What Kind of Teacher Am I?

Hello Friends and Happy Monday!!

I thought it would be fun to do something different so I went searching for a quiz to take and I found a few but I thought that I would take one from the ever popular Buzzfeed and share the questions and answers with you (as well as what answers I choose) and then give you my results!

  1. What student activity bugs you the most?
    a. constant negativity — I picked this answer because I believe that the type of energy you put into the world is the type of energy you get out of the world. So no negativity in my classroom!
    b. quitting before they start
    c. asking really dumb questions (side note I tell my students there are no dumb questions so I won’t be picking this answer)
    d. flagrant spelling errors
    e. insolence
    f. dismissing topics before engaging with them
    g. class clowns that ruin it for good students
    h. texting in class
    I. literally everything they do
  2. What do you need most to get through the day?
    a. diet coke
    b. a book to read in my down time (what down time?!?)
    c. lots of coffee- isn’t this every teachers go to? lol

    d. a few moments of peace and quiet
    e. reminding yourself that you care about these kids
    f. stopping to think about the big picture
    g. letting off steam with a few mean quips
    h. stopping for a deep breath to calm down
    I. booze, if we’re being honest
  3. Which teacher habit do you find it hard to break outside of class?
    a. calling everyone “mr” this and “ms” thatalso calling everyone “friends” because that what I say to my littles….
    b. always acting like an expert
    c. having a cold, aloof demeanor
    d. pushing in chairs
    e. trying to be inspiring
    f. correcting bad grammar
    g. making everything a “teachable moment”
    h. trying to help my students outside of school
    I. I doubt I even have teacher habits
  4. Which of these would be your ideal student?
    a. Hermione Granger
    b. Troy Barnes
    c. Regina George
    d. Lisa Simpson
    e. Rory Gilmore – sorry Harry and Hermione but I have and always will strive to make my students like Rory. The Gilmore Girls will forever have my heart. Rory was an idea student and I would pick her over anyone any day.
    f. Zach Morrie
    g. Scott Summers
    h. Jordan Catalano
    I. Harry Potter
  5. How do you respond when a student asks you a question you can’t answer?
    a. deep frustrated sigh
    b. admit you don’t know everything – I usually add that I will look it up and get back to them and then I make a note to myself if I can’t do it at that point and tell the student to remind me later (I promise that they will) and we learn something new together!
    c. withering stare of contempt
    d. make fun of them (anyone that does this I’m sorry you shouldn’t be a teacher)
    e. distract them with a new assignment
    f. pretend you know the answer (NO NO NO!)
    g. explain it’s not covered in the curriculum (basically that tells them you have no idea so just be honest!)
    h. tell some story that has nothing to do with anything
    I. tell them they are not ready to know the answer (okay?)
  6. What is your approach to discipline?
    a. stern lecture
    b. try to be firm, even if I know it’s futile
    c. I focus more on the kids who really care (no!)
    d. I make them learn from their failures
    e. toss ’em all in detention
    f. I try to talk out problems – I’ve found that sometimes this just works better than handing out detentions
    g. I am as harsh as I can get away with
    h. I try to make them understand why they act out
    I. I just don’t care anymore
  7. What’s the best perk of being a teacher?
    a. having summer off
    b. passing on your wisdom
    c. they pay me, I guess
    d. helping special kids reach their potentialthough I could really select multiple answers here, I feel this one is the most fitting. I want my kiddos to see and reach their best potential and sometimes they don’t always see it. When they do my teacher heart is happy.
    e. having power over children
    f. it is rewarding to watch kids learn
    g. being a positive influence in lives
    h. helping kids tap into their creativity
    I. the kinds inspire me, actually

My results!:

The Cool Teacher: You take a very relaxed approach to teaching, and try to treat your students with a lot of respect. Some of your colleagues may think you’re naïve, but when you connect, you really make a difference in your students’ lives.

I wouldn’t say I’m relaxed. My kiddos know the rules and they know that there is a time to play and a time to learn. They know the rules and they usually don’t push me. But I do believe in treating my students with respect. If I respect them then I can count on them to respect me as well. It’s a 50/50 relationship. Just like anything else.

Click the link here to take the quiz yourself! Let me know what your results are!!!

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It’s not a MOMENT it’s a MOVEMENT

I want to start off by saying that I am extremely proud of the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida and all of the other students who have been affected by gun violence, for being courageous enough to use their voices to speak up and to be the change in the world that we need. They are the ones who put together this movement and they are the ones who organized the rally in Washington D.C. and I couldn’t be more proud of them. I would also like to commend their teachers because these students willingness to do this just speaks volumes about their teachers and the impact that they have had on them and the things that they are teaching them.

I was watching Brittany’s (fivefootoneteacher) Instagram story the other day and something that she said really hit me. I can’t remember her words exactly so I will just sum it up for you…

She said that everyone is getting back to their daily lives, everyone is going to Starbucks, learning, and having arguments….while her and her kids are still dealing with the grief and the trauma from the tragedy that happened on February 14th.

