Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hello Summer!

Ladies and gents, year one of teaching is in the books! My kiddos had their finals June 15-17th, my friend Ronny graded all of them on the 18th (I graded all her French 7 finals plus I had to grade 8th & 10th grade state exams for her too!). I only had two kids not pass for the year and only one kid not pass the final....both of which I knew was going to happen. I am going to miss these kiddos a bunch (some more than others!) but I am so grateful to be on vacation....because I need to study more for the CST.

But here's what I have been up to this week.

Monday was the 8th grade & 10th grade proficiency and Regents tests for foreign language. Needless to say, a big day for the LOTE department! My poor chair must have been a nervous wreck all day. I graded all the 8th and 10th grade Regents tests. It's some rule that you can't grade your own set of exams that are tied to a state test (but then it doesn't make sense that you can grade the SAME test for ANOTHER teacher...whatever). After the 8th graders took their tests and we had graduation rehearsal, I graded all of them. I actually went over to the HS because I needed the "read to write task" that is new and couldn't grade without it. 

Overall, the other French teacher's kids did well! Some of the 10th graders had me cracking up with their essays on Tuesday (22 kids X 2 essays each = 44 essays plus all the 8th grade with 2 each). I was snorting so hard at one of them. Looking forward to see what they come up with next year!

Monday night I chaperoned the 8th grade dance. I only knew a handful of 8th graders from the Academic Center this year so I was surprised that I got chosen to chaperone. Apparently its uber selective. I figured if I could make some extra money, why not. Plus, they fed us. It was interesting. Black was the girls' color choice for dresses that night. And I know I am getting old when I didn't know half the songs they played. Especially that "whip" one. 

Tuesday was Fun in the Sun and Chromebook collection. In our district, all students grades 4-9 have a Chromebook that is issued to them by the district. They have it for the school year and return it in the summer (to repair, etc). Teachers can do assignments on them in class and its great for Google Classroom (which I want to use more of next year). I only went to two activities in Fun in the Sun because I was excused to go grade at the HS. Apparently we need to rename it Misery in the Sun. In the span of 2 hours, we had one kid dislocate her knee (within the first 15-20 minutes), one kid barf from the heat, one girl get stung by 4 bees, one girl cut her leg. Glad I missed that!

Wednesday I chaperoned graduation at the HS. It was a really nice ceremony, paying tribute to our awesome security guard who is retiring and an aide at the middle school who passed away in December (her family lives in the community and she worked at the school for over 40 years). So sweet. It makes me sad for next year when I get to see my 7th graders from this year graduate.

Wednesday night I also went out to a retirement dinner for the lady Chere I shared a room with this year. What a sweet tribute. We went to this fantastic Italian restaurant, drank some wine, and just spent a memorable evening together. Chere was one of the first people to welcome me to JFK, could EXACTLY tell when I was having an off day and just wanted to offer that hug a mom would give their upset child and was just a lovely person. 

Myself, Chere, and Ilana, who was Chere's TA and is now replacing Chere. Sweetest girl! Wish I was sharing a room with her next year!  

My lovely co-workers...
Phyllis, Julie A, Julie H, Chere, Dina, Ilana, SueAnn, Myself and Deb
(This would be a perfect picture for the slideshow next year!)

Hard to believe year one is over. Thursday was our faculty meeting and saying goodbye. I am the nutcase that signed up for a 6 hour class on Thursday at school to get credits. Oops? I am also going to take online classes towards my steps. 

Other than that, I have nothing really stellar planned for a few weeks. I am only working Saturday and Sunday next week...perfect time to study for my CST that is in two weeks. And than I am seeing Taylor Swift in two weeks! Here's to the summer of 2015! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

A little bit of this and a dash of that.

Today was the last day of classes. All I can say is...

The kids totally hit their breaking point and were off the charts loony this past week. Thank god I gave a final for three days and my class that took the final had only 18 minutes today before an early dismissal to homeroom to collect locks. 

