Welcome to my blog:) Since I am so far away from my friends and family, I want to keep you updated on the fun and trials of my new job. Thank you to everyone for your support, encouragement, and the tips/ideas you may offer!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

So much to do, so little time

This post is dedicated to my brother....Love you Keaton...apparently he is getting bored without hearing about his sister's life...P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY:)

It's a little late, but here is my Thanksgiving bulletin board.  During group one day, students cut out pictures of things they were thankful for, and then they categorized them under people, places, and things.

It has been a hectic 3 months.  I have already taken 6 sub days in order to complete my middle school special ed referals.  I enjoy going to the middle school to meet the teachers there, get new teaching ideas, see a new setting, and work with older students.  However, it is a lot of work to write sub plans!

I spent about 2 hours writing my first sub plan and at least an hour on every other one since.  So far I have spent 7 hours (or a full days work) just writing sub plans!  The benefit:  my substitutes love me!!!  I have great detail, multiple activities (to prevent my kids from getting bored), and yes, I'm bragging about my sub plans.

I am up to 8 students in my tiny classroom now!  I had to split my group social skills group in half, so I only have 4 kids at a time.  My room can't handle all 8 kids at a time, and to be honest, I'm not sure I could either.  On Wednesday I had my first group since I split the students in half.  It was so nice to work with such a small group.  I was able to talk more with each student, and I enjoyed it much more.  Instead of constantly telling all the students at once to be quiet, raise your hand, etc.  Also, I have to rearrange my classroom.  I'm getting bored of it, and when I have 3 or 4 kids in my room there it too much commotion.  All my tables are on the same part of my room.  Since my room is so small, I'm not sure how I will change things, but I must!  I only have outlets on one side of my room, so that makes things much more difficult.  If you are great at fung shui or just arranging classrooms let me know:-D

Also, if you have any great ideas to get one of my students to stop miss behaving let me know.  He tried wetting his pants to get sent home (after 3 times we realized it was a game, and he can't go home any more).  Then he hit me to try to get sent home (that didn't work).  Now he is on to puking to get sent home.

Despite being super busy and a little overwhelmed (which I hear is very normal even for experienced teachers) I'm loving my job:)


Monday, October 25, 2010

almost 2/9ths of the way through the school year....

I have been a "real" teacher for nearly 2 months!  It is crazy to think that just 3 months ago I was still jobless and frantically searching and praying that I would find a job that would utilize my teaching degree.  I can't help but think, "It wasn't that long ago that I would spend 8 hours a day searching websites for available teaching positions, applying online, updating my resume, critiquing cover letters, and majorly stressing that I would have to wait another 12 months before getting a teaching job.  I know Thanksgiving isn't for another month, but I'm truly thankful for my job!!!

Well, here I am living in a town I had never heard of, until the day I came to interview for my job.  I'm finally making friends, hanging out with people outside of school, etc.  My apartment is becoming more and more like home.  I can honestly say I'm loving life up north:)

As far as teaching is concerned in the last 2 months....
- I have evaluated 1 student for special education
- I have planned my first sub plans (the day did not end tragically, bonus?)
- 1 of my students has wet their pants
- I have rearranged my room 3 times (my room is approximately the size of 4 of my closets mind you, and it has no windows)
- I have completed 2 IEPs
- I have been on 1 zoo field trip
- I have 1 school hoodie
- I have survived 2 fire drills
- We have had parent teacher conferences
- I have placed numerous orders to buy crafts and relaxation tools for my students
- There has yet to be a day that goes exactly as planned

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Are you pregnant?