She couldn’t be more right. We are all going back to our daily lives. We are getting our Starbucks, we’re learning, we’re arguing…maybe evening arguing with our kids (I hope that you know when I say kids I mean students….my students are my kids they always will be, but I know any teacher feels the same way). But what I hope is that Brittany and her kids know is that we will never forget. We will never let this slip through the cracks. I think that by attending the rally in Washington D.C. (or one of the sister rallies) that we can see that. As educators we have truly had enough and we are not going to let this continue to happen.

So please, as you go through your every day lives, please remember that even though our lives are “back to normal” theirs are not. They will never have a “normal” life again. They lost classmates, they lost their classrooms…their home away from home, the teachers lost their belongings, they lost their sense of comfort and safety. They are slowly working to get it back, but it is not easy and no matter what they do things will never be the same.

Anyways…that’s not what I came here to talk about today, but I felt the need to address it.

Continue reading “It’s not a MOMENT it’s a MOVEMENT”

Dear Betsy Devos

In case you haven’t heard…Betsy Devos, 11th U.S. Secretary of Education took to twitter with this…

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And as you can imagine, teachers are responding. The hashtag #morethanastockphoto has over 1,000 posts on it. So many pictures of teachers showing how their kids are not just sitting at their desks doing worksheets. How we as teachers do more than just spit information out at our kids while they sit and take notes.

What was her goal with this? To show the world how far education hasn’t come. Well Betsy, we are all here to let you know who wrong you are. Personally, my heart breaks knowing that someone who is supposedly leading the way for education in the United States, doesn’t fully understand what a classroom today looks like.

Teachers have been posting picture after picture of their classrooms. Most of them show how their kids are laughing and collaborating. They’re working together! What I love most about all of these pictures though, is that 99% of these classrooms have flexible seating. Hmmm, Betsy, did your stock photo have flexible seating? Part of me wonders if you even know what that means. (Clearly not because you think that our students still sit in their desks all day long).

Not that Betsy will ever see this. But I want her to know that she needs to know better in order to do better. She needs to visit a current classroom to know what they look like instead of assuming. We all know what happens when you assume things.

Our classrooms are basically a home away from home for our kids. In order to make them feel like a home, you should see the amount of decorations that we buy, or sometimes the things that we create. We spend countless hours building relationships with them so that we can reach them and them so that they can grow and become the good that this world needs today. They are our future. They are worth every penny spent.

As teachers we go above and beyond for our kids. We go in early and we stay late, sometimes we come in on the weekends. We lose sleep thinking about what we can do better for our students. We set up meetings with parents outside of contracted time so that their child can succeed. We work and plan on the weekends. We spend our own money to be able to give our kids a little extra so that they can do their very best.

That image that was shared was a stock photo of a government funded classroom with the minimal effort put into it. I can tell you that no teacher in my school, or any teacher anywhere really, has a classroom that still looks like that. But I can say that I know thousands of teachers who spend their money on their classroom. I do, and I don’t mind it one bit. Why? Because I want my students to feel at home in my classroom. I want them to walk in and feel engaged and ready to learn.

Teachers today do so much more for their kids than stand in front of a classroom and talk at them. I know so many teachers who will go out of their way to set the stage for their kids. They dress up silly, they do room transformations, they embrace their weird (yes I’m quoting Joe from @mrdtimes3). They also focus on creating a loving and safe space for their kids.

Can I just take a moment to point our something else?? Notice how instead of using the word “student” I’ve been using the word “kids”. Well, these are our kids. They are with us for 8 hours a day. Sometimes they come to us with their problems. Their safety, happiness, and wellbeing are number one priority in our eyes. I care for all of the kids that walk through my classroom door as if they were my own. So it’s safe to say that I have 250+ kids. Do some of them drive me a little crazy? Sure, but if you ask a mom I bet that she will say the same about her own kids. That doesn’t mean I don’t love them. It doesn’t mean that I don’t want what is best for them. It just means that we are all human and sometimes we get bothered by things or we say things we don’t mean or do things that we shouldn’t do.

Now that I’ve said my peace. If you are a teacher please share below a picture of your classroom! I would love to see what they look like!

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Favorite Teacher Movies

Hello all!

I thought that it would be fun and interesting to chat about some of my favorite teacher movies. Now of course these are in no particular order I’m going to list them and then I will give the plot summary and why I liked it so much! I hope you enjoy!

1. Beyond The Blackboard

The story takes place in 1987 and follows a young teacher and mother of two who, fresh from college, ends up teaching homeless children at a school without a name. With the support of her husband, she overcomes fears and prejudice to give these children the education they deserve.