I have to proctor a social studies final tomorrow, I have "graduation rehearsal" on Monday morning, chapernoning the 8th grade dance on Monday night, graduation on Wednesday and a dinner Wednesday night for the lady that I shared my room with. She is retiring and her sweet TA Ilana is replacing her. I would LOVE to share a room with Ilana but they moved my room next year (oh, more on that in a second). Thursday next week is going to be a JOKE! If we get out early, I might just go browse the outlets.... ;)

My friend Ronny, who is the other French teacher in my district, and I switched tests to grade. Because of school/state rules, you cannot grade your tests that are attached to your SLO...but you can grade the SAME exact test for another teacher. Literally, it boggles my mind how that makes sense. We scanned each other's tests this morning and in an hour, graded all the essays. I literally wanted to cry with joy because 3 kids got a 100 (kids I expected to), 16 of them got A's. Only one kid did not pass and I feel bad but he'll probably end up taking it again. This made me super happy.

Monday we got our schedules for next year. And due to the upcoming 5th grade class size being small, I lost my 2 Spanish classes for next year. So I only have my 6th grade French class and the other periods I am in the testing room. That would be fine...if I had a lot of stuff to prep for! Things could change if I pass the French CST so we shall see. I should be studying but my brain SERIOUSLY needed a break tonight. 

I have to move classrooms and we have to label our furniture with the name and the room it goes back into. The custodians move our furniture to do the floors. I went to ask/tell the other teacher whose room I would be in that I wanted to move my desk in there. Ilana is going to help me move it next week so we can make sure all the round tables (the bane of my existence in 6th grade. I want desks!) don't have to move. Even though I am only teaching one period, I need my desk! I almost secretly hope I don't have to move because my room changed at the end of the summer so we shall see. 

Once school is over, I have a whole post of "Things I Learned As a First Year Teacher" that I want to share. I can't believe my first year of teaching is wrapping up. Being a TA doesn't really "count" because I wasn't observed four times, didn't write up daily lessons and figure out "What the heck can I do to make this fun?"

Another exciting piece of news is my best friend April went to Disney to talk to them about having her wedding there! She is hopefully getting married in early spring next year (when its not so freakishly hot there!). Last night, she called and asked me to be her maid of honor. I am so excited! I had an inkling she would ask me and I cannot wait to give my speech. She is even being gracious to BUY my dress! Oh do I feel spoiled. Considering I have four weddings to go to next year and I am in THREE of them (two of which I have to fly to and the one I am not in I also have to fly to) , I am super gracious for this offer. Plus, I cannot wait to see how a Disney wedding unfolds! 

Once school is all said and done, my goals for the summer are the following:
-study (& hopefully pass) for my CST
-see Taylor Swift (July 11! Same day as CST)
-have a fantastic time in Disney
-go to the beach at least 4 times
-loose 15 lbs. My plan is to get off my butt and walk more. 
-rewrite the French 6 curriculum (ambitious?!)

Let's see what I can do. I am off to enjoy my first night of NO LESSON PLANS! :)

Sunday, June 14, 2015

9 days left!

There are only 9 more days of school left! 4 days this week are the last days of classes (ending Thursday). Tomorrow-Wednesday my 7th graders are taking their final. Tomorrow is listening all period long! 20 questions that I get to read 2 times each. I have spent the last 3 weeks reviewing so I am crossing my fingers that they do well.

And tomorrow is D-day. Aka the day we find out what we are teaching next year. And while nothing is for certain (because all the middle school French classes have been posted as new jobs and yet they want me to teach those....) because I am re-taking my CST in July, I have been applying to other jobs as well. One was a full-time Spanish in a neighboring district and 2 others were part-time Spanish. I just hope I stay where I am because my principal and chairperson both LOVE me and my chairperson actually told me "You were the only normal one" when I interviewed for my job! Ha! Plus it helped that I was the only one who knew French for the 6th grade class.

My other school (where I worked the last two years) ended classes on Wednesday and they started their finals. On Friday, my old chairperson Jeannette and one of my collaborating teachers Patty both were talking about how much they missed me (one of my old co-workers Georgia clued me into this). Last year I coordinated all the foreign language special education testing accommodations for grades 7-12. I also did all the testing during finals (along with all my other proctoring assignments, which was the most out of ANYONE in the school, and an at home instruction final). Someone else that worked with me last year (she was a leave for my friend Elvis who was the other TA when he was doing the HS leave) was still there and she made a BIG mess up...causing some kid to have a meltdown in my friend's class. Patty said that she wished I was there because I was more organized, knew what I was doing and I wouldn't have let that happen. Oh well, it's good to be missed! 

