Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Spirit of Teaching

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach;” Romans 12:6-7

Let's teach then! Teaching is truly a gift. I say this not in a boastful way but all those in the field know, it takes a special gift to truly be invested and committed to not only the children's learning but to every child as an individual. Some days I think it takes a special kind of crazy ;)

As we close up the 4th week of school I reflect on what an amazing start we have had. I feel productive, successful, not stressed, enjoying the days and looking forward to the next. Not that these feelings haven't been there before but just the magnitude of them is definitely apparent.

I reflected back on past years "off days". While I am a very positive person I did hand over the control of my feelings to minimal things like; stress of trainings, others negativity, too much on my plate, guilt from not accomplishing as much as the teacher up the hall, gossip, others attitude. Pretty much a bunch of stuff my students had nothing to do with or even cared about! While I remained positive at school, the venting of it or negativity came out at home. My family was paying the price of these days. While I am thankful for a husband that always hears me out and gives me his opinion (not always what I want to hear) I am sure he enjoys hearing about my good days way more then negative stuff going on.

This year I am not sweating the little things. I am not permitting others or things to "steal my joy!" I am focused on my reason for being there and not taking my eye off the prize so to speak.

What brought on the change? This summer. This summer I had the privilege of teaching for joy. A great friend of mine and I started a summer bible group for our children and some close friends. We dived into His word and had a blast doing so. I am not completely sure if the kids took more away from it or if I did. I gained the true spirit of teaching.

While teaching is very giving, very time consuming, a huge investment it is also very-SELFISH. Selfish because as I prepared for each session; I got excited, I looked forward to it, I loved their faces as they took in His promises, I loved their reactions as we read stories, I felt dang GOOD before and after teaching them. I got the hugs, the love, the rewarding feeling. So yes, I in part felt selfish because I needed that time just as much, if not more, then them.

Why could this not translate to the classroom?
It can! His promises are still the same; our gift is still the same.  A child is a child; summer or not. While God is not allowed in my classroom, I am! I am His walking working, I am His hands and feet with these children. Why not rejoice in this?! What an amazing gift and responsibility to be given.

At the end of the day things like STAAR that seem so huge will be taken care of. If that connection and joy is there for that child, he WILL RISE UP!

Who doesn't like working hard for a joyous, giving, caring person? I definitely wouldn't want to work with a grumpy one who seems stressed half the time and doesn't really see me as the individual that I am. Why should they. Why should my students get the best and my family the rest? Happy teacher translates to a happy mommy and wife. I mean who are we kidding, we aren't' given the luxury to leave work at work 100%; our thoughts and attitude come straight home with us.

I am so blessed to be in the school I am, so thankful for my principal who is there full heartedly and sees us and the children as more then just a number or statistic. I am so thankful for co-workers I can come up to when one of those "off days" is creeping up and say "TELL me, tell me to not let anything steal my joy!" I am so serious, I have gone up to friends at work and asked them for reassurance of my purpose, a reminder to not let others/things steal my joy. Guys it works. Sometimes we just have to hear it, be told it so.....

YOU ARE AN AMAZING PERSON WHO HAS BEEN GIVING AND OUTSTANDING GIFT!! BE PROUD OF IT; REJOICE IN IT! SHARE IT FULL HEARTEDLY. 
DO NOT, DO NOT LET OTHERS STEAL YOUR JOY!

YOU ROCK! 
IT'S OK TO CLAP YOUR HANDS IF YOU KNOW IT AND WANT TO SHOW IT :)


“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Unofficial first work day.

                                                          What shall be our math supply station. Actually rearranged after this but didn't snap a pic.      
Writing tools station. All in one place, love it! Kids love feeling "teachery" with supplies available. 
Here's my sad little library as of now, I need a rug and maybe some floor pillows. Wall is a clean slate waiting for kiddos learning ot go up. There's another bookshelves with blue baskets (English books). I have past class pictures on wall behind bench and pictures of class activities behind the random pink stool. Kids will bring pictures of family at times too. I think it just makes it more comfortable of a spot, "homey" feel. 
Added more book storage/shelves at front of room. I want these children surrounded by books! :) Also that "teacher desk" is not for me. Kids LOVE using this as a writing desk or to sit and read. Board to the left is used for new words we use and want to remember. 
Rearranged desk (in a weird formation I know), they might not stay but man do I love....
alllll the space it leaves for activities!!! Haha. Ok seriously though. Perfect space for read alouds and class meetings. I'm a bit excited about this. 

Anywho, had the best little helpers today. We did what we could before someone's nap time and it could totally all change before the big day. Just wanted to share in case someones thinking "what the heck is she thinking putting that there?!" y'all please speak up. 

Now it's nap time...enjoy them while you can friends! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Teacher Binder-The Sequel

My brain is filling up with ideas for this upcoming year. I have been absolutely taken back by the love the original Teacher Binder post got. Made my teacher heart happy to know it might of helped others. Thank you guys!

Now, let's make it better.

Last year was my first year having two classes, I had been self-contained the past years. Therefore one binder was perfect. Not only did I get another class, we through some language changes in there as well. My district is implementing the Gomez and Gomez Dual Language Program. In short; I have one class for Language Arts/Science/Social Studies in Spanish, second class for Language Arts/Math in English. I had mixed feelings about it and while excited was also hesitant of the change. Like we all know, organization is key so my mind lost it for a bit. So much to keep up with!

With all of that, I just couldn't make one binder work. Trust me I tried to hold on to it as long as possible. I ended the year with three binders and somewhat of a "system". THREE?! Yeah I know. Don't freak yet. One was pretty much a stationary binder that never left my desk. Other two were data driven/planning/small group binders. Not sure yet if I can find a way to combine these somehow, seemed to work great.

Playing with ideas before setting up for  upcoming year and would love input. What worked for you from last binder that you can't imagine changing? What did you add to make it better? What would you like to see in it? What was missing? You get the idea.

Let's do this team!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Perfectly Flawed

Found this quote and absolutely loved it! Problem came when I saw the pic attached to it; I began comparing and talking to myself like I would never talk to someone else (man check out those arms, haven't been working hard enough. Dang look at her abs fatty!) 




ENOUGH. 

So I replaced it with my own, no filter and insecurities showing and you know what? I am perfectly flawed, difference is I am now finding strengths in my weaknesses daily. For myself, my family and loved ones of course (happy wife, happy life right?) but most importantly for my Heavenly Father to utilize me as a tool for His work. 

As I read this week I also came across Proverbs 31:30 "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised." 

We are never too much and we are always enough. 
You are beautiful and it's okay to feel it! Embrace that feeling. 
Do not allow expectations to rob you of your joy.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Teacher Brain-Activate

Summer is far from over, at least that's what I keep telling myself. Regardless I will admit I secretly enjoy prepping for next year without feeling pressured and rocking oversized shirts, shorts and sandals.
Therefore I have begun re-reading this amazing book. So much great stuff in it! Wondering, is anyone implementing any of these concepts in their room? If so, mind sharing? Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! Soak it up ladies :)