Saturday, April 11, 2015

Read Aloud Woes

Reading aloud to kids is the one part of teaching I miss most!  As a new administrator, I have yet to figure out how to get into the classrooms to read!

My read aloud choices changed depending on my class, but there were a few I always, always read to my kids: 

There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar taught my students empathy for Bradley and reminded me of the kind of teacher I wanted to be.


The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs was a great first read. Despite its slow start, I promised my students an adventure if they stuck with it.  What a glorious lesson!  Plus it's the first in a trilogy.

The Witches by Roald Dahl because who doesn't love a great Dahl book - and how fun to read the witch's role in a heavy German accent!

Storm Runners by Roland Smith enticed even the most reluctant readers to finish the series.

There were more throughout the year depending on student recommendations, newly printed literature, and newly found classics.  But those four were always part of our classroom.

Next year, we are installing a librarian in our building.  We will not, however, be hiring a true librarian to fill this position.  Instead we will give the job to an Instructional Assistant with the hope that she will maintain the collection.  I hope to be fully involved in what that looks like for our students - and you better believe it will include lots of read alouds!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

New Beginnings

So I haven't posted in a ton of forever.

Since my last post in September of 2014, I have started a new job in education.

I am now an Academic Coordinator at the east campus of the school where I started teaching in fall 2013.

Essentially, I aid students and teachers with all things academic.

I prepare, plan for, and proctor testing.  Which in Ohio is a lot.

            A lot.

I try to keep up with the ever changing rules and laws that relate to teaching, students and testing.

I train teachers.

I attend meetings.

              A lot of meetings.

Teacher evaluation takes way more time than I ever realized.

Like teaching, there's always, always more to do...

It's a challenging, frustrating, amazing, difficult, fast-paced, sitting at a desk job.

Some days I hate it.

Most days I love it.

And I have given up my summers.

I'm not sure how I feel about that yet, but as the school year comes to a close, I like it less and less.

So, to keep up with my changing every day, this blog needs to change, too.

First a new design - stay tuned.

Then a new focus - perhaps professional development?
                             - perhaps more personal?
                             - perhaps something else entirely?

I miss writing.  So what began as a teacher's blog will become something new.

It's fitting that it's spring.  Easter time.  Time for growth.  Rebirth.

A new beginning...

Monday, September 1, 2014

The {best} Currently of all!

So I haven't been a great blogger - despite my best intentions.
My excuse: the first two weeks of school have me whipped.
I have no energy after school.

I'll get used to it soon.
I hope.

Anyway, since it's Labor Day,
and since I have the day off,
and since it's my BIRTHDAY month (!),
I definitely couldn't let the Currently pass me by!

About those trips:
I am not a lover of traveling.
When I travel, I want plenty of time to relax
read a book
drink fancy coffees and fancier cocktails
laze by a pool
or a lake
or any water, really.

But I have always wanted to see the Library of Congress -
I mean, really?  a whole building filled with my favorite things??
I'm in!

in a cabin or a lodge
with a fireplace
and books
and coffee
or maybe... in a camper
with air conditioning
and books
and coffee

the mix of old and new
the food
the people
Need I say more?

Your turn:
Link up with Farley at 

I have to go write those lesson plans now....
Guess they are not going to write themselves...
I've been waiting all weekend for those suckers to get busy...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Reflections of an {almost} Mentor Teacher

So, yesterday at 3:45, I was asked to take the training to become a Instructional Mentor to our Resident Educators.  Today I am sitting in a hotel two hours from home - having completed our first full day of training. 

I love learning new things, and this is right up my alley! 

But, holy cat, has education changed a ton since I started teaching more than 15 years ago! 

Back in the day, there weren't mentors.  No one was really worried if I was stressing out, or would even know unless I freaked out in the teachers' lounge (which happened a bunch my first couple of years!) 

I was so fortunate to work with teachers who were more than willing to help me out when I needed it.  At some point during those first few years, I made a nuisance out of myself to nearly every teacher in our building!  I remember crying more than once over kids' bad behavior or particularly hateful parent letters.  I also remember the joy with which I told every teacher who ever helped me out how great a certain kid did on his latest math test!  Those friendships have survived the test of time - they are some of the women I call "besties" to this day!

I also had great classes my first few years who made it easy to hone my skills.  I started teaching my first year at the end of first quarter when a teacher suddenly quit.  Let me tell you, folks, this was such a blessing!  All of the decorations were up, the gradebook was set up, there were discipline procedures in place, and (best for me, even though I feel a little guilty about it) the parents were so glad to see the previous teacher leave, they love, loved me!   It was like when I was little and my sister got in trouble; for a while I got to play the favorite child, you know what I mean? 

One other factor that I believe helped me a ton was my professional history up until that point.  I left school with a teaching certificate, but didn't use it for about 5 years.  When I went back to the profession, I started as a sub.  The lessons I learned from subbing were invaluable!  I kept a notebook with good/bad ideas of the teachers' for whom I subbed.  Taking on the responsibility for 28 kids at age 28 was, for me, a lot more successful than it would have been when I was 23.  There's something to be said for life experience!

I'll be able to write a more comprehensive post about the RE process after tomorrow's class, but today I just felt like sharing a quick reflection.  With almost 50% of all new teachers leaving within 5 years, it was an interesting trip down memory lane to see what caused me to stay.

So, then, I'm curious about your journey.  What factors have influenced your path in education?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Currently {and a Favor!}

I've been waiting for this for, like, weeks!  I want to get back into blogging on a regular basis.  I'm planning on working it into my weekly schedule - I've had a blog planning sheet for years (you can get it here); this year I'm really going to use it.

The problem in the past was I hid the planning sheet from myself by putting it in the back of my plan book.  This year, it gets its own clipboard on the wall next to my desk.  That way I'll be sure to see it.  And use it!

Anyway, here it is: the first in what I hope will be a more active blog...

There it is!
the first in what will be many more to come!
Like that positive thinking?  I'm turning over a new leaf!

While your here - I have a favor to ask:
See the top left corner of my blog design?
There's supposed to be a really cute bird house looking thing up there.
Only when I log on, I don't see it all the time.
Can you see it?
Let me know in the comments, please...
Not sure what's goin' on up there...


Now go link up!