Teaching is easy…said no teacher ever…

I am going to try to keep this short because well to be completely honest I could talk about this forever.

When I was in college the amount of times that I heard that Education is a “lazy major” made me cringe! Sure from the outside looking in it looks easy, but have you ever tried keeping a room full of 20-30 little ones not only quiet long enough to hear instructions but interested in what you’re saying….or even worse teenagers! It’s not as easy as it sounds. And once you do have their attention have you ever thought about how difficult it is to get all of them to actually understand and retain the information that you’re teaching them?

Imagine this you have a classroom of 30 kids and you have to get those 30 kids to understand a certain topic. Amongst those 30 kids you will have a handful of visual learners, audio learners, hands-on learners, and a few students who can learn and grasp things in multiple formats. What do you do? You can’t teach the lesson in 5 different ways because that would take up way too much time and there are only about 6 or 7 hours in a school day. As a teacher I can tell you what I would do is to try and teach whatever lesson it is in a way that is going to reach the majority of my students. Why? Because then those students that need the extra help have multiple resources (myself and their classmates) that they can reach out to in order to get help fully understanding the lesson. I would also switch it up every once in a while, instead of lecturing all the time throw in some group work and some labs and other ways of allowing the students to learn than just one way.

Not only do we have to teach these kiddos every day, but it’s our job to make sure that their behavior is on point…and let me tell you that is not easy! The amount of things that I have had to remind students not to do….sometimes I think I could write a book! I’ve had to remind students not to lick certain things because they have germs on them, not to put pencils or other sharp objects near their eyes….the list could go on and on! I mean I could get specific but…..I might have to start collecting these things and make that a totally different blog post! I’m sure ya’ll would get a kick out of that!

Anyways…I think I got a little off track so let’s refocus!

Other than teaching being an “easy” profession…I think the number one thing that I hear “non-teachers” say to teachers is how we should love our jobs because we get “summers off”. Oh honey how I wish that were true!! We have personal development that we must keep up with in order to keep our licenses, we have to tear down our classrooms so that they can be cleaned and then we have to set them up again, we have to start doing lesson plans for the next school year….I could continue on with this list to be honest. A number of us also have a second job, which we often will pick up more hours at during the summer. So for all of my non-teacher friends out there…I’m sorry we don’t exactly get summers off.

Like I said, I’m going to keep this one short, so I’ll just stop there! Really this was nothing more than me venting a little bit about how some people tend to think that teaching is easy. Hopefully I didn’t offend anyone. To all of my teacher friends, did I forget anything?? Has anyone ever made a comment to you about our profession that made you roll your eyes?!? Leave it in the comments below!

Xoxo Shelby  

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The scale is NOT your friend…

Friends….we all know that losing weight and being healthy is hard. But what if I told you that you could make it so much easier by doing just one simple thing…..step off the scale. Yes that’s right I said step off the scale.

Let me ask you all a question….how often do you weigh yourself? Once a month? Once a week? Every day? Be honest with yourself. I’m not going to lie when I first started exercising and being healthy I used to weigh myself way too much, so much that at one point I can honestly say that I became obsessed with the number on the scale, and that my friends is not a good thing. Want to know how often I weight myself now? I weigh myself before I begin a workout program and then after I finish that workout program. So maybe at most once or twice a month. You’re probably thinking to yourself “umm then how do you know if the workout program is workout?? How do you know if you’re seeing results?” Well I will tell you a few reasons why I know without stepping one foot on the scale, but first let’s talk about why the scale is not your friend.

Continue reading “The scale is NOT your friend…”

Finding love in a troublesome time

Have you ever been reading a book and just not been able to connect to any of the characters or even been able to really follow the story line?? That’s how I felt when I started reading Exit West, maybe it was because I picked it up at a busy time in my life and I could only read the first chapter at first and then when I did pick it up again I finally had more time to dive into it. But this book took me until chapter 3 or 4 to really understand what was happening. But I’m the type of person that once I start a book I have to finish it.

Before I go into my thoughts on the book let me give you a little bit of background about the book.

Exit West is a story based in a country teetering on the brink of civil war. During this crazy and terrifying time you wouldn’t think that people would have time to even think about love. But two you people meet; Nadia the sensual and fiercely independent woman that she is and Saeed who is more gentle and restrained. As the story unfolds their love affair begins to blossom even more, but as the chaos in their city begins to erupt it makes it more and more difficult for them to see each other.

The chaos explodes their once familiar streets are turned into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts. They begin to hear whispers of doors that will whisk you away to a safer place. At first Nadia and Saeed cannot even fathom leaving their country, and their families. But as the violence in their country begins to escalate, Nadia and Saeed decide that it would be in their best interest to leave.

