Monday, August 22, 2011

Meet the Teacher!

In honor of Teacher Week at Blog Hopper 
(Teacher Week), I'm posting some fun (and hopefully helpful) stuff this week.

A little about me...

I am married to a VERY patient man and have two smart and funny boys.  They all keep me very busy, as I follow them around with my camera catching the hilarity as it happens.  Here is a photo of us at the closing of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure 3-Day Walk (60 miles!) last week.  It was my second time walking and it was AMAZING!

I am crazy compulsive (I've been referred to as a pitbull by my mother- I grab a hold of something and don't let go!).  I rarely do anything half-way!  If I'm reading a book, I read the whole thing in a day or two.  If I take on a project at school, it gets done.  You get the idea :)  I also have an addiction to office or school supplies and art materials.  I love the smell of fresh crayons!  I am also a photographer and scrapbooker (when I finally get the photos printed!).

How long have I been teaching?
This will be my fifth year teaching.  My first year, I did a long term substitute position in a full-time kindergarten classroom with 29 students (whoa!).  I learned so much!  The following year I was hired by my fabulous district (on the outer edge of my commute time limit) for a kindergarten position in two different buildings (we were on an all day alternate schedule).  It was confusing, but I learned to be even more organized and to treat every class differently.  I was making different lesson plans for each building to best suit the students' needs.  My second and third year with my district, I was teaching all day, every day kinders in ONE building.  Yeah!  I have made this school my second home :)  Due to a drop in numbers for kindergarten, I was able to move up to a first grade position for this coming year.  In case you are keeping score, this will be my 5th classroom in 4 years!  (I get around int he building!)  I am super excited to be making a change and experiencing a new grade level.

What you may not know....
Like many others, teaching was not my first career.  I actually went to the Art Institute of Chicago to study 2D art and sculpture.  I ran out of money after two years and moved home.  Under duress, I started the business program at Oakland University (while working a retail management job).  I actually failed the same math class 3 times (so embarrassing!) and had to leave the program.  At the time, I was taking my humanities credit course (art history) and the instructor suggested switch to Art History.  I did and graduated with my BA nine months after delivering my first son.  I loved the idea of research and study, but museum jobs are hard to come by.  Praise God!  When my older son was in preschool, I found my bliss.  I volunteered in his classroom and realized that it wasn't the art or research that I loved- it was the process of learning!  I returned to Oakland University that year and earned a MAT in Elementary Education with majors in language arts, social studies and early childhood (Remember the pitbull thing?).

What I'm looking forward to this year....
 In a word, EVERTHING!  There is so much I can't wait to experience with new eyes. There is magic in learning and I'm so blessed to be able to help children everyday learn and grow. I have the best job in the world. Where else do you get a hug at the end of the day after you've been on their case for not following directions?

What I want to improve... 
I'm really focusing on Conscious Discipline and using work stations to maximize learning. I'm also working on the workshop model for reading and writing. Although I have been using it for 3 years, I'm starting fresh in first grade.

What teaching supplies I cannot live without...
  • I love my Mr. Sketch Markers!  They make me smile as I write.  I find myself smelling them each time I switch colors.  I even found my kiddos doing the same thing last year during interactive writing!  
  • I also need my anchor charts with drawings/photos.  They keep us on track and help focus on learning.  
  • My books!  I love the way it sounds when the pages turn and the kiddos are sitting, with baited breath, to find out what happens next.
Be sure to "hop over" and check out other lists from the teacher blogging community!

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