Saturday, October 31, 2009

176/365 - Halloween

Tonight a bunch of teachers hung out and had a costume party. It was a blast and I loved hanging out with people outside of school! I love my staff and the friendships I've made so far this year!

Stephanie's house - Raeford, NC

Friday, October 30, 2009

175/365 - Triple Trouble

Today was a mandatory work day at school, allowing us to have time without students to get report cards done and just have a day to get organized. I was obviously productive.

Rockfish Hoke Elementary School - Raeford, NC

Thursday, October 29, 2009

174/365 - Prayers

Today was a very reflective day for me. I was talking with my sister on the phone about a friend we both went to elementary and high school with who had been in a really bad car accident back in June. She suffered severe head trauma and is still recovering. There was a marathon in Grand Rapids and a ton of people from school and others who know her or the family were involved and I was looking through pictures and it just got me thinking.

There are so many things to be thankful for in this life. I believe each of us has a gift that we were given to share with others. It may be a talent such as writing or playing music. Maybe it's making others feel good about themselves. Maybe it's the gift of a smile or empathy. No matter the gift, I think it's important to share our gifts with others. Now I wouldn't exactly consider myself the most religious person I know, but I have discovered what my gift is and I try to share it with others every day. Life is too short to be anything but happy and we need to look to each other for sunshine to brighten our days. We also need to take the sunshine we have been given and share it with others. I try to do this every day. You never know what huge impact a little smile can do...

I love you. Pass it on.

Fayetteville, NC

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

173/365 - NEW CAMERA!

I got my new camera today! It's a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XSi and I am so excited!!! I used my signing bonus to pay for it. I love it so far. There is this gorgeous tree out in the parking lot and it was the first thing I look a picture of. I hope to take many beautiful pictures with this camera and I hope it will help me obtain a career in photography. I'm posting two pictures. One from the morning when we were doing pumpkin math (taken with the old camera) and one from the afternoon when I had my new camera! Yessssss!

Rockfish Hoke Elementary School - Raeford, NC

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

172/365 - Candy Math

Today we used M&Ms to practice estimating. It was fun and the kids loved it!!

Rockfish Hoke Elementary School - Raeford, NC

Monday, October 26, 2009

171/365 - Nightmare

Today was my first observation. It was also wear pajamas to school day because "Drugs Make You Lazy." We are doing Red Ribbon Week for drug awareness and it was cool seeing everyone in PJs. However, for my observation, my class was absolutely ridiculous. It's the worst they've ever behaved and I was fuming all day. Anyone who even look a glance at me knew something was wrong. I think I handled everything okay but OMG I hope I don't have to deal with that again. I've only had 2 bad days all year and this was one of them. Lovely. At least I got to wear pajamas.

My apartment - Fayetteville, NC

Sunday, October 25, 2009

170/365 - Five Dolla

For $1.00 apiece, these are some of the best relaxation CDs ever. They are great in the classroom and they are wonderful to listen to at home. I love the dollar store.

My apartment - Fayetteville, NC

Saturday, October 24, 2009

169/365 - This is What Productivity Looks Like

The principal opened the building for a few hours today, so of course I went in to get some work done. Three hours later (at 3:00pm) she told us she was going to be going home and locking up the building. I decided to ask if she minded locking me and Sally in to get more work done. We stayed until 11:00pm. Yes, on a Saturday. We ordered pizza and everything. So yeah, I pretty much live at school and this is proof. I got so much done. I got all of my stuff organized and files and I felt really good about myself. I was on such a role that I came home, ran a mile, put in a movie and stayed up until 2:00am grading papers and organizing my data for report cards. I'm awesome, I know. Don't be jealous.

Rockfish Hoke Elementary School - Raeford, NC

Friday, October 23, 2009

168/365 - Dunk Tank!!

Tonight was the Fall Festival at school. They needed volunteers for the Dunk Tank. You better believe I was first to sign up for that! It was so much fun!!! This is the first (and hopefully will be the only) picture that I did not take myself.

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Thursday, October 22, 2009

167/365 - Ms. Clark

We have been working on different types of thinking maps and we decided to do a bubble map to describe me, and a double bubble map to compare Mrs. Shively and myself. I thought it was cute.

Rockfish Hoke Elementary School - Raeford, NC

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

166/365 - Words Cannot Express...

At school we have a bulletin board for the teachers to stick up little positive notes to other staff members. Me being the kind of person who is really into that kind of stuff was the first person to stick notes up. Since then there are probably close to 30 or 40 notes now. At a staff meeting a few weeks ago we were talking about school-wide student incentives and one of the other first grade teachers told our principal that at her old school to encourage students to reach their goal, they said the principal would go up on the roof and do the chicken dance if the students did their part. I happened to be sitting near our principal and told her, "Let's do it! You know I'd totally go right up there and do it with you!" And she responded, "I KNOW you would!"