On Friday night I went out with my friend Marisa. We went to see Pitch Perfect 2. Now, I hadn't seen Pitch Perfect until like January but now I love both of them! We also went out to dinner and shopping. My mission was to buy the new Disney Vans that came out. They have them in Ariel, Jasmine, all the Princesses, Belle slip ons, Pooh, Mickey, Minnie, Donald. I got the Princesses ones....and then because I am psychotic I came home and ordered the Jasmine ones. Because what 28 year old doesn't look cute wearing them?! 
 (These are the ones I got!)

And my favorite part of the weekend? Orange is the New Black season 3 was released 6 hours early this weekend! I stayed up late Thursday to watch the first episode and then watched the next 2 yesterday. I blame my friends for getting me into this. :) 

I am also so excited because one of my best friends from college, Stephanie, picked out her wedding dress yesterday! She got engaged in February and she is getting married next year in October 2016. I am a bridesmaid in her wedding along with her sister, her sister-in-law and her fiance's sister. Her dress is GORGEOUS!! I cannot wait to go visit her in August in my second home aka Georgia! 

Now that school is winding down, I am excited to be lazy. It feels like the school year FLEW by (and dragged on in some aspects too) but I am going to Disney for a week in July, I also see Taylor Swift in concert in July, and then two weeks after going to Disney I am going to Georgia. Oh, and seeing Billy Joel in concert with my mom in late September. So much to look forward to! 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

{Stitch Fix #6 Review}

I received my 6th Stitch fix this past week. It is seriously my FAVORITE day of the month. Who doesn't love getting a box of goodies in the mail?

So incase you're new to the whole Stitch Fix concept, you pay $20 to have a stylist style you. You choose how often you want to receive the fixes (right now, I have chosen monthly...I know others get it on an as-needed-basis). You fill out a style profile, answering all kinds of questions from price ranges, style, size, colors, etc. Once you receive you fix, you have 5 items in it and 3 days to try them on in the comfort of your home. If you keep all 5 items, you get a 20% discount. If you keep even just ONE item, you get the $20 styling fee taken off the total. Whatever you don't keep, drop it off at a post office in the prepaid envelope!

Okay, since I was sooooo disappointed in my May fix, I hoped my June fix would be better! What did I get? (Note: I take horrible selfies haha and I took these in my bedroom. My mirror needs to be cleaned!)

One of my favorite things about Stitch Fix is the styling cards. 

Item #1:
 Maui Crochet Trim Top $44

My stylist, Brookelyn, sent this to me because of the red top that I loved in my last fix but had to send back because it was damaged. I LOVE the color of this! The lace detail on the bottom is adorable. It is see through (why are most tops see through? Who wants to see your bra?) so I would have to wear a cami under it. The white you see under my arm in the picture is a regular tank from Old Navy because all my camis were in the wash.

Close up. The color is beautiful for spring/summer.

Verdict? Keeping!

Piece #2 Aislinn honeycomb Collar Necklace $32
 I received a statement necklace a few fixes ago and sent it back because it was so heavy. I really liked this one because it was light and I felt I would actually get more use out of it!

Verdict? Keeping!

Piece #3: Rosco Floral Print Crochet Detail Tank $ 58

I am all about florals. Not sure why. I have seen this as a pin on Pinterest numerous times when I search for Stitch Fix. Brookelyn also sent me this because of the detail. The back is cute!

 Like my horrible selfies? HAHA! I am the worst.

It is also sheer so I would have to wear a tank under it but so cute! 

Verdict: Keeping!

Piece #4: Ibis Straight Leg Jean $108

The top in this picture is from The Loft last year but this is me wearing the jeans. I HATE HATE HATE shopping for pants so once I find one I like the fit of, looks good on me, I buy in all colors! These pants were just too tight and I have a much comfier pair I just got at the Loft.

Verdict? Sending back!

Piece #5: Stacey Scallop Hem Cut-Out Detail Skirt $ 64

 Scalloped hems are all the rage right now. I saw a pair of shorts on Pinterest that I would love. This caught my eye when I took it out of the box! Loved the color combos (I am getting more wild in my color palette choices as I get older). 

