be challenged.

I’m posting this picture because, well, this is reality. No makeup, messy hair, 11:17 at night, Parks and Rec blaring in the background, curriculum binders and papers scattered everywhere. And my smile is huge, why? Because what I’m holding in that picture is my very first textbook for my grad program that starts this fall! HOLY. SMOKES.

Photo on 8-9-16 at 11.16 PM

(and yes, my nails are done. and yes, I did them myself because I’m cheap poor resourceful!)

My bill for the month is already paid, my books for the semester are already ordered, my planner is already filled out, my binder is already divided up into hyper-organized sections…I’m ready for school! I can’t wait to share with my students my passion for learning, because I know that it will make their experience in my/our (Jim!) classroom that much more meaningful.

Hey. You don’t want to do homework? Me neither. But I’m doing mine and I’m rocking it. Oh, plus I’m working full-time, grading papers, planning units, working with my team and my co-teacher, helping to run an after school club, working a side job, tutoring, and being there for my family in my free time. You were saying?

I love my kids. And by “my kids,” I mean my students. I pride myself on my ability to build relationships with them. And something I’m really looking forward to is when they say, “We have homework tonight?” and I can say, “Yep. I do, too. What a drag.” Just one more connection I can have with them.

Building relationships with our students is essential to creating a environment conducive to learning and educating. Education is the most valuable tool we have. Teaching is more than just delivering the content (as we all know); it is about teaching students how to learn. How to love learning. How to ignite that internal fire that makes them just crazy enough to continue going back to school when their plate is already full to the brim. Because, at the end of the day, when we stop learning, we stop living. I guess that, really, I hope that my excitement for going back to grad school shines through even when I’m exhausted this year. I know I will be, for sure. But I also know how grateful I am that I have this opportunity, how grateful I am for the homework and the readings and the tests and and and…

Above all, I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my learning and my growth with my students. Less than 2 weeks out! This year is going to be a challenge, and I can’t wait to face it head on.

And, as A said earlier when I told him my books for the semester were all shipping to me beginning today:




be excited!

Today I met with my co-teacher, Jim, to start planning for the 2016-2017 school year. I am so excited about the start of the year in just a few weeks, and I LOVE that. Especially because…well…SCHOOL SUPPLIES!

Elf Excitement

Seriously. My favorite. I already have bought at least $50 worth. No shame.

It’s easy to get bogged down by the memes circulating on the web about how summer is too short, how none of us teachers are ready to start the year, how overwhelming it can be from September through May, and the feeling that most of us have that we can never quite  get ahead. But despite all of that, I have never been so excited to get another year of teaching started.

Sitting down this summer to plan made me realize just how much I love my current teaching situation. I took this summer off of teaching and nannying, and I took it mostly off of tutoring. Spending time with A’s boys was seriously so fun, and felt nothing like teaching (even though we worked on a lot of preschool and kinder stuff!). As a result, I feel so much more prepared to start this school year off on the highest note possible. And if I’m being honest, that’s totally necessary, because this is what my Fall 2016 looks like:

  • starting graduate school to get my master’s in Curriculum & Instruction
  • teaching full time
  • some extra responsibilities at the middle school — stay tuned on that one
  • working as a rep for National Junior Honor Society — again!
  • working to promote my own business (Arbonne)
  • tutoring when possible
  • traveling — Dallas, Atlanta, and small weekend excursions inbetween!
  • sleeping…somehow. maybe?

So the next few weeks are dedicated to trying to get things prepped for the start of school year 2016-2017. What are some of your favorite resources? Post a comment and let me know!

Just a few of the teachers I turn to regularly for inspiration:

Jen Jones, Hello Literacy

I’m Lovin’ Lit

Michelle Brezek, Literacy Coach

Check out their TpT stores for some great ideas to get started on the right foot this school year! Why reinvent the wheel when these amazing educators have worked out so many kinks for you? Gives you more time to devote to your kids. Michelle is a personal friend of mine, and is so wonderful. Always willing to help and provide insight.

Hope your planning is/has been as successful as mine! Ideas? Questions? Comments? Let me know, and I’ll help you out and appreciate any help YOU give ME!