–> Okay now here is why I loved this movie so much. First of all Emily VanCamp is an AMAZING actress and I just love her! But she plays this role so well and did it so much justice. I mean think about it. You’re a first year teacher straight out of college with no experience. Your job is to create your own classroom space and teach these homeless kids in it. No support from other teachers no one to guide you really. I would be scared too. But she overcomes her fears and becomes a better teacher because of it. This movie makes me cry every time I watch it.

2. Bad Teacher

For most, teaching is an honorable profession — except for Elizabeth (Cameron Diaz). The foul-mouthed, boozy woman can’t wait to marry a rich man and quit her job, but she has to rethink her plans when her sugar daddy dumps her. Then Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake), a substitute teacher who’s cute and rich, arrives. Elizabeth can’t wait to sink her teeth into a new meal ticket, but she faces stiff competition from Amy (Lucy Punch), a popular and perky colleague.

–> Now let me just say that this is for pure laughing purposes. When I need a good laugh about how crazy my job is. I watch this movie. And to be honest we Quote it a lot in our teachers lounge. One of these days one of us is going to accidentally write something we shouldn’t while grading papers! Sometimes I just don’t get what kids are thinking when they’re taking tests or doing homework. Sometimes it makes me want to write profanity all over their papers! If you haven’t watched this one yet make sure you do! It’s a good laugh!

3. Remember The Titans

In Virginia, high school football is a way of life, an institution revered, each game celebrated more lavishly than Christmas, each playoff distinguished more grandly than any national holiday. And with such recognition, comes powerful emotions. In 1971 high school football was everything to the people of Alexandria. But when the local school board was forced to integrate an all black school with an all white school, the very foundation of football’s great tradition was put to the test.

–> To be honest if you’ve seen this movie I don’t think I need to explain why I love it so much. If you haven’t go watch it. Then you’ll understand.

4. Coach Carter

In 1999, Ken Carter (Samuel L. Jackson) returns to his old high school in Richmond, California, to get the basketball team into shape. With tough rules and academic discipline, he succeeds in setting the players on a winning streak. But when their grades start to suffer, Carter locks them out of the gym and shuts down their championship season. When he is criticized by the players and their parents, he sticks to his guns, determined that they excel in class as well as on the court.

–> Same goes for this one. If you’ve seen it you understand. If not, go watch it. I promise you will.

5. God’s Not Dead 2

High school history teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart) comes under fire for answering a student’s (Hayley Orrantia) question about Jesus. When Grace refuses to apologize, the school board votes to suspend her and threatens to revoke her teaching certificate. Forced to stand trial to save her career, Grace hires young lawyer Tom Endler (Jesse Metcalfe) to defend her in court. Endler devises a powerful strategy to show the jury the historical significance of Wesley’s classroom discussion.

–> Can I be biased for a second and just say this one is my favorite?? I mean I dedicated a whole blog post to this one. You can feel free to read that, I won’t spoil anything for you here. But I will say this one also makes me cry every time I watch it. I guess it has something to do with the fact that she’s fighting for her job (which she loves) because of her faith (something she also loves). Which one is more important? They are both equally important to her. As they would be to me. But I am blessed enough to not have to worry about that.

Do you have a favorite teacher movie that I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments below!

#ARMMEWITH

Have you ever been so proud to be part of a community that you just can’t put it into words? That’s how I’m feeling right now.

Let me just start off by saying this is not what I had planned for today…again. I felt the need to get a few things off my chest so if this seems a little shuffled or disorganized that’s why. These are my raw and unedited thoughts. Take them as you will.

After the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida on February 14th two teachers decided that they were going to use their platform and their “following” on social media in a positive way. They created the hashtag “Arm Me With” and they were not expecting it to become as big and as powerful as it did. It started out at an outlet for teachers to speak out and talk about the things they needed and wanted in their classrooms instead of guns.

So far using the hashtag alone on Instagram there have been well over 10,000 posts. That is truly amazing and to know that there are so many amazing teachers out there supporting this. We are speaking up and speaking out. This has given us teachers a huge outlet to let our voices be heard and to express our concerns with certain issues. Now I will say that from what I understand, unfortunately they have gotten a lot of flack for the stance that they are taking. (It’s expected) However, I will say that I agree we need to focus on one thing at a time. No gun laws are not the only thing that need to be fixed. But at the same time we have to remember that even though it’s easier to fight fire with fire (or in the case guns with guns), there has to be a different solution.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for the second amendment. I am all for protecting yourself and your family. But there is a fine line between protecting my family and protecting children who are not even mine. Now listen, I would do anything for any student of mine that walked through my door. I would do anything for the 23 little kiddos sitting and working as I type this. But what I will not do is betray their trust by bringing the very thing that they should be afraid of (a gun) into my classroom. Especially the school that I teach in, I can guarantee that 90% of my students have never seen a gun (except in movies) and if one of my littles came up and gave me a hug and asked what was on my hip or what was in my back or whatever the case may be that when I would have to respond and explain that it was a gun…they would be terrified.

