Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Back in the habit...plus an instructional nugget as the school year launches.

I absolutely CANNOT believe it has been almost 2 years to the day since my last post! To be absolutely transparent, the 2014-2015 school year was a highly emotional one. Here's why:

  • Our school had a new principal and our charter was up for reauthorization.
  • I was learning a new grade and helping out 2 teachers new to the school, one new to teaching.
  • I had some health issues that really did a number on my productivity.
  • One of my good friends passed away.
So if that was not enough, I had to go through the proverbial fire and ended up leaving the team to become the Academic Intervention Specialist (AIS) for the 2015-2016 school year.

But only for like a month.

I call it the final great exodus. I expected there to be 3 movements, and there were. That's what happens when a school culture gets rocked to its core. Folks who could not, or would not hang tough resigned and that left a few teaching vacancies...one of which I was asked to fill. I could say more about that, but I won't because it's yesteryear's news.

Well, here we are, 12 months later, and I quasi got my request to be back in the AIS position, except that my title is not AIS, it is At-Risk Teacher. Selah

The bottom line is that I am back to being an out-of-classroom teacher working with Tier 2 intervention small groups and I have a comfy room in the new wing of my school. I am excited about the possibilities and I thought, since I want to get back to documenting my journey, that I would bring you all along for the ride.

My goal is to post 1-2 times per week sharing insights and some every day bits and pieces that will encourage and inspire you as you take a peek through the windows into my classroom.


Now for my first little nugget that I got as I watched this: 

As I grow into my practice as both classroom teacher an instructional coach (on the side), I thought this point towards the end of the video was critical! Dr. Knight stated poignantly that, "If you ignore rapport with professionals, I think you do so at your peril...The best you could hope for if you don't treat a professional like a professional is mediocre compliance...you need impact and relationship." This is definitely a point more for coaches and administrators that pedagogues but it bears keeping in mind.

Well! It's time I got off my butt and headed into the building to collaborate on some room organization work. Thanks for following and sharing...until next time!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Pep Talk for Teachers (and Students) by Kid President

So it's been over a week and I'm happy to say that though I could have come in to my classroom, I chose not to over two days last week. :Pats self on back:

But since yesterday we have been back for Inservice its been an interval of sprints.

As I looked up some information about our new materials, someone shared one video (which I don't have permission to share, but just look up "Here We Go (Let's It Go Parody)" on Youtube) and that led me to this video from Kid President. Now If you don't know who Kid President or Soul Pancake is, please set aside like 20 minutes for some viewing that will literally bless you like a pancake for your soul (granted you enjoy pancakes as much as I do).

This awesome kid has recorded quite a few videos. Subscribe to Soul Pancake and enjoy!

And as always, thanks for peeking in!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teacher Week 2014: Catching up...

Wouldn’t you know I have a Monday Made-It post all drafted and waiting for pictures to be posted? Oh well, there’s always next Monday, God willing.

So I was making rapid-fire progress through my backlog of unread blog post by the wonderful teacher bloggers I follow and I spied on my IG feed that there was a link-up happening this week: Teacher Week 2014!!!

So Who am I exactly? Well, you could click on the tab that says “Who Am I?” So I think I’ll go with the flow and give 10 somewhat-known facts about me:

  1. I absolutely LOVE the color BLUE! And no, my profound appreciation for the color in unrelated to the fact that my Sorority’s colors are blue and white (though that only helped when I was considering organizations, it was not a determining factor). Rather, I suspect that my being repeatedly told that blue looks very good on me whenever I dressed for volleyball/softball games in High School is more likely to have been the hook for me. I also really like blush pink and purple and the blue/kelly green combo is a really good look for me so I wear it often ;)
    Yes, I am wearing Sorority colors and a Sorority pin…it was Founders’ day.
  2. I am a messy perfectionist. I live in perpetual mess but I tend towards knowing where everything is. I am trying to change, really. I think I need professional help.
  3. I am afraid of heights. Need I say more? That did not, however, stop me from climbing a ladder and taking down the things that hung in the heights of my classroom. Now I need said ladder to hang my new alphabet cards, among others.The things we do, right?
  4. I have three siblings, two brothers and a sister. I was the middle child for a good minute until my little brother came along. We call him bighead. I love them all (but don’t tell them I told you that.
    Out to celebrate Liz (my sister’s birthday) a few years back.
  5. I can be a snob when it comes to certain things. Like books, and water. I do NOT appreciate books that have not been cared for, considering I am a bibliophile and am, even as I type, surrounded by books. Don’t imagine stacks, people, I live in a studio so I can’t get crazy. Oh, and I only drink Poland Spring, SmartWater, Fiji Water, or, should there be no alternative, Nestle water (yes, I know that they also make Poland Spring). I don’t have a problem drinking tap when I go out, but if these brands are available, I prefer them, Aquafina has changed something in their processing and when I was desperate I had some that tasted significantly better than it did during my college years, but um, yeah no.
  6. Ores and Haagen Dazs. Guilty pleasure. They are both awful for me though. Insert sad face.
  7. I really, really, really enjoy football. GO GIANTS!!! Cowboys fans, I warn you, don’t come for me unless I call for you ;)
  8. I once made a great friend while playing club volleyball the summer before my senior year in High School. I even learned a little Hawaiian: “pa’ani meka pu uvai” (sp?) means play with heart and strength.
  9. I’m a dual citizen. Have passports, will travel.  And I’ve done a little bit of it too. Israel was breathtaking but troubling,
    The view from a boat as we crossed the Sea of Galilee. We did NOT sing the old hymn “There’s A Storm Out Over the Ocean” but we did sing a few others.