I have been asked, "Are you pregnant?" more times in the last 8 months than I could have ever anticipated. Between my high schoolers in Racine who thought everyone was pregnant and my elementary students, they just don't understand social norms.  Well, yesterday I had my funniest "are you pregnant" moment.  I was working with one of my second graders when he looks at me and says...
Student - Are you pregnant?
Me - No
Student - Are you married?
Me - No
Student - Maybe you could marry me when I get older?
Oh did I have to hold in the laughter:)

Yesterday, I also found out I will be getting another student.  So I will be up to seven students.  I think I'm finally getting my schedule worked out.  It is very exciting to be able to anticipate where I'll be throughout the day and to actually be helping my students!  Starting soon, I'll also be testing the middle school kids who are being referred to the emotional behavior disorders program.  So I'm definitely keeping busy, but I'm loving my job so far:-D

Tomorrow we have an all school field trip to the zoo.  It should be a lot of fun.  I hope the weather holds out!!!!  Everyone at work knows how much of a freeze baby I am.  I will be bundled up!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Good Start

Things are going well so far.  Today was busy, I met with my mentor, and I had a special education tutorial on using the computer software for writing IEPs.  I am starting to get a schedule together for myself, my students, and my paraprofessional.

If any of you know Bass, I'm working to incorporate SAFMEDs into one of my student's daily routines.  I'm hoping to increase her fluency and frequency with addition.  I purchased a timer to use.  I separated all my addition flash cards into 0s, 1s, 2s, etc.  We will begin training for 10 minutes a day tomorrow.  I'm very excited to try this, and I hope it helps!  Bass would probably be jumping up and down with joy!

For the most part, I believe my students are starting to get used to me, and I'm definitely getting used to them.  I'm enjoying all of them, and I can't wait to watch them succeed:)

Upcoming events ....
* 1st monthly staff meeting
* Book study on the Daily 5 and Cafe reading programs
* Love and Logic workshop
* PDP Training

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Today was the first day of school!  It went well.  I was introduced at the assemblies (I didn't trip over anything while being introduced:).

* I finished reading every IEP
* I had lunch in the teachers' lounge
* I visited the classrooms of my students
* I sang Happy Birthday to one of my students in Spanish.  It wasn't anyone's birthday.  No one spoke Spanish.  AND he didn't beg me to stop singing!!!!  It actually got him to work faster.  If he quit working I quit singing.  If he started working, I started singing.  It worked pretty well.  I doubt it will work tomorrow;)  Still my favorite moment of the day!
* I also had a student "get the wiggles out" after completing every math problem.  I think he probably got more of a kick out of watching me wiggle and jump up and down.

* Recess duty
* Write note to parents
* Prepare for the unexpected:)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Eve of the First Day of School

Tomorrow is the first day of school!  My classroom is set.  Bulletin board done and books on shelves.  Still a lot I wish was done...I wish I had read ALL the IEPs, I wish I'd written a letter to all the parents (but the printer wasn't working), I wish I'd written a letter to all the teachers who have a student of mine, I wish I knew my schedule.  Despite all these unknowns, the first day of school is upon me, and I'm sure it will go just fine.

Here is my bulletin board.

Good luck to all the teachers on their first day!

Here are some more pics from my classroom.

Monday, August 23, 2010

First Day of Work

Today was my first inservice day.  We learned all about our e-mail system, we talked about union stuff, and I got to meet some new people.  The best part of my day...I emptied out all the stuff from the classroom that isn't mine, and I started filling the book cases with books and games and everything!!!

Tomorrow's To-Do List
-Finish putting books on the shelves
-Rearrange furniture
-Take pictures of my classroom to post on here

Saturday, August 21, 2010

New Job

I am starting this blog to keep everyone up to date on what is going on in my teaching world this year.  As you may know, I accepted an elementary kindergarten-5th grade special education emotional behavioral disorders teaching position.

On Thursday the 19th I saw my school for the first time.  It is an old school, probably over 100 years old.  The architecture is very unique.  The 1st grade classroom is HUGE and it has a fire place with a loft built in to it.  It is a two story school, with an elevator, a fall out shelter, and there is also a new addition to the school.  I also was able to see my classroom.  It is sort of small, but it has a lot of built in shelving for storage.  There is also a staircase in my room that leads to the attic of the school.

Monday and Tuesday I have my first year teacher inservice.  Then Wednesday and Thursday are all staff prep days.  Wednesday is also open house, for the students to come check out their new teacher and classroom.  I have a lot of work to do by then...decorating, organizing, meeting the other staff and teachers I will be co-teaching with, and learning about my students.

I am very excited and nervous for my first day; however, everything should go well:-D