I believe that this picture (that has also been floating around on Instagram) sums it up perfectly…

 

teacher jugglingYou want me to be all of these things…a tutor, a social worker, a nurse, a therapist, a part-time parent, a friend, tech support….the list goes on and on…and on top of all of this now you want to hand me a gun and be a police officer too? I’m sorry but I did not sign up for that. I signed up to be a teacher, to mold young minds into the leaders of tomorrow. I would protect these children with my life, I would stand in front of each and every one of them no questions asked if danger came their way, but I will not bring violence into my classroom. I just can’t. I’m not going to lie when this shooting first took place, I honestly said to my boyfriend “I’m getting my CC and when they change the laws I’m carrying it to school”…and then I played that video all the way through in my head and the amount of awful things that could have happened…that probably would happen, immediately changed my perspective.

I also believe that this hashtag and this movement, have forced us not to forget what happened that terrible day in Florida. I know that our lives get busy and sometimes it’s easy to get back into a routine and forget about something that didn’t directly impact us, but I’m not sure about everyone else but I cannot shake this one. Not only do I continuously see things on Instagram and Facebook or on the news but I am seeing people purposefully put things out there. Purposefully having the tough conversations that no one wants to have, and I love that. Do I wish it would have happened sooner? you bet I do.

The violence in our world today (in general not just in schools) is over the top. People shouldn’t be afraid to go to work, or to school or even to the store for that matter. It just saddens me that our society has come to this. It saddens me that school shootings have become the “norm” and that we have become so easily trained to not care about things like this…or to care for a moment and then let it go so easily. Then when the pain just starts to fade away (for those that were not directly impacted by the tragedy), another one occurs and we’re back to the beginning of the cycle. That’s all this is, a cycle. School shooting…outrage….talk of trying to make a change…nothing happens…things die down…everyone (except that community) goes back to their every day lives…times slowly passes…back to square one. I am so sick of being back at square one. I am so glad that we have decided that enough is enough. That there will (hopefully) be no more mass school shootings.

If you are a teacher, or know a teacher, please share this with them. I also encourage you to use the template for the #ARMMEWITH movement and please, submit it somewhere on social media. Speak up, speak out, let your voice be heard.

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Enough Is Enough.

Happy Monday Friends. I had a different post planned for today but in light of recent events, I had to make a change in my posting schedule and get this off my chest and just share with you some things that you can do.

 

In case you didn’t already know, on Wednesday afternoon as most of us were winding down from a fun filled day of Valentine’s Day celebrations, nothing but love and kindness (or if you’re like me and you work in a private Catholic school you probably celebrated the day before and had been at Church that morning as Wednesday was also Ash Wednesday); students, teachers and staff were fighting for their lives in a mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

17 people woke up Wednesday morning, got dressed, ate their breakfast, maybe drank some coffee. 17 people went about their morning routine, went to school/work. Parents dropped off their kids. Teachers and staff said goodbye and I love you to their loved ones at home. Not knowing that they could potentially not make it home that night. 17 people didn’t make it home that night. 17 families lost a loved one. A whole community has been changed forever. A whole school has been completely shaken, terrified. They will never forget the things that they had to do, the things that they heard, the things that they saw. Their lives have been changed and they will never be the same. Why? Because a teenager was able to have access to an Automatic Rifle (an AR-15 to be exact) and was able to take it to the school and open fire on them, after pulling the fire alarm in order to attract more people into the hallways so that he could intentionally kill more.

If you’ve been keeping up with the news then this is nothing new to you. Sadly, this is nothing new to any of us. School shootings have unfortunately become too common in today’s world, and in order to change that WE need to stand up and make changes. We need to use our voices, otherwise things are never going to change. More teachers and more students are going to become victims of an awful tragedy, and I don’t know about any of you but as an educator….I prefer not to have to go through that. I don’t want to have to shield my students from bullets. I don’t want to have to worry if my colleague down the hall has all of his/her students safe.

Every time I hear about this on the news (which is all too often anymore), I think to myself “What would I do in this situation?”. But see the problem with that question is…on any given day I could be in a different classroom. I teach computer two days a week, the other days I’m usually in one or two rooms…but sometimes I get asked to sub, which means I’m in a different room. Luckily for me I know the school I work in like the back of my hand, because I went there. But that means that I have to have several different plans in my head. Which is fine…but the thing about it is, I shouldn’t have to. No teacher should have to think “what can I do to keep my kids safe?” or “what can I use to hold my door shut while I get my kids out or hidden?”. But the reality of it is…right now we do. We have to take active shooter trainings. We have to do all of these things because our government wants to make it easy for anyone to have access to a gun.

Now don’t get my wrong, I am all for the second amendment. I do not mind someone having their CC. I do not mind people owning guns to hunt. But there should be stricter rules and laws with this. More training, more knowledge, more background checks, your mental stability should be checked every so many months. I am not saying that every school shooting is directly associated with mental instability but often times those are the words we hear. Could it be part of it? Yes. But the main problem is that it was easy for that person (mentally stable or not) to access a gun. THAT is where change needs to be made.