    South Africa has my heart, and Nigeria is both where my family is from and where my dad is buried. I miss him terribly some days. On a lighter note, I am way overdue for a return trip to Anguilla.
  10. I don’t have a whole lot of friends, but the ones I do have a near and dear to my heart. A few of my teacher girlfriends and I had an adventurous vacation to Virginia Beach and Washington D.C. last week and we had a lot of fun. Here’s us trying to get ourselves arrested (but we knew that the facial recognition devices and the UC secret service people knew we were a bunch of school teachers playing around so we were never a a threat (snipers on the roof, stand down):

I look forward to reading and getting to know some of you. But seeing as this was a last minute post and it is 2 am, that will have to wait until maybe Wednesday. Good night!

And as always. thanks for peeking in!

Saturday, August 16, 2014


I’ve been on vacation!!! I had a great but tiring time down in Virginia Beach and Washington D.C. Here’s my beach ready look:

And here’s one of me at my first visit to the White House (I know, I was deprived as a child):

I had a great time on vacation but I was missing reading up on my teacher blogger buddies posts (we four are all teachers and we had a no shop talk rule. I knew reading would tempt me to share out loud so I left the laptop at home) so I am now woefully behind. I may not post for awhile as I catch up but I have drafted quite a bit and will continue to draft as I come across inspiration in the blogosphere. See you in a bit!

And as always, thanks for peeking in!

Monday, August 4, 2014

August Currently

I’m mad late on this, only because I have been out so much the past week…buying and reading and visiting.
So I am linking up for my first August Currently! Yay!!! And can I just add that Farley is awesome?! Yes she is. Here’s her August Currently post on her blog, Oh’ Boy 4th Grade:

Now for mine...

I know it’s weird to leave only half a post, I promise to come back and finish this post after I address what I’m thinking about, hehehe…
I’m baaaaaccccckkkkkk!


So here the song I was listening to when I started my post. I really just had all my songs on shuffle because I wasn’t feeling like any one particular artist at the moment :D


I got a blessing and invested it in a new silhouette portrait. I would have no place for the Cameo so I opted for smaller, Funny enough, it was accidentally sent with two Cameos as “bodyguards” so to speak. I wish I could keep them and auction them off, but alas, waiting for the FedEx return slips to arrive.


Today was not a total loss, but I really should have made it into my classroom to start setting some stuff up. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to make tomorrow really count (can you hear the excitement in my voice?).


Does anyone feel like gifting this struggling teacher with a Teachers Pay Teachers gift card, because seriously? I have like 20 items in my wish list. Just saying…


Need I say more?

Guess I should get to bed since I plan on hitting the track before going into my classroom in the AM. 
As always, thanks for peeking in!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday…for the teacher this time.

Another link up for me, this time to Mrs. Jump’s Book Talk Tuesday. But with twist: focus on teaching...

I just wanted to quickly share a thought I had with you.

A teacher is always learning.

I am tackling some insecurity as I visit my class roster and recall some pretty deflating things that were told to me this past school year.

I am totally looking forward to this year but I also wrestle a bit with the mistakes of the past.

So, what’s a girl to do? Revisit what I know.

Enter Teach Like A  Champion.

The school and charter network for whom I teach uses this book as a reference for classroom management. So it occurred to me that I could use a reboot. I need to get my swag back, as the youth say. So I’m reading. Over the next two weeks I plan to plow through and highlights both strengths and weaknesses. There’s a Kindle version you can navigate to if click on the link above.

I would love to hear from you.

Leave me a comment about what you think.

Is there a different book or system that your school references for classroom management? If so, how does it work for you?

Do you have an recommendations for me?

As always, thanks for peeking in!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Made-It…My First!

Yay!!! Two link-ups in a row? Yes!!! Thanks Tara from 4th grade Frolics for the awesome Monday-Made It link up! Okay, so if you follow my Facebook page then you saw something new last night. That’s right! For my Monday Made It I’d like to showcase my blog button!
It not the cutest most streamlines button out there, but it is mine and I’m proud of it. I searched high and low for a window graphic that I like (since an artist I am not) and I have to give credit to Cheryl Seslar for the cutesy My Lil Window designs that I found at DigiWeb Studio:
The watercolor frame came from Melissa_tm and she has some other very nice frames on her deviant art page.

And of course, my most favorite (yes, I said "most favorite"…I trying to allow room for new loves in my crafting life) site for fonts, the font featured in my button, “Grace,” is by none other than:

I get the cutest fonts from Free Scrapbook Fonts! kevinandamanda.com/fonts
Don’t Kevin and Amanda rock your socks all the way off? LOVE THEM!

So there! I’ve launched out, stretched myself, and created my own blog button! Many thanks to Lindsay at the Teacher Wife for the easy, peasy, lemon-greasy tutorial on how to make a button that you can find here: http://teacherbloggingbasics.blogspot.com/2012/08/how-to-make-blog-button.html. And here is the button for her other blog, teacher blogging basics, if you’re a newbie like me :)
The Teacher Wife

P.S. - You know that last post about the Blog Hoppin’ Scavenger Hunt? Well I was having the most awful time trying to get the very otherwise cool Instagram embed code to resize for my blog’s width (maybe a resign is in my future as a result?). Well enter Digital Inspiration! This very cool dude created an Embed Instagram web tool that did the trick, just sans the bells and whistles. I suppose I could have just downloaded the picture into my photobucket and loaded it from there but I was going for the complete package of IG feel without a designer’s burden. Oh well. Thanks Digital Inspiration!

As always, thanks for peeking in! Now to make a really cool signature...