Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy First Day!


 
Just wanted to wish everyone a great first day of school! My first day back was today - hard to believe it's already a new year! It was nice to see old students and also equally exciting to meet new ones! I am looking forward to what this school year has in store.

Now, I just have to focus on learning 120+ names!!! Yikes! Wish me luck :)





Monday, August 12, 2013

New School Year = New Decor Ideas

I love decorating my classroom, and it can be challenging to come up with something that catches they eye of a high school student. Here's some of my new creations for this coming school year:

 This is my own spin on the "THINK" acronym - I found the different social media symbols on Google and off I went to come up with this decor! This is a magnetic file cabinet, so I laminated everything and used Staples Business Card Magnets cut to size (10-packs and 100-packs available).
   


One of the major focuses at my HS this year is school culture. As a I searched for a way to constantly remind students to contribute in a proactive way, I found this gem! I absolutely love the "be" board! I think everyone could use a reminder to "BE..."


 We are in the midst of a lot of standards and curriculum revamping. As a result, I am posting I-Can statements, benchmarks, and weekly goals for each of the classes that I am teaching this year. This is in the front of my classroom so all students can easily see and reiterate the class goals. Each board was $7.99 at Target - they are both magnetic too! :)


To hang the white boards, I used the 3M Command Velcro strips - love love love!!! They hold more hanging weight than the traditional 3M, and they come off the wall easily. You can find them practically anywhere, but I purchased mine from Target.



Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Start of a New School Year

I don't know about all of you, but the start of a new school year brings with it all kinds of excitement, stress, and planning! I am in the midst of crazy-mode trying to get everything organized.Oftentimes, a new school year means change. Change in decoration. Modification in curriculum. Change in room layout. Possible change in administration. Phew!

I am so incredibly fortunate that my wing of the school was waxed earlier this summer, so I have been able to work on my classroom set-up for the last two weeks! I am SO grateful for that... pictures to come soon! Since our walls are not cleaned from ceiling to floor every year - typically it's just floor to waist high - I was able to leave up all of my bulletin board and my posters (which I conveniently put above waist high all around the room... call it tricky or call it planning ahead, I am fine with it... hehe).

We have all sorts of meetings scheduled for our first three teacher days (Wed - Fri). Wednesday begins with district meetings in the morning followed by building level meetings the remainder of the day. Thursday includes department meetings and team meetings. All day Friday is for teachers to work as they wish to prepare. Probably one of the most exciting changes for this coming year is.... {drum roll} ... a new copier!!! I know, it is hard to contain your excitement!

I just want to take a minute to pass along a few perspectives as this new year is about to begin~

  • For those that aren't teachers, the back-to-school time is one of the most stressful for those in the profession. 
  • For those that say the best part of being a teacher is June-July-August, recognize that most teachers spend the majority of their summer planning, taking classes, and going to meetings to make your child's experience the best it can be.
  • For those that say teacher's make too much money for what they do, I say look at my receipts which amount in well over $500 (I would venture close to $1000) of my personal money spent towards things for my classroom and teaching.
  • For those that think teaching is a breeze, please recognize all that teachers DO do - having to be "on" for at least 7 hours straight - answer 100's of questions a day - spend hours outside of the school day grading 120+ tests if you teach HS like I do and responding to email (because we can't during the school day).
  • Oh, and try not being able to use the bathroom any time you please. Won't happen if you are a teacher.
This isn't meant to be a rant about teaching. It is truly the BEST profession in the world and also one of the most rewarding. This is meant to serve as a reminder to thank a teacher for all that they do to make your child's learning experience the absolute best that it can be. The vast majority of teachers chose to be in the profession because of their passion or desire to teach. In my state, we must have a Master's degree by or within a few years of starting to teach and we earn every bit of it at a cost. We deserve the same respect as anyone else. We are constantly seeking to make each day impact our students in some way. I take that responsibility to heart. I am beyond excited (also a little stressed) for a new year. If you get the chance in the next few weeks, please thank a teacher and pay it forward :) 

   

(I am not affiliated with this site in any way, but what an awesome way to say thanks - http://thanksforteaching.us/)


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Remind 101


This is an absolutely AWESOME website!!! It is designed just for teachers to safely communicate with parents and/or students!

As the teacher, you have the ability to:

  • set up a FREE account
  • create groups for students to join
  • manage groups (add, delete, etc.)
  • write messages to be sent out
  • see message history
  • set up future messages to send a specific date/time
Once you have it set up, you can even print out a PDF with instructions specific to those you wish to join as a handout/flyer! Members cannot see other members nor can they reply to any of the messages!

I have to say - Remind 101 has been one of THE BEST inventions! It has enabled me to better communicate about meetings, announcements, reminders, etc!