I could honestly go on and on, as I’m sure many of you could too. As educators, parents and just citizens of this country no one wants to hear that a school filled with innocent children is in any sort of danger. Let alone the danger of an active shooter.

What I don’t understand in particular about this school shooting is that there were signs. The FBI was notified that this shooter had made a comment on a YouTube video saying that he was “going to become a professional school shooter”. Now it has been said that the FBI tried to trace the comment back to a source and couldn’t. Fine. But his user name was literally his name…Nikolas Cruz. His Instagram…was FILLED with guns and other things that should have been noted as questionable and should have raised awareness which could have potentially made this less deadly. Now before the comments are flooded with attacks I know you cannot predict when things like this are going to happen. But you can have better precautionary measures in place. The school did have police officers on sight…but 17 innocent people still died…people are still in the hospital, some still in critical condition.

There are some things that we can do in order to prepare in the unlikely event that an incident does occur. We can talk to our kids and our students about violence, we can teach the all of the procedures and the things that they are supposed to do. But most of all we can pray to God that in that moment (if it ever happens) that we act accordingly, because you never know how you are really going to act. For most of us, adrenaline will kick in, we will go into full protection mode, all while on the inside feeling nothing but panic and wanting to cry and scream. But we’re staying strong for our students.

Unfortunately we have normalized gun killings to the point that we must reassure the world that if and when (although I was told in our active shooter training this summer that it is not a matter of if it’s a matter of when) an active shooter comes into a school that we have plans in place to keep those inside safe. That to me is sad. But if you think about it…most school shootings are by someone who knows the school so if they know the school that means they probably know the protocol for lockdowns…which does the school no good.

I read a post on Facebook called A letter from a furious teacher (click to go to the article) and I couldn’t agree more with some of the things that she said.

“No where in my contract does it state that if the need arises, I have to shield students from fun-fire with my own body. If it did, I wouldn’t have signed it. I love my job, I love my students.”

She goes on to talk about how she herself is a mother and a wife. Though I am neither of those things right now…I would like to be someday. But right now I am a daughter and a girlfriend…and I still worry about the same things she stressed. Going home safe to my family. But also making sure my kiddos would get home to theirs.

“I chose to be a teacher knowing that on most days I would not be able to use the bathroom until 4 pm. I chose teaching knowing that I would be grading papers all weekend and working far beyond the hours of my contract. I chose to teach even though it meant that I would miss every awards assembly and field trip that my daughters asked my to attend. I even signed up to sit in a counselor’s office with a teenager on my lap, holding her as she sobbed through an anxiety attack. I signed up to as a child if they were considering committing suicide and then relaying this terrifying information to a parent. It seems like a lot to agree to, but I truly knew what I was getting into.”

Nowhere in our contracts does it ask us to shield our students as our classrooms and schools are sprayed with bullets from an AR-15 or any other weapon for that matter. However she made a good point when she said…

“At the end of my teaching contract, it says that I will perform ‘any other duties to be assigned’. I do not interpret these words as ‘bleeding to death on the floor of my classroom’.”

Honestly, no teacher would…no teacher should. But I can tell you that if it came down to it we would all be that teacher that was deemed a hero because we risked our life and ultimately lost it because someone tried to hurt our students. However, I am with the surviving students of that High School in Parkland, Florida. I am 100% done with the school shootings. I want this to be the last one (though I don’t think this one should have ever happened…2none of them should have ever happened).

So I have list of things that you can do to help. Ways that you can help us as educators take action.

 

1. Register to vote

This is probably the most important thing. If you are not registered to vote and you can register, please do so ASAP. I don’t care if you never vote for a president or anything else, but in order to make a change on election day we need your vote. So please register to vote and encourage others that you know are not registered to vote to do the same.

 

2. Text “ACT” to 644-33

What this does is shows that you are interested in joining the fight against gun violence. It will prompt you to then reply with your Zip Code and you will then be given a website which will show you events in your area that you can attend.

 

3. Download the 5 Calls App

This will give you the numbers to contact your local government officials. What you then do is call and talk to them or leave a message. If you are nervous about talking to them (I know I would be) then what you can do is read directly from the script that they give you. It takes about 1 minute per call, 5 minutes of your day. Please do this.

 

4. Text “RESIST” to 504-09

This allows you to turn your text message into a letter to your representative. Honestly this takes 2 minutes of your time. Not sure what to say? Just speak from your heart or do a little research and I’m sure you can find the right words.

 

5. Teach and Show Kindness and Love.

This is probably the most important one. As educators each and every day we do our best to show our kiddos that we love and support them. We do our best to teach them to be kind to their classmates and to be kind to other in general. But I am not going to lie, there are some days where I myself snap. There are days where I think to myself that a certain kid (or multiple kids) are getting on my nerves. But what I am going to try to do more and be better at is taking a step back. I do not know 100% what these kids home lives are like. I might have an idea. I might hear rumors about it. But I am not there. Even if they have a good home life they might have had a rough morning…we have all been there. It is not fair to me to lash out at them without knowing.

