Wednesday, July 20, 2016

In Loving Memory

I really have been a bum most of this summer and that's okay. I was "go go go" throughout the school year so it's nice to relax.

On Monday, I was at my friend Olivia's mom's house with Shannon (Olivia's other maid of honor) and her Aunt Susan to finish the shower plans for Olivia's bridal shower. It's on Sunday July 31 and then the following Thursday, we leave for her cruise. In the middle of our plans, I got a phone call from my friend Amanda. I thought it was weird because she is usually so busy. I was busy and didn't pick it up. But then I got a text that said "Please call me."

I knew that something had to be wrong. When I called her back, I never thought I was going to hear the words that came out of her mouth. "Pete died yesterday." Pete was Amanda's fiance. I was in utter disbelief. They were at Amanda's friend's wedding (she was a bridesmaid) and apparently he collapsed during the reception. They were not able to save him. I was literally dumb founded because I just could not believe it. Pete was the kind of guy that never drank when we went out (he would always get Coke or Pepsi) and as far as I know, he never smoked. Always worked out and was just so full of life.

It breaks my heart because Pete made Amanda so happy. They had just moved into a condo together 2 weeks ago and were still planning their wedding for November 2017. I am just so heartbroken. Pete was taken too early from this life. He was the kind of person who knew how to make you laugh, even in the most awkward situations. He was always the person I went to about advice for my car and he would give the shirt off his back to him.

I can't believe instead of attending his wedding next year and watching him dance with Amanda, I have to attend his funeral this weekend. I am forever grateful for his friendship and know that I just have another guardian angel watching over me.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Year Two In the Books!

Friday was the last day of school. Year 2 is in the books and over. Technically, I have been working in schools for 4 years (2 years at my first school and 2 years where I am now). However, I was simply a "TA" at my other school. At my current school, I'm split as a teacher and a TA because of the situation with our enrollment size but HOPEFULLY I will be full time soon...somewhere. Over the rainbow. Just kidding. (I love where I am so I want to be full time there!)

Now that the second year is over, I have been thinking this weekend about things about this year compared to last year. And what better way to represent my thoughts than some teacher memes!

One thing I have to say is I felt more organized this year. Sure, I redid all my power points from last year but I *actually* typed up my lesson plans this year as opposed to last year....when I only did it when I was observed. HA! So bad. I actually created a binder and sectioned it off by quarters with dividers. Then I wrote what topics I covered each quarter, how they were assessed, etc. Not everything I have in my binder is what I used but I am constantly trying to find new ways to keep my students engaged.

These memes/pictures also represent my thoughts:
 How is it possible that the kids CONSTANTLY LOOSE PENCILS? I swear, I have to tell kids in sixth grade to put the pencil away before they walk out of the room, simply so they don't lose it. I always buy the ones from the $ spot at Target or 97 cent ones from walmart. They're in a cup on my desk and if they need one, they get it. For 2 weeks, I had a kid take a pencil every single day ebcause he simply lost it. Emailing his mother to tell her he needed pencils worked.

Because I *love* repeating myself...said no teacher ever. My favorite is especially when I have said it, repeated it, it's on the paper in front of them, on the Smart Board and they STILL ASK WHAT TO DO. Not rocket science!

I get that in 6th grade, they are getting used to having multiple teachers after having 1 teacher all day for their subjects. However, if you can't write your name on the paper, why should I not take points off? I did that a few times and it actually works! 

I am one that believes homework is good reinforcement, especially when learning a language. Do I give homework almost every class? Yes! They have it every other day so sometimes they have up to four days to complete an assignment. It's on the front of the Power Point, listed on my website, and they see it on the slideshow when I share it with them. So it annoys me when they are like "we had homework." However, I am fair. I let them make it up for half credit. I have even done it towards the end of the credit because my philosophy was "Half credit is better than no credit." Ugh, maybe next year's group will learn.

If I wanted you to do it in English instead of French or Spanish, it would say! Try it in German next time. ;)

Ahh, one of my biggest pet peeves. Sometimes the kids wait for a signal from me to sharpen it but then there are those few that just don't. I wish they made pencil sharpeners that were silent. #agirlcandream

My class this year, for some reason, ALWAYS had to go somewhere before the bell rang. Many of them have lunch beforehand (beauty of knowing their schedules) and either had to go to their locker, get a drink, put their lunch away, etc. After awhile, I made it a rule "if you're not in your seat by the time the bell rings, you are late." They learned real fast, haha!

I love when they do this....especially when you get observed. 

This is ALWAYS my biggest pet peeve. Mainly because the boys bathroom is at the other end of the hall. 

Considering in 6th grade the language classes are every other day, they have at least 2 nights to do homework. Sometimes 4. So my biggest pet peeve is when they don't have it done, considering its not super difficult homework. The past 2 years I was pretty lenient with homework, even letting them make it up until the end of the quarter for half credit. Next year, that has to change. 

I honestly could go on and on about this. In the two years that I have had my own class(es) while still functioning as a part time TA (while keeping my fingers crossed that I will *eventually* have a full fledged teaching schedule), I have learned so much about myself. I have become more organized. I know I am making my class enjoyable after the end of the year survey I got back from my kids. I have learned what works and what does not...yet understand each class can be different. Despite some days wanting to rip my hair out of my head, I truly enjoy what I do. And as I have the summer to enjoy and recharge, I have these as reminders that I know teaching was the right job for me: