Monday, August 29, 2011

Teacher Talk Tuesday and First Day of School!

Yes, I realize it's only Monday :(, but Teacher Talk Monday just doesn't have the same ring to it!

So today was the first day of school and Oh Boy!  I forgot how exhausting the first week with little ones is!!

I think this will be my advice for new teachers:

  • Remember to BREATHE.  
  • Your first day your focus is to keep the kids alive and make sure they go home the right way!
  • You'll be lucky if you get through your rules, let alone ANY curriculum.
  • Be FLEXIBLE.  I can't stress that enough!  I have severe ADD with focus issues, so I require LOTS of pre-planning and lists and organization or I get flustered.  Luckily I have learned to be VERY flexible when it comes to school.  It's taken me a lot of time to get to that go with the flow mentality though, and every year I panic in the last half hour before the students arrive.
I got all of my kids home the correct way.  I only had 1 panic moment where a parent came up to me at the end of the day looking for their child and I had no idea who they were talking about (their child wasn't in my class, I'm not just crazy! )  I remember all of the reasons I LOVE my firsties, especially the time we spent singing!  Love singing!!  Oh and the hugs!  

I have a couple of little ones that are going to be a challenge this year, they were already testing the waters on the first day!  I'm going to have to get that positive contact out of the way QUICK this year!

Overall, a pretty good first day!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

My First Post!

I am so excited to be starting a teaching blog!  I guess the best way to start out is with a getting to know you type blog!!  I'm stealing the getting to know you template from Blog Hoppin and their teacher week, and I might actually steal the rest of their weeks ideas too!!  So this is Getting to Know You Monday!

This is me posing with a Platypus at the Field Museum.  I have to take a photo with it every time we go...if they take it away I will be devastated!   

Tell us a little something about you...
This will be my fourth year teaching!  I spent my first two years teaching first grade in Florida, and then I spent last year teaching fifth grade in Chicago!  Oh my word was that eye opening!  Now I'm back to teaching first grade in the same school district here in Chicago, and I'm super excited!  I LOVE my firsties!  I'm also a total book nerd and LOVE to bake!  I think my love of baking comes from the fact that you have to follow the directions and recipes...I'm not super creative and I'm terrified of most kitchen gadgets, so baking is totally right for me!

How long have you been teaching...
I totally didn't read ahead and answered that already...Guess I should follow directions!

You might not know...
Well since you don't know anything about me yet, I guess I can share anything!  I tend to get obsessed with things!  This summer I went from VistaPrint (and then the good sale ended, so that obsession was over), to Teaching Blogs, and now Pinterest!   I love them!

What are you looking most forward to this school year...
I'm looking forward to being back with Firsties!  I was so miserable last year with fifth graders, they didn't laugh at my jokes, or enjoy my singing!  I'm really excited to get to be creative in the classroom again!  Oh, and getting to teach reading again since I only taught Math last year!

What do you need to improve...
I need to improve my guided reading!  Well, I need to start using it at least!  I'm terrified of relinquishing control in my classroom, so sending kids to centers and then not knowing EXACTLY what they are doing scares the bejesus out of me!  But we had a GREAT Professional Development with an amazing woman named Jill Liapis and she showed us how EASY and AWESOME guided reading can be!  I'm really excited to try it this year!

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without...
There are way too many things I could list here, but lets go with just a top 5:
1. Sharpies!  They are my favorite thing in the world.  I got one of the HUGE packs for Christmas last year and almost cried!
2.  My CD's!  I love to play  music in the classroom and teach the kiddos to sing new educational songs!  My very favorite CD ever is "Here Comes Science" by They Might Be Giants and I'm also very excited to start using the full set of CDs from Have Fun Teaching this year!
3. Post its!  Shapes, Colors, Sizes, love them all!
4. Flair Pens!  They are the perfect pen for grading!  Bright colors and they don't bleed or make a mess!!
5. Diet Coke.  I think that's a teacher thing, we just can't get enough Diet Coke!

Well there you have it!  Hopefully I'll be good about keeping up with this blog and posting new and fun ideas!