This quote resonates with me now more than ever…

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As educators I think that we need to remember this now more than ever. The students that we see as behavior problems are the ones that are really crying out for help. The little one that yelled at you because you asked him to sit down…might not have had breakfast that morning. The eighth grader that is giving you lip because you asked him to tuck in his shirt, might have gotten yelled at for not getting his little siblings ready for school on time. Our students these days have more responsibilities than we did as kids and I think that we sometimes forget that. So when we add more to their plate than they already have and we lash out at them…we wonder why we get lashed out at as well. Or we wonder why they zone out and don’t listen.

Sometimes what we need to do is sit back and think before we act. If we can show our kiddos kindness and love even when they aren’t showing it to us, then I bet that we can work to make the world a better place.

 

Do you know of other ways that I didn’t mention above that people can help end the violence? Please let me know in the comments below so that I can share it with other people. Enough Is Enough. I’m ready for change and I know that other people are too.

 

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Oops I Did it Again….

Now I know you’re probably thinking “didn’t you JUST completely re-do your room over the summer” and the answer to that is yes, yes I did. BUT hear me out! The way I arranged the room gives me (and my kiddos) more space to move around and I added new decorations too! So I thought that I would share that with all of you!

 

Before you see the new photos here’s a look at what it looked like before. Actually you know what, I lied, let’s take it ALL the way back and look at what it looked like at the end of last year!

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This is what I was working with all of last year. Honestly I wish I had a picture of what it looked like before I set the tables up this way. They were all around the room so some of them were facing the walls and then some of them were in the center of the room in rows. It just drove me insane! So I set them up like this, and though it was better my desk was at the front of the room and I couldn’t see what the kids were doing and honestly it was a pain in the neck to walk through the room and I felt like I had no freedom to make it my own. So for the year I worked with what I had and I did some planning and at the end of the year asked home and school if they would help me out and buy me some tables….

Well….I got them!

classroom

I absolutely love them and I am so grateful to the home and school board for making this room look amazing and giving out students the opportunity to learn in an up-to-date environment! But let me tell you, it took my dad and I almost a whole day to get this setup like this because I couldn’t figure out how to fit all of these tables (36 computers, 4 computers per table, 1 very small classroom…in case you can’t tell I’m in one half…yes I said one half, of a modular but we make it work!)

So after a few months I started to realize that there wasn’t a lot of room still and that I could be utilizing the space better than I was. So we had a teacher work day recently and I decided that it was time to move things around yet again, and let me tell you it is even better than the picture you see above!

 

classroom updated

I mean seriously look at how open that makes the room! Really all I did was take apart the groups of tables (except 2 of them) and placed single half tables up against the wall around the room in 5 different spots, then in the center of the room is where I placed the two groups of tables.

I love this setup so much and I don’t think that I will be changing it for a while. However, I did add a few things to my room that I am loving and so excited that I finally got to get them up! My goal was to have them done sooner but…life happens, right?

headphones

Okay this first station is only partly new. Each year my school is given a donation from our local Kiwanis Club and this year my principal asked me if there was anything that we needed for the computer lab. Honestly at first I almost said no, but then he mentioned headphones (in this case ear buds) for each of our students. Now granted last year we did purchase a new set of headphones and though they are nice (I still have them for testing and for my kinders and preschoolers), some of them were falling apart and some of them stopped working all together. So of course I said yes and I am so glad that I did! (I think I’m going to do another post later on about how I organized the headphones and the labels that I made for all of my buckets so stay tuned for that!)

The sign on the top shelf says “Live Love Laugh” my mom made it for me! It’s an apple chalk board piece (we used these for my college graduation party as center pieces). The one on the second shelf says “Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder” and I got it from Target in the dollar spot (I believe it was $3).

Okay moving on because I could really ramble about all of this!

QOD

Please ignore the “Christmas Tree”…in my defense I took off all of the Christmas decorations and since it has snow on it I thought that it would be a cute winter decoration and there’s still snow on the ground so….don’t judge okay? Also, don’t pay attention to the messy first shelf…I’m still working on cleaning things out and organizing. (Of course by the time I do that I’ll probably be out of here and in my own classroom…in case you didn’t know my degree is AYA 7-12 Life Science). But that’s besides the point! The letter board is of course from Target…(I believe this was also $3…someone please correct me if I’m wrong!). Anyways, I love it so much and have been using it as a way to display a “Quote of the Week”…if you follow my on Instagram (if you’re not…what are you doing with your life??) you know I love my quotes! And the Scentsy warmer was a gift from a friend for graduation (can you tell that I love the “Live Love Laugh” quote? I told you I love my quotes!).

Moving right along!