Later that afternoon I was telling Pam, one of the other first grade teachers, about the story and she thought it was funny. We carry on our conversation and she's working on some stuff when suddenly the chicken dance comes on. She had it on a CD and found it and played it. I told her we should go find Ms. Dowless and plug it in and play the song to see if she says anything. We walked down to the office with the CD player and I decided to check outside and see if she was still there. She was already in her car, so Pam and I decided to run outside in the rain doing the chicken dance and catch her. She thought we were nuts. Now it's this gigantic laughing joke with us.

Every once in a while when I go through the office, I either hum the song or do the motions and it usually gets a chuckle. I've gotten a few other people in on it too and it just makes me laugh. I'm so weird...

This was on the bulletin board today. I can't stop reading it. She's only written notes to a small handful of people and to know that I'm one of them really makes me smile.

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

165/365 - My Babies

Lord, Please help me,
To strengthen their voices,
bodies and minds,
To express their feelings and
control them sometimes,
To explore what's near
and venture afar,
But most important to love
who they are.

One Hundred Years from now
It will not matter
what kind of car I drove,
What kind of house I lived in,
how much money was in my bank account
nor what my clothes looked like.
But the world may be a better place because
I was important in the life of a child.

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Monday, October 19, 2009

164/365 - Halloween is in the Air

One of my students had these gloves on today and I thought they were sweet. Halloween is close! Next week we're doing an autumn unit and it's going to be so fun!

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Sunday, October 18, 2009

163/365 - Euphoria

Laura and I went to see Where The Wild Things Are today. I loved it! I thought they did a really great job turning the book into a movie and giving it more of a story. It seems that people either liked it or hated it, but I enjoyed it. Even if it wasn't based off a book I think it would have been a super cute movie.

Fayetteville, NC

Saturday, October 17, 2009

162/365 - Blazin'

Tonight I went over to Derek's to hang out/grill/play Guitar Hero with some teacher friends. It was a blast and nice to hang out with some new faces! I had a great time. I bought these garlic and mozzarella sausages and we grilled them and they were delish! It was a great night.

Derek's house - Raeford, NC

Friday, October 16, 2009

161/365 - Germies

I'm trying really hard not to get sick and so far I've been golden. I wipe down my 4 tables with a Lysol wipe and every day my wipe comes away filthy. I know most of it is just like pencil lead that rubs off onto the table, but still, it's gross!!

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Thursday, October 15, 2009

160/365 - Let's Talk About Feelings

So at school we got these Second Step kits which are basically for violence prevention. So far in our first grade set we've talked about feelings and how we can tell what others are feeling by being detectives and reading body language. Today I used the mental file folder I made at the first Teacher Academy and turned the morning "feelings" chat into an hour lesson and I loved it. This is a great example of a teachable moment and I have no regrets about cutting time off of other lessons. First graders need to learn that the best way to have a friend is to be one and empathy training is a great way to teach this.

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

159/365 - Little Learners

"It must be remembered that the purpose of education is not to fill the minds of students with facts... it is to teach them to think, if that is possible, and always think for themselves." - Robert Hutchins

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

158/365 - My Second Home

This is my home away from home. I spent on average 12-14 hours a day at school. A day. I love my job though and I don't know why I was so afraid to dive right in. I absolutely am in love with my team. Jodi, Pam, Theresa, Sally, Miranda, and Christen are all phenomenal and I value each and every one of them in their own ways. They have been so supportive and swept me right under their wings. I look forward to seeing them every day among many other staff and students at school.

Teaching certainly is not a six figure job, thought it should be. Check it out. I found this somewhere and messed with the numbers to make it applicable to me.

Let’s put things in perspective and pay us teachers for what we do, baby sit! We can get that for less than minimum wage. That's right. Let's say $3.00 an hour and only the hours we worked, not any of that silly planning time. That would be $19.50 a day (7:00 AM to 3:30 (or so) PM with just .25 min. off for lunch). Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for us teachers to baby-sit their children.

Now do the math. How many do we teach in a class, 20? So that's $19.50 x 20 =$390.00 a day. However, remember we only work 180 days a year!!! They're not going to pay us for any vacations. LET'S SEE... That's $390 x 180= $70,200 per year.

What about those special teachers and the ones with master's degrees? Well, they could just pay them minimum wage, and just to be fair, round it off to $7.00 an hour. That would be $7 x 6 ½ hours x 20 children x180 days = $163,800 per year.

Wait a minute, there's something wrong here! My salary for this year is 30,430/180 days = $169/per day /students = $8.45/6.5 hours = $1.30 per hour per student. A very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even try - with your help - to EDUCATE our kids! WHAT A DEAL... And the parents don't even have to buy pizza!