However, my big butt prevented it zippering all the way! :(

Verdict: Sending back

Overall: Keeping 3/5!

I was much happier this fix and felt like the stylist actually took the time to look at my board. I may request her again!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

{Stitch Fixes #3-5 - Reviews}

I am really slacking in this department! Since I just got the email on Friday that my 6th Stitch Fix has shipped (and I should receive it by Tuesday!), I might want to review the others before that comes. Haha!

So if you're not familiar with Stitch Fix, here is how it works!

1. You fill out your online style profile on They ask you all sorts of questions about sizing, pricing, preferences, colors, etc. This is where you need to be honest because it helps them style you. If you have a Pinterest style board, link it to your profile because they look at it! (One of my stylists told me she saw I had so many polka dots pinned so she sent me a dress with them for that reason...and I kept it!)

2. Order your 1st fix! They charge you a $20 styling fee but if you keep something from your fix, that $20 goes towards your purchase. I have always kept at least 1 thing from each of my fixes otherwise it feels like I am squandering money. They also always send you 5 items and if you keep all 5 items, you get 25% off. Pretty cool!

3. They send you a pre-paid envelope to send all your returns back in so all you have to do is drop it off at the post office! (For my first few I was waiting in line until the guy told me to just drop it on the counter and run, haha). You have 3 business days to try it on at home and then checkout online. You tell them what you liked and why, was the price too high/too low, how was the fit, etc. BE HONEST IN YOUR CHECKOUT. I was so disappointed in fix #4 that I was honest in my check out so I have high hopes for this fix on its way.

Make sure you note how often you want to receive your fixes. I like receiving monthly almost cures my itch to go to the mall/outlets and plus, who doesn't like getting a box in the mail?!

Okay, so let's rewind to MARCH for my fix #3.

I saw this top on Pinterest and liked the colors. I am finding myself veering more out of my "neutral" colors I always choose when I shop and being bold. However, I did not like the way it fit me. It had a white cami that went under it which was too tight (normally I wear a large in tops) and I tried it with another white cami of my own under it. Too sheer. And because it has been a few months, I honestly don't remember the prices or where my cards they sent me are. For my June fix, I am going to do it shortly after I get it!

Verdict? Sent back.

loved this when I took it out of the box! I have seen a few other people get it in fixes so its popular. I also love the coloring on it. I always ask for versatile pieces that I can either dress up for school or wear out. I have worn this a few times. (Looks great with white pants!) I believe the price was $58.

Verdict? Kept!

I also wanted some dresses. My stylist sent me this chevron print and I fell in love!! It fit me right (one of my first fixes I got a dress that was snug in all the wrong places). I loved it so much I wore it on Easter!

Verdict? Kept.

Skinny pants. I have such a big butt it's hard to find skinny pants that fit. I always get pants in my fixes because I have said I have a hard time shopping for them. I might have to change that but I haven't kept one pair since the first fix!

Verdict? Sent back. I did not like the fit nor the price (too high).

These were high waisted trousers I was sent. So tight that I couldn't even get them on both legs!

Verdict? Sent back!

March Fix: Kept 2 out of 5 pieces.

{April Fix}

Stitch Fix sent me this dress (I am on the left). It reminded me of the chevron dress from the previous month. I loved the fit and the feeling of the material. So obviously I kept it because here I am wearing at my friend Anjelica's son's christening!

Verdict? Kept!

 Ahh...gotta love the bathroom selfies! Only good place to take it. I got this teal top. I don't have anything in this color. Loved it!

Verdict? Kept!

I also pinned this top on my Pinterest style board so I was excited to see it! I figured it is something you can wear with jeans or dress pants (both of which I have done) and I have paired it with a cardigan.

The necklace I also received in this piece. I am hesistant on statement pieces but this one was too bulky for my liking?

Verdict? Kept the top and SENT BACK the necklace.

I also received this top, something else I had pinned on Pinterest. At first, I thought it was a repeat from the March fix, but it was different. This also came with a cami underneath it but that was too tight. I just didn't like how this felt on my arms. Loved the color though!