 

 

calendar-organization.jpgThis area used to be just my “catch all” and my paper storage for the printer, but since I recently moved my printer away from this (though my printer paper is still on it…I just haven’t moved it yet) I decided that I would use it for something else. Now these bins used to be used to hold the giant headphones that all of the students used. I had 36 bins, one bin for each computer. However, since we received the new earbuds I had all of these left over bins. I knew that I had wanted to better organize my calendar stuff because it was all in one box and honestly it was a hot mess and I hated it. I was planning on purchasing a hanging organizer or something like that for it, but then I saw all of these bins laying around and thought to myself that I could definitely use them for my calendar pieces! (Again I will be doing another blog post on how I organized these and how I created the labels that you see on the front and maybe what is in each bin…though some bins are more full than others…I’m still working on that!).

CalendarSorry for the glare! I tried to fix it and though I feel I’m pretty savvy with technology…editing photos is not one of my strong points. To be completely honest I’m not 100% sure why I’m including this because I just got some major inspiration from a teacher on IG…and of course now I can’t find it and can’t give her credit…so angry at myself for not writing it down! When I find it I PROMISE I will edit this post and let y’all know who it is! (Again all of the information about my calendar will be included in another post so please keep an eye out!)

Now it’s time for my FAVORITE addition to my room!

The Tech Word Wall!!!! Eeek!

Word Wall

All of the words and the “ABC” letters came from a bundle on TpT from Brittany Washburn (if you’re not following her….what are you doing?…click her name and it will take you directly to her TpT store and the product that I used). I am a huge fan of Brittany and love all of her stuff! When I found her by accident a few years ago (as I was stressing out because technology is not what I went to school for…my degree is in science…) I was so thankful because she gave me some great insight and ideas on what to do with my kiddos! Oh and she has helped me make my room more engaging! Now granted it is February and I’m just getting this up…but better late than never right??? I love it and I know once the kiddos see it done they will love it too!

 

Well friends, that is my classroom update! I will try not to do another one of these for a while! It takes a lot to move all that stuff around! (A huge shoutout to my dad for helping me…again…I’m so glad he retired!!) What do you think? I know it’s difficult to see in pictures but let me know in the comments below!

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A Week of Outfits

Hey friends!!

So today I thought that I would do something a little different and do a week of teacher outfits!

Monday:

The top and bottoms for this outfit are both from Kohl’s. I got them last spring so I’m not so sure that you can still find them.

Boots are from Zulily (if you’ve never shopped zulily you should it’s amazing!)

Tuesday:

Black pants are leather in the front and regular pant material in the back. I believe they are from Target. The sweater is honestly so old I don’t remember where I got it. And the White top was a Christmas gift. I wore this with the black flats which are from Target.

Wednesday:

One of my favorites! A shift dress (with pockets!) Both the dress and boots are from Zulily.

Thursday:

I told y’all this was one of my favorite outfits. I bought it in purple too! Same shift dress just a different color and same black boots!

Friday:

Usually on Fridays I wear jeans and a T-shirt or a nice shirt depending on what we have going on. And of course I have seemed to have lost my Friday OOTD pictures. So my apologies!

What do your outfits look like throughout the week? I would love to know!!

Teacher Memes

Friends! We all know that we deserve a good laugh every once in a while right?!? Well I compiled some of my favorite teacher memes and thought that I would share them with all of you! Happy Monday!

 

 

coffee

I mean this doesn’t exist but I think it should…anyone else??? Especially on a Monday morning!

 

you is teacher

I mean….true. Just a week or so ago I spent $40 alone just in the Dollar Spot at Target…the DOLLAR spot! That’s crazy! But the Dollar Spot is irresistible….am I right?

 

 

Winter BreakThis was also me last week after having Monday off for MLK Day and then having a snow day Tuesday and Wednesday and then working Thursday and then a Teacher Work Day on Friday….I mean…what day is it? What time is it? Where am I? hahah

 

Why

I mean this really couldn’t be more accurate. I think they find it enjoyable to test us like this.

 

summer break

Well I mean it is nice to have summers off….but we really don’t get summers off. With professional development and worrying and planning for the following school year. If you have kids of your own…add that into the mix and you definitely don’t get a summer break!

 

Stay in your seat

Oh my best friend just got up to get a tissue…I suddenly also need a tissue! Susie needs a tissue, Jimmy needs a tissue….NO! It’s not a party at the tissue box or the trash can!

 

Sick Kids

Or the kid that said they puked before they got to school yet mom and dad insist that he/she is fine. NO! You are infecting me and my entire room and the rest of the school. Please stay home! I love you and I want you to learn but I do not want to nor can I afford to be ill!

 

Seating Chart

I mean really does this even need an explanation? No it doesn’t. We’ve all been there.

 

Mental Break down

Or throw a kid out the window….or accidentally cuss. Just breathe and count to 10…or 100. Whichever helps.

 

Line leader

This one is one of my favorites. Especially with the little ones because there’s always that one kid that just needs to be first or it’s the end of the world!