We get to follow these characters as they emerge into an uncertain future. They struggle to hold on to each other, their past and who they are.  There are ups and downs throughout the whole book. Will Saeed and Nadia succeed in holding on to who they are and this amazing relationship that they have built or will their relationship fall apart the same way that their country did? Continue reading “Finding love in a troublesome time”

16 years later…

Where were you on that September day that shook our nation??

It’s been 16 long years and I can definitely tell you that it feels like it was just yesterday. Now I know you’re probably thinking “wait what does this have to do with teaching?” It doesn’t to be honest but I was in school when this happened, fourth grade to be exact.

I can remember vividly coming in from recess or lunch and seeing my parents and several of my friends parents standing in the cross walk helping direct traffic and help us kids to get across the street. I remember seeing the sad looks on everyone’s faces but I also remember that no one would tell us kids what was wrong. I remember hearing “you’ll find out soon” several, several times. I remember being called into the classroom here we were greeting by our 4th grade teacher, the TV was out and we were about to be told the news. I remember writing about it in my journal and not being sure how I should feel, but I remember being sad and confused because why would anyone want to hurt innocent people?

I remember my parents taking me home early from school that day, and I remember watching the news high lights over and over again. Watching as the towers were hit and hearing about the plane that went down in Pennsylvania.

I may have only been 9 years old, but I remember that day so vividly as I know many other do too. It will be a day that will forever be etched into my brain. Every year when I see memorials or hear songs about this day, I can’t help but get emotional. Thinking of all the people that lost their lives that day. All of those innocent people on those planes. All of the people in the twin towers, and all of the amazing first responders and volunteers who lost their lives that day. My heart breaks for them and their families that were left behind with nothing but memories.

Do you remember where you were on September 11, 2001?? Leave it in the comments below.

Xo’s Shelby

Sons of Anarchy Meets 50 Shades of Grey?!?!

How many people can say that they got the chance to interview an author of a book that they read and loved?!?! I am more than excited to announce that I had the opportunity to interview Stephanie Blakeman, the author of If the Key Fits. If you haven’t read this book yet….you need to, it was so incredibly good!

Before I get into the interview questions let me give you a little synopsis of the book!

Casey Calvert is living the life that she has always dreamed of after surviving a too close for comfort brush with death. She up and moved to a small town where she has managed to not only find her dream job, but the perfect fiancé, life seriously couldn’t get any better!! The best part? No one has any idea that she came from anything short of a respectable New York upbringing. Her not so perfect, perfect life, gets shaken up when she is confronted by Gavin, or Blaze as she once knew him.

Blaze was the only man that Casey had ever loved and was the one person that she trusted to get her out of trouble. However, when she was supposed to meet him to run away, she was instead greeted by her at the time boyfriend (and the head of the MC) Slayer….you could say that he was anything less than happy and this is where Casey found herself deep in trouble with the MC.

Gavin Matthews… broke the number one rule of going undercover…..don’t get personal. He is still struggling to put the time he spent with Sinner’s Breed MC (motorcycle club) behind him, even after being released from protective custody. Instead of moving on, he spends his days trying to figure out the ways that he could have saved the girl that he accidentally fell in love with.

When their connection is released from prison, once again Gavin is sent in to protect Casey. This time however is a little different. Underneath the person that she is trying to be, Casey is even more broken and damaged than she was before and Gavin knows that unfortunately he is the main source of her pain. While protecting her Gavin has a huge task ahead of him, he needs to convince her that he is still the same person that she knew before while also proving to her that he will do anything to make things right, no matter what that means.

They say that it takes a saint to save a sinner….sometimes, it takes a sinner to save a saint.

 

Continue reading “Sons of Anarchy Meets 50 Shades of Grey?!?!”

I do it for the money….(NOT!)

If you’ve been here since the beginning you might remember that my very first (or one of the very first) blog posts was about “Why I became a Teacher”. You probably noticed that one of those reasons was not because of the amount of money that I get paid.

I remember being in college and so many people telling me that becoming a teacher wouldn’t make me a lot of money and that I should probably reconsider my major. I also remember a lot of people telling my that being an education major was an “easy” choice…but that’s another blog post.

I already knew that I wasn’t going to be making a ton of money becoming a teacher. If I were in it for the money I would’ve stayed in nursing school. But I wasn’t in it for the money. The money honestly doesn’t matter to me. Money doesn’t make me happy, you know what makes me happy? Working with my students every day and helping them to accomplish their goals and become better learners is why I became a teacher!

I can guarantee that if you ask any teacher; no matter where they teach or what they teach, they will tell you that it’s not about the money. It will never be about the money.