Verdict? Sent back.

April fix: Kept 3 out of 5 pieces. Not bad!

{May Fix}
I have to say...I was the most disappointed with this one of all mine so far. I think I keep getting different people that style me, which is fine. But some of the pieces in this fix I felt like had nothing to do with what I asked for (I wanted some wrap dresses) and were just not me. Once I do find a stylist that I like, I am going to request her!

This was the first time I received a bag in any of my fixes. When I took it out of the box, I knew this was something I would be sending back. While it is reversible and big for school, it is definitely not my taste and it also SMELLED. I thought it smelled like cat pee. Yuck!

Verdict? Sent back.

I was sent this white lacey shirt. Looks great...but not on me! It was snug in all the wrong places.

Verdict? Sent back.

This floral dress was so light weight. Plus, it had pockets! Any dress that has pockets is a winner in my book. I knew it would be good for the summer. I remember it was $54.

Verdict? Kept!

 I loved this top! The color is definitely something I do not have in my wardrobe and the lace was just gorgeous. I totally would have kept this but it was ripped at the bottom. :( I contacted Stitch Fix to see if they could help me. They did not have any more in stock so in order to help me, they gave me a $20 credit. I was grateful but hope I can get something like this (perhaps in another color) in a future fix.

In the above "Selfie" picture, I am also wearing jeans that they sent me. They actually fit perfectly in the waist (which is usually my biggest problem) but I didn't like how high rolled up they were on the bottom. I wish you could have rolled them down. You couldn't. So back they went. :( 

Verdict? Sent top back due to damage and also Sent back the jeans.

May Fix: Kept 1 out of 5. I was the most disappointed by this fix so I am hoping I like June's better! It shipped Friday and is suppose to be here by Tuesday. Can't wait to see what I get! :)


Monday, June 1, 2015

In the home stretch!!!

People, we are in the home stretch! This is my second to last full week of classes. We have this week, next week and then the 18th is the last full day of classes. My 7th graders take their SPEAKING portion of the final in class today-Wednesday (if needed). They take their final in class the 15-17. Almost done planning! 

Somehow I lucked out and don't have to give my French 6 or Spanish 6 a final. SCORE. Plus I didn't have to make the 7th grade one. Only had to send it to the copy center.

It is hard to believe I am almost ending my first year of teaching. Somewhat on a sour note in a way. I had to take my French CST in April because they want me to get certified in French. I did not pass. Considering I haven't been in a French class (as a student) in 7 years, my chair said I did pretty well when I told him the score (you need a minimum of 220 to pass). My highest part was the speaking...oddly enough, the one I was worried about the most! I am already registered to take it again July 11th.

The reason why it is so sour is because I am being pushed to quickly get certified because they want me to teach French 7 & 8 next year. Its all dependent upon the numbers for ESL/ELL. When I had my new teacher meeting with my principal last week, he said that enrollment went down and there was a shift in the language classes so I am probably losing my Spanish 6 and Spanish 7. So I go from 3 classes to 1. I can still be a TA. But I don't find out contractually until June 15th (This is TORTURE!). 

I was petrified because I love it there, the kids are fantastic. I emailed my chairperson to talk to him and he had no idea it was going on. He was kind of upset because he is trying to make me full time and then I lose sections? I get that it is all on numbers but go figure! I finally found my niche and to have it taken away would really suck. Luckily, I have an amazing chairperson who is totally on my side and has told me he does not want to lose me. Same goes for my principal and assistant principal. So we shall see. I met with our human resources person on Thursday (as per her request) and she is really wanting me to get the certification (hey, if I do, they have to pay me more! score!). But like I said, it is all dependent upon the numbers for the ESL students. My chair told me it was a struggle to find someone who knew French (I was one of 3 people they interviewed and the only normal one apparently) and even the human resources person said the same thing. So maybe that's a good thing?

Just keep good thoughts and prayers going for me until July!! I really need to pass this. My friend Georgia who was the French teacher at the last school I worked at is giving me a bunch of books to practice. 

Aside from that, all I do is work. I am going to Disney in July, which I am super excited about. Then Georgia in August.

Final stretch, people! Off to go finish the review games for tomorrow's French quiz and then to bed.