 

Giving Directions

My favorite line when this happens, “Please pay attention next time, and ask a friend/neighbor that was listening” they love when I say that! (Please note the sarcasm!)

 

Cold

This is how I feel when one student gets sick…one gets it, we’re all getting it. That’s when the airborne and the Lysol come out hard! No sickness for me!

 

Bleeding Dying

This is my favorite line. I mean seriously sometimes I feel like I have the whole class at my desk or at my hip for the smallest thing! Billy looked at me funny. Susie is playing with her crayon box. JUST SIT DOWN! Unless you or your neighbor is on fire, bleeding or dying please sit so I can teach! Sometimes I humor them and let them tell me whatever it is, but sometimes I just can’t!

 

Bathroom

Yeah no. Not happening. You only want to go because your friend did I’m sure.

 

Assembly

Or for those of us who teach at a Catholic School….church. I hate when I can’t get a kids attention and I have to climb through rows of kids like a crazy person to get them to knock it off when they know better!

 

Well friends I hope that these gave you a laugh on this Monday! I hope you have an amazing week!

What is your favorite teacher meme?? Drop it in the comments below!

 

**Also please note I got these off of Pinterest and do not know who the original owners are but none of these are my photos and I not taking credit for them**

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Organizing & Planning a Field Trip!

Teacher friends we all know the stress of planning and organizing your first field trip!

I did mine last year and I can honestly say that without the amazing help of the first grade teacher that I work with I would have been absolutely lost and forgotten about 100 things!

So I’ve come up with some tips and tricks on how to cut the stress for planning your first field trip!

 

 

1. Make A List

To Do List(1)

Okay now that we have our “To-do” list, let me tell you a little bit about why I put each item on my list.

1.Pick Several Destinations

This is on my list because you never know if the place you have in mind might be booked. Also if you’re taking multiple classes it’s good to rotate your field trips. That’s what we’re doing. Last year we went to a place called The Works and then this year we are going to The Ohio Historical Center, next year back to The Works. See what I mean? Since we take two classes no class will attend the same field trip twice.

2.Do Research on the Destinations

When trying to decide on a destination for your field trip it’s important to do your research. Do they have special offers for field trips? What are their hours? How far away is it from the school? Is there a place for you to each lunch? Do you need to pack a lunch? (The answer for that one at least for us is always yes it’s just easier that way!) How much is it going to cost? (so you can figure the cost per student) Are teachers free? What about chaperones?

See what I mean? It’s insane! There are so many little things that you don’t always think about! I know when I planned my first field trip (last year!) I didn’t think of half of these things! I’m glad I had some help!

3.Pick Several Dates

Granted most of the places you’re going to take your students will already suggest this but it helps to do it ahead of time.

4. Coordinate Transportation

This is one of the most important parts! I believe I did this backwards when I planned our field trip. Coordinate the transportation FIRST. Get ahold of the bus company (if that’s what you’re going to use as transportation) and make sure that they have the date that you want (or any of the possible dates that you might want) available. It doesn’t hurt to do it after you’ve talked with the places you want to visit but it might make your life easier to do it before just so you know that a bus will be available the date that you want to take your field trip.

5. Fill Out Permission Slip

Of course you already know that you need to do this and why you need to do this so we’re just going to move it right along!

6. Create Student Groups

I like to do this ahead of time so that I have plenty of time to move students around if I need to. Especially if a parents ends up deciding to chaperone or what not I’m not frantically trying to figure out groups right before we go on the trip. I like to do it as I’m planning. It just makes it easier in my opinion.

7. List of Possible Chaperones

For me this is super important because Since I work at a private Catholic school parents have to go through certain steps in order to be a chaperone or to help out with the students. If they don’t have certain things and meet the requirements then they cannot go on field trips with us, so the office is super helpful about getting us a list of those parents that are able to chaperone. This gives me an idea of how many students I can put in each group and gives me a chance to make sure we can get enough chaperones as well.

8. Decide on Lunch and Attire

For us we always have our kiddos pack a lunch but sometimes we let them dress down. Most of the time we just have them wear their uniforms just because it’s easier to keep track of students and they have a gym uniform they can wear that’s still comfortable.

 

BONUS TIP!

The first grade teacher that I work with and I were talking and we decided that it would be a neat idea if we stuck with two different field trip destinations and flipped them each year. So last year was our first year doing this, we went to The Works and we took the first and second grade class. So in order for the second grade class to get a different field trip that’s why we decided to do a rotation. This year we are going to The Ohio Historical Society. For me, I have to be organized and I like to have everything ready to go so I created a “Field Trip Organizer” and printed it out and placed it into a binder. (If you click the link you can see the PDF of what I did). I literally just made it in PowerPoint and added some cute clip art to make it festive!

 

What are your tips and tricks for planning and organizing field trips successfully? Let me know in the comments below! I would love to know!

 

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