Xo’s Shelby

42 days, 6 weeks, 1 program

I can officially say that I have successfully completed The Shift Shop…..2 rounds of it! Let me just tell you that round 2 as nothing shy of brutal, but I loved every minute of it. Why?!? Because my mind and my body made The Shift and I couldn’t be more excited to share my final results with you!

Just like I said in the previous post about my round 1 results, it’s not about the numbers on the scale or how many inches I lost. For me the pictures show it all…well maybe not all of it. Pictures don’t show the mental shift that was made during these 6 weeks. They can definitely show you the physical shift that was made.

Let me just start off by saying that there was a point in time where I didn’t think that I was seeing any results. I felt better in my clothes, but the number on the scale wasn’t changing and in my eyes my pictures didn’t look like there was a huge difference in them. But now that I’ve completed both rounds and I’ve seen all of my pictures side by side…..I can tell you that I did see results, and they were the bomb-dot-com!!!

Without further-a-do….let’s get on to those pictures!!!

Continue reading “42 days, 6 weeks, 1 program”

This book was literally Everything, Everything!

I hope at least one person got the title of this post….if you did please tell me in the comments below!!!

In case you didn’t….I’m reviewing the book Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Yes I know it is also a movie, but I haven’t seen the movie. I’m the type of person that must read the book before I see the movie it was made into. Most of the time the movie disappoints me anyways because they always chose to leave out important things from the book that should really be included from the book but I’m not a director or a screen writer so that’s just my opinion!

Enough about that, let’s get on with the review! Just in case you have no idea what this book/movie is about let me tell you just a little bit…

Maddy has a rare and famous disease, she’s basically allergic to the outside world and is forced to be confined to her house. She has been stuck inside her house, with her mother and her nurse and occasionally a few other guests. However these guests have to go through extensive health checks before they can come into the house. This poor girl hasn’t left her house in seventeen years.

One day as she’s sitting in her house, she hears a moving truck pull up next door. She looks out her window and she sees a boy. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black – a black t-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that completely covered his hair. As she’s looking through her window, he catches her looking at him and stares at her. She stares back. She later finds out his name is Olly, and she knew from that very moment that she would certainly fall in love with boy. But she also knew that I would end in a complete and utter disaster.


To say that I loved this book would be an understatement. I read exactly half of it in one night….staying up way too late might I add! But I didn’t care! I didn’t want to put the book down.

The writing style with all of the different drawings and notes and the emails and messages back and forth between Olly and Maddy were some of my favorite touches of this book. I also really enjoyed how it had a similar feel to The Fault in Our Stars (another amazing book I may just have to do a review on…and that one I did see the movie….and loved it just as much as I loved the book…shocker!!).

The book began beautifully with diverse and interesting characters, who are falling in love but cannot act upon their feelings. Their relationship builds rapidly though all they can do is mime through the window and chat online with one another. I’m a sucker for a love story and I loved how much Olly and Maddy truly loved each other.

Now…I won’t spoil it completely but I will say that the ending had me both shocked and a little disappointed. In my own personal opinion it took away from the whole premise of the book. At the same time I can appreciate this special twist but I could’ve been happy with a different ending. I promise you that if you read this book (or maybe even if you see the movie because I’m sure they didn’t leave this particular detail out), you will be shocked by the ending too. My jaw literally dropped! I’m not going to lie part of me (the romantic side of me that always wants a happy ending for the couples in books or movies because I believe that everyone deserves happiness!) was happy that the book ended the way that it did!

Want to know how it ended?? Check it out for yourself! Have you read the book or seen the movie?? If so which one did you like better? Have you read any of Yoon’s books? If so which ones? I’ve also read The Sun Is Also a Star (and did a review on it already…go check it out!!) Happy Reading!

Xo’s Shelby

Classroom Update!

I’ve shared a few pictures on social media with friends and family but I wanted to do an official blog post about how I updated my room! But before I talk about it I just want to give a huge thank you to my schools, Home and School team! If it weren’t for them none of this would have been possible!

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With that being said, this is my second school year taking on the task of teaching technology to preschool – eighth grade at my school. I spent three days a week last year in my room trying to think of how I could make it more functional and more up-to-date for our students. This is what my classroom looked like at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. We were beginning to update the space by purchasing new monitors and a new smart board. But, the more I sat there the more I realized that the tables that I had in my room….needed to go! None of them matched, they were uneven, and the size was ridiculous for the amount of space that I had to work with….but for the year I made it work. I just knew that I had a vision where my kiddos could come in and have plenty of space to sit comfortably and work together without feeling like they were all sitting on top of each other.

