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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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

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

Kids Notice EVERYTHING!

Anyone who has ever been around kids has probably realized that they notice everything and they are also very honest with you!

I work with kids every single day so this is no surprise to me. However, sometimes I am still shocked by the things that my kiddos say to me. To be completely honest sometimes the younger the kid, the more interesting the things that they say are and I love all of it!

So about two weeks ago, I was at work, and it was lunch time. So we took the kiddos to lunch and I’m standing there eating my lunch, drinking my water and keeping an eye on the kids, just kind of minding my own business. Then the next thing I know one of our preschoolers is at my feet, and the conversation goes something like this…

Preschooler: Miss Shelby!
Me: Yeah?
Preschooler: Why do you have such big water??
***Side note, I had one of the large 50+ oz bottles of SmartWater with me that day***
Me: Well….I really like water, and it’s good for me and makes me feel good!
Preschooler: Oh…okay….well then I am gonna like more water too!

Conversation over…and she walks away with a huge smile on her face. This goes to show that kids are watching everything we are doing. We as adults need to lead by example. It was honestly the cutest thing. Her face was so serious when she asked me why I had so much water. Of course she’s at that age where she asks “why” to everything but it was still adorable!

Do you have a funny kid story to share?? Leave it in the comments below, I would love to read them!

Xo’s Shelby

 

 

The #1 Reason I Became A Teacher

 

I could sit here and list a lot more than just one reason as to why I became a teacher. But then we would be here all day and nobody wants that!

One of my favorite quotes can sum it all up…

“To teach is to touch a life forever”

I haven’t had that many years of experience, but I can tell you that I have worked with a large number of kiddos that have helped me to realize that I was meant to be a teacher and that working with kiddos is my passion.

Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to be a teacher. I used to put my stuffed animals around a table, give them homework and then grade it. Yes…I just said I gave my stuffed animals homework and graded it! Hey I had to practice on someone right??

To be honest, I enjoy helping people in general but there is something so much more fulfilling about helping a child. The look on their face when they understand a concept or when they get a good grade…the look of pure joy…that is everything. All my fellow teacher friends out there you know exactly what I’m talking about. To all of my readers who are parents, I’m sure you’ve seen this look on your child’s face as well and you know how amazing it is to see them succeed.

Am I trying to tell you that teaching is all rainbows and unicorns? No way! Have there been rough days? Yes, of course. There have been days where I went in the bathroom and cried during my break. In fact there was one point in my first year out of college that I thought to myself…”What am I doing??” and wondered if I had made the right decision. Then one of my kiddos come up to me and give me a big hug and tell me how much they loved having me as a teacher. With each hug one of my kiddos gives me I am reminded why I love what I do and why I chose teaching as my profession. In my eyes the good times will always outweigh the bad times.

To all the first year teachers out there or to all of the college students working towards an education degree, keep going. If this is what makes you happy and this is your passion, don’t let anyone, and I mean anyone, take that away from you.

Xo’s Shelby

 

The Time I Started A Blog…

 

Where do I even begin??

Well I am so excited to be launching my blog! This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a while now but I was afraid that no one would read it or no one would care about the things that I wanted to write about. But guess what, this girl is tired of not doing things because she’s afraid of what people will think!

Think about it, if we all decided that we weren’t going to do something because we were afraid of what other people would think, how many things would you have missed out on in life?? If I thought that way every single time that I wanted to do something, I wouldn’t have gone to college and changed my major 3 times. I wouldn’t have become a fitness instructor. The opportunities that I would’ve missed out on are endless, but I made the choice to take the leap, and now I’m doing the same with this blog.

We’ve established why I’m here…let’s talk about how I got here and let me help you to know me a little better.

For those of you that don’t already know, my name is Shelby. I’m 25 years young. I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio (Go Bucks!), where I still currently live. I grew up going to private Catholic schools my whole life and I loved every minute of it. The memories that were made those 13 years of my life were definitely some of the best.

After graduating high school I attended Ohio Dominican University (Go Panthers!!). When I got accepted into ODU I knew it was the perfect fit for me, it was a small campus that had that feeling of “home” and “family” which reminded me a lot of my high school. I went in as a pre-nursing major, after seeing many family members ill and seeing how some nurses and doctors treat their patients (bedside manner is important guys…), I felt that it was my duty to become a nurse and change the way patients were being treated. Well let me just tell you that didn’t last long. It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle the work load, trust me I love science. I am the type of person that cannot physically, mentally or emotionally separate herself from her work. I get attached to people easily and letting go is never easy for me. Being part of the pre-nursing program we had to have a certain number of volunteer hours at the nursing home on campus. I greatly enjoyed going and visiting with the sisters and brothers; hearing their stories and just chatting. But when you get particularly attached to one sister, as I did, and she passes away…I couldn’t handle it. Cue the first change of my major! I knew that I still wanted to do something in the science field so that was a start. My next option was to work with animals, not a vet or anything like that; I considered working in a zoo. But after about a year I began to realize that this wasn’t my passion. Although working with animals seemed like so much fun, it wasn’t something I saw myself doing for the rest of my life. After several meetings with my guidance counselor and academic advisor (who by the way was a rock star for putting up with me for 5 years…shout out to you Dr. T, I know I was a pain sometimes!), I came to the conclusion that I should’ve come to my first year at ODU. I wanted to be a teacher! A science teacher to be exact. So I changed my major for the third and final time, adding one more year to my time at ODU, which stressed me out a little bit. I wanted to be graduating with the rest of my class. But I took a deep breath and realized that if I wanted to be happy with my career, this was how I had to do it. Adding this extra year gave me the opportunity to not only pursue a degree in a career that I love, but it gave me the opportunity to meet some amazing people that I wouldn’t have otherwise met.

When people tell you that high school is the best and worst 4 years of your life….they’re not wrong…but they’re also not 100% accurate. Don’t get me wrong high school was both amazing and horrible at the same time, but nothing compares to college. The ups and downs that you go through…there’s no preparing for that. The number of all-nighters that I pulled writing a paper or studying for an exam, the number of tears shed when projects didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to, or machines were down when we had to do our Organic Chemistry Unknowns….I still have nightmares about that! I’m kidding, I don’t actually have nightmares about Organic Chemistry but I remember that night and that lab like it happened just yesterday. But I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. Why? Because it got me to where I am today, and I can honestly say that I love where I’m standing.

There is so much more that I could tell you in this post about how college changed me…but I’ll save that for another day!

Xo’s Shelby