All in all, I would never trade my job for the world. I don't teach for the money. I could care less. I always said that if I could live off hugs and volunteering I would. I live to see smiles on my students faces or that moment when something finally clicks and they GET IT. I live for teachable moments; moments that aren't planned into a lesson but just happen. I am looking forward to a long career ahead of me.

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Monday, October 12, 2009

157/365 - Monday Funday

Twice a week Mrs. Carter, the P.E. teacher, has an hour long fitness class after school in the gym. There's usually 6-8 of us there and it's fun. I get a really good workout in and it's fun to hang out with other people from school that I don't get to normally interact with. I hope it helps me get in shape. I've got half of the battle down, I just gotta watch what I put in my mouth. That part needs work.

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Sunday, October 11, 2009

156/365 - If Only I Had Time...

There have been a lot of great books coming out by authors I really enjoy. Good thing I have so much time to read for pleasure these days. I can't think of the last time I've been able to read for pleasure. I'm going to try to read a chapter before bed every night. I miss reading.

My apartment - Fayetteville, NC

Saturday, October 10, 2009

155/365 - Ummmm

So today I went to this workshop that I was honestly expecting to get a whole lot more out of than I did. Let's just say I was pretty disappointed and it was a long day. Our friend here was also obviously enjoying his time.

Hoke County High School - Raeford, NC

Friday, October 9, 2009

154/365 - Crisp Fall Leaves

While walking my kids outside for recess today I looked down and saw this beautiful leaf. It made me smile and think that fall is really here. The colors are so pretty. North Carolina falls are definitely going to be a little different from Michigan falls, but I look forward to it anyways. I've been very happy down here thus far! And I hope it continues to be awesome.

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Thursday, October 8, 2009

153/365 - Fire Safety

This afternoon we had a Fire Safety presentation which was really cool. A few firefighters talked to us inside and then we got to see the inside of an ambulance, a fire truck, and we even got to use the hose to "put out a fire." The kids loved it! I love love love this picture!

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

152/365 - Looking Down

I always love looking for pictures to take from different perspectives. So at recess today I was following some of the kids around and looked down and thought this would be a cool picture.

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

151/365 - Success

Today was a great day! I've been struggling with fitting in my centers during my literacy block and I finally got organized and successfully did all four full rotations today with my groups. I was so happy. I put a lot of work into it to try to get something that works and I did it today! I'm getting the hang of this!!!

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Monday, October 5, 2009

150/365 - Organization

If I've learned one thing so far in my new life as a teacher, it's the importance of staying organized. I'm doing a semi-decent job so far, especially when it comes to my students and their work. As far as all of MY stuff, I could do better. I'll just kick myself at the end of the year...

My apartment - Fayetteville, NC

Sunday, October 4, 2009

149/365 - Scentsy

This picture just puts me at ease. It makes me relax. I bought a Scentsy plug in a few weeks ago and it calms me down so much. The scent and the soft glow are all I need at night. I come home and turn it on in my bathroom and when I come in to get ready for bed, it smells good and the lighting is perfect for me to relax and sleep to.

My apartment - Fayetteville, NC

Saturday, October 3, 2009

148/365 - Jam Session

We finally rented Beatles Rock Band and jammed out. Sally came over tonight and I made us dinner and we did some planning for the week and ended the night with a jam session. Now that I'm well over a month into this whole teaching thing, I'm actually starting to feel more comfortable and like I kind of have a clue as to what I am doing. It was nice to sit down and be a part of planning and help create ideas because it helped solidify everything in my mind. I've been sitting in on the planning with the rest of my team, but now that I'm actually putting my two cents in, I feel so much better.

Thank you...

My apartment - Fayetteville, NC

Friday, October 2, 2009

147/365 - Individually Unique, Together Complete

This picture reminds me of an old t-shirt from my sorority time in college. It said, "Individually Unique, Together Complete."

There are so many times in life that we feel we are alone. Sometimes we essentially are, but we are never really alone. There are people who I know I would do absolutely anything for. Some of them I've known for several years. Others a year. Some even a few months. I'm not sure why, but I'm one to form bonds with people kind of on the quick side. I'm not one to hold back how I feel and I'm definitely not one to hesitate to tell someone I love them. I don't know what the whole taboo is with telling someone you love them, but I think we don't hear it enough. I tell people I love them every day. I've also been told I say "thanks" a lot. I'm just really appreciative I guess. I think there are so many little things that go unnoticed every single day and I don't find it an inconvenience to take a few seconds to thank someone.

We are all just a single puzzle piece int he grand scheme of things. Helen Keller once said, "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC

Thursday, October 1, 2009

146/365 - Hard Worker

Rockfish Hoke Elementary - Raeford, NC