I did my research and found some amazing tables that I knew would be perfect for the lab! After taking my proposal to Home and School, they agreed with me and with their help I was able to purchase my beautiful tables!

 

When the tables came in I was so excited and happy! I couldn’t wait to get them put together and arrange them how I wanted to. Let me just say that to have a vision and watch it actually come to life….was amazing! I couldn’t be more excited to finally have my tables in my room! It took my dad and I a whole day to put them together and arrange them in just the right place so that everything would work in the room. Talk about an exhausting day! But I am so pleased with the room that it didn’t matter. (A huge shout out to my dad for all the hard work he did to help me get my room ready….I’m really not sure what I would have done if I didn’t have his help…oh wait yes I do…I would have been sitting in my room in a corner rocking back and forth sobbing uncontrollably!)

No of course you can’t have a new setup like this without some new decorations right?!? I’m not gonna lie my room was a little sparse in the decoration department last year, but to be honest that was because I just didn’t have that much room to work with and my mind couldn’t come up with any ideas that worked with the room. But now, I have more wall space (that I can actually get to) and I was able to find some amazing decorations on Teachers-pay-teachers to help me out!

The first thing I changed up were the bulletin boards behind my desk. I added an apple boarder to the one and added a banner that I made with my Cricut (best Christmas present ever…thanks mom and dad!!) Then I changed my rules board to match my room a little more and I love it so far! (No my desk does not look like that right now, it’s actually a lot neater but I took these pictures while I was still in the process of working in my room…I promise I’m much more neat of a person than that!)

The next thing I added was a rewards system (Bitcoins…shoutout to Linda Kamp from TpT and AroundtheKampfire.com for the resource!!) The way that I am using this reward system is by having each class earn a set amount of “Bitcoins” based on good behavior, for example if they as a class stay on task and are good listeners then they earn Bitcoins for that class period and if there are any issues during the class period I will take away Bitcoins). As a class once they have reached 50 Bitcoins (preschool and kindergarten) or 100 Bitcoins (1st – 8th grade), they can turn their Bitcoins in for free time on the computer. So far the kiddos seem to love the idea (especially the older kids! They were super excited to hear about this!). The next thing that I added that I didn’t have last year were classroom jobs (for preschool – 5th grade), I am hoping that these jobs make cleanup time and transitioning between classes a little easier!!

Last year I had these wonderful colorful buckets at each table next to each computer, inside each bucket I had the headphones that went with that specific computer. Since we bought new monitors and new tables, there’s just not enough room on the tables for the tubs. Originally that made me sad because I love the idea of having the headphones in a bucket and out of the way instead of on the table or hooked over the computer monitor. My original plan was to get a bookshelf that I could fit 36 of these little tubs on so that the kiddos could come and get their headphones when they needed them. But my dad came up with the idea to use the shelves instead and let me just say that I LOVE the idea so much! Not only are the headphones in their tubs, but they are out of the way and look super cute! I also thought it would be a cute idea to have a printing station – basically my printer, paper, pencils, a stapler, 3 hole punch and pencil sharpener are all in one area so that the kiddos know exactly where everything is. So far I am loving it so much!

Of course the only thing left to do is show you the final product!!! I could not be more excited or happy with how it turned out! Again I would like to thank Home and School for helping me out with all of this, my dad for helping me set everything up (and being so patient with my when it came to moving the tables around for about an hour straight…) and of course my mom for helping my print, cut and laminate about 1,000 different things for my room!

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Here’s to an amazing school year! To all of my other teacher friends out there I hope you had a successful first week/couple of days back!

Xo’s Shelby

2 ingredients…1 healthy snack!

Do you have a sweet tooth but you’re trying to eat healthy?? If you do then I know that you’re feeling the struggle, and it is real!

But I may have something up my sleeve (thanks to my friend Danielle!!) that can help with that. Oh and did I mention that it’s super easy too!

Ingredients:

1 banana
Peanut butter

 

Directions:

Honestly you can do this one of two ways….

  1. Peel and slice the banana
  2. Put a little bit of peanut butter on each slice of banana
  3. Place banana slices on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer, let them sit in the freezer until the banana is frozen.
  4. Take them out of the freezer and enjoy

 

Now if you’re impatient and don’t want to freeze them, you can always just take out that step and just slice the banana and put some peanut butter on it and enjoy! This is seriously one of my favorite snacks and it’s super easy and delicious too. Oh and healthy for you too which is always a plus!

What is your favorite healthy snack?
If you have a sweet tooth, what is your go to? Mine is anything chocolate…but I really like chocolate ice cream! Leave your answers in the comments below!!

Xo’s Shelby