Saturday, May 17, 2014

Book of the Month Display: Another Bright Idea!

I love this time of the month (mostly because it's the only time where I am forced to actually get on here and blog)... I have to admit that the end of the year has me extremely exhausted and is keeping me quite busy.  I just finished coordination our schools first annual talent show.  Our students performed on the same stage as Ike and Tina Turner (We have quite a historic school!)  Sooo that's mostly why I am exhausted and absent from the world of blogging. I do have to say that getting these flowers from one family made the whole thing completely worth it (along with the smiles of performing kiddo)... This families Kindergartner came up to me and said, "I got you roses!"  Melt my heart!

Well, why don't we stop talking about how exhausted I am and talk about this seriously awesome bright ideas hop!!

Is this your first stop, second, fiftieth?  How many bright ideas are filling up your notebook? :)

Today I am bringing you a quick little idea to display books every month.  Each month, my book display changes based on what we are working on.  To go along with it, I put up a little sign to remind my kids what type of literature we are learning about.  Here is my April one (that stayed into May because we were super behind!)

I simple hang it over my display case and the kids can see it all month long (then it gets engraved into the brains! muahahaha)

Well, why not head on to another stop & pick up another bright idea?  There are over 100 to choose from!  Go ahead, don't stop here!  Choose your topic, choose your grade, the choice is up to you!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dear First Year Me...

I recently joined the May "Talks with Teachers" challenge to refresh my teaching soul.  Our first challenge is to write a letter to ourselves our first year of teaching.  It was just 2 years ago that I began on my journey, but here goes...

A letter to my July 2012 self:

Your first year of teaching is going to be full of joy, happiness, laughter, epic lessons, exhaustion, stress, many bad lessons, and difficult decisions.  I know you will pour your whole heart into this career, doing everything you can for these kids.  You will stay at school late, go in early, and stay up until crazy hours- just to be sure that everything you need for the following day, week, project  is the best you could possibly do.  You will research tons of blogs every night, to find the best possible way to teach that math concept or reading strategy.  Know that those long, late nights won't always turn out the way you expected them to but that doesn't mean you are a failure.  You are a first year teacher and will learn from those lessons gone wrong.  Cut yourself some slack.  You can't always be on your game, even though you try to be.

In your first year, you will lose 3 of your students and gain another (which will prove to be difficult transitions on their own, know that you did all you could for all 3 of these students- especially one in particular: you will know her when you see her - She will test your patience and drive you crazy, but she will also make you laugh and smile everyday with her hugs, smile, and appreciation of you- she is one that needs you the most), you'll deal with difficult behaviors (don't worry, you learn the best ways to handle these by building strong relationships with your students and holding high expectations) and a new curriculum (Everyone else is on this boat with you!).  You'll also deal with, what I guess you can call, "tough" parents, but they only want what is best for their child, listen to them...then don't be afraid to tell them what you see as well because you want what's best for them too! 

Even though this year will be difficult and exhausting, you will have many things to celebrate.  You and your students will have fun learning.  You will laugh, joke, dance, and smile.  You will plan exciting, engaging lessons and projects, and sometimes even be late to lunch because you are all having so much fun that you lose track of time.  Your students will tell you how much they love you and what a great teacher you are (especially when you are feeling like the worst teacher in the world).  And though you don't feel like it at the end of the year, know you have made an impact on those 22 little 8 year olds.  You showed them how much you truly cared (and always will care) about them, and taught them a whole lot more than just the curriculum.  These babies will put a stamp on your heart forever and you on theirs.

So this year, don't be so hard on yourself.  Reach out if you need help.  Don't be afraid of people "judging" you: we are all in this thing together.  And last, be proud of being a teacher, it is the most important job anyone could ever do.


Your Future Self