all the time.  Make learning fun.  Stand on top of the table & give them the "I have a dream" speech while you're learning about Martin Luthur King Jr., Put on mustaches while you make fraction pizzas, sing a song about adding. Tell them a joke... get to know them.. share their interests and show them that you genuinly care.  You'll make an impact on their life and you theirs.

I have learned so much more my first year teaching but I think that these are some of the most important.  I hope you will pass along to any upcoming teachers that you know and who could use a little advice to help them have a successful first year!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Blog Neglect & Building Positive Self Talk

I have been neglecting this little ole blog of mine for about the past week.  I guess that's not too bad.. buuuut not great.  It was a crazy week with field day, end of the school year, cleaning up, and pure exhaustion.  I swear, each week I just got more tired, more tired, more tired.. until finally.. LAST DAY!  I was relieved that it was time for a break but sad that my first group was going to have to leave me.  They were all sad and telling me about how they hate the last day of school and they wish they could stay with me forever.  Oh how I will miss them.  Luckily I will get to see about half of them when we all go to a Minor League Baseball game together later this week! :D

I have been reflecting on the year and will hopefully soon be back to share with you.  My hope is that maybe I could help a few new teachers and maybe even some not new teachers by sharing what I've learned.  

Anyway, I actually came by today to share with you a new resource that I FINALLY made.  This year I was part of an Incredible Years program and one of the topics was building students self confidence and positive self talk.  To help my students, I put some self talk statements all around my room & encouraged them to choose 5 in the am.. and continue repeating the phrases to themselves throughout the day.  I made a resource for all of you lovely teachers and it is now uploaded to TPT! Click on any of the pictures to head on over & check it out!



I'd love to give away 5 copies of this pack to the first 5 teachers who leave a comment with their email and tell me one thing you do to promote positive self talk in your students! :)

Hopefully I'll be back before another week escapes me!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Thank Heavens for Currently!

I guess I should really say, Thanks Farley for Currently!! Only 3.5 days left for this chicky right here! I'm feeling a little sad about having to let my first babies go, but they are ready and need to go on their way!  Early  next week I'll be back with a reflection on my first year.  For now, catch up on my currently! :)

Have you heard this song before?  Seriously, awesomeness....

Those memory books I want to make for my little ones.. I guess I should probably print the pictures and get started on them if I want to have them done BEFORE Thursday! I'm such a procrastinator.

Summer Essentials... I need to just kick up my feet and relax.  I always keep myself busy- I think I deserve a little break.  The beach, of course.. how would that not be an essential?  And MOM!! Yay. I haven't seen her since Christmas and she is going to come down to visit.  Can't wait! <3 her.

What are you currently up to?? Head on over to Oh' Boy 4th Grade to link up!