Thursday, August 20, 2009

My feet hurt.

I've been setting up my classroom for the past 4 days. I'm REALLY happy about it. I love the set-up, the flow, and the decorations I have up. I have more confidence this year, and I know it's weird, but my attitude this year is "Bring It!" I'm ready.

Today, I spent all day getting it clean and shiny for Open House. It went really well (my class seems awesome) but I haven't sat down in quite a while. Plus, I didn't wear my normal Rainbows, opting for more professional kicks. Thus, my post title. Ouch.

I took lots of pictures of my class, but my computer is currently on the fritz. I'm on Joel's mac (thanks, babe) but I don't know how to put pictures on here.

I need a new book to read...I just finished Twilight, which I'm embarrassed to say I LOVED...any suggestions?

Friday, August 07, 2009


I am not a morning person. I enjoy summer because I have the freedom to wake up at 10, have a muffin and some soy milk (and take 45 minutes to finish my breakfast) and lounge around on the couch until noon. (Don't hate.)

Around 7pm, I get really energized and want to go work out. I might take a 20 minute nap around 9pm, and wake up ready to conquer the (sleeping) world. Joel and I have become fond of walking in our neighborhood around the time most people are turning in for the night, talking about our ideas for our classrooms this year. Currently, I'm in our fabulously neat, clean, and organized guest room (and it only took us a year to fix it up!), working on lesson plans for the year, and listening to Ben Folds. Joel has, of course, planned a whole month in 15 minutes and is making an awesome unit that includes Batman (high school teachers totally have it easier).

I went into my classroom for the first time since I closed the doors in June. I'll have to admit, just driving to school gave me that slight panicky feeling again. But I had to remind myself that my class is different this year, I have a lot more experience, and for goodness sakes, they're only 8 year olds!

I ended up spending a good 4 hours setting up pretty much all of my furniture, organizing all my worksheets from last year (no small feat), and cleaning the incredibly thick layer of grime that accumulated in the past two couple of months. Yuck. But I got all the tedious work out of the way so when I go back in a few days, I'll be able to do the fun stuff-decorating, putting up my bulletin board, and making nametags :)

In other news, Joel and I bought a cabinet for the rest of our china that didn't have a home. It was a steal, and when I came home from working at school, Joel had installed the shelves and
put in all our china! He did such a great job :)
Before (note the broken glass...oops...)

The final product.

Note to Erin: I enjoyed my birthday tea in the beautiful tea cup while working today!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Just some randoms

This is my brother and I at my wedding. Really, I don't have a lot of pictures of my brother and I've rarely written about him, but here he is. He's a great older brother who really looked out for me as a kid. He also gave me the car I have now! I'm so thankful for him, especially because he lives in Fayetteville now, so he's super close to me!

In related news (to the wolfies in the picture) Joel and I bought some State football tickets. Basically, he's pretty excited about football season, and I'm looking forward to a new t-shirt and hot dogs at the games.

School starts up in a couple of weeks. I've got a bigger class than last year, but I'm thankful for some new organizational tools, a year of experience under my belt, and awesome new software that makes engaging lesson planning a bit easier.

I'm trying to have a good attitude about this year. I am more confident, but I'm still nervous about not being the kind of teacher I want to be. Goals for this year include:
-sucking it up and actually having good parent-teacher communication
-staying on top of all the papers that come in
-being more organized in matching my lessons to the curriculum
-being more consistent in discipline
-rewarding students more
-having morning meetings

The last goal is something I saw in classrooms as I was student teaching, but never really worked in my room this year. Being in a magnet school means a lot less instructional time in the classroom, and that makes a 15 minute meeting somewhat of a burden when you have SO many other things to fit in. However, looking back at all my issues this year, I think a lot had to do with a lack of social skills with some students I had. A regular morning meeting to have "devotions" of some sort, going over our routine, and checking in with each student would have been really helpful. I started teaching about bullying behavior and what to do about it late in the year, after my other (not so healthy) routines were established. Last year, that bullying became such a huge problem that it totally interfered with teaching and learning. There were days when we didn't really accomplish much of anything...we were surviving. That was a huge problem...this year I've made a really cool, interactive presentation on bullying to introduce the topic, and I plan on reinforcing these points during morning meetings.

Any other tips for this year? How will you do things differently?