Catch Up!

26 Jan

Well, Christmas break was absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed my two-week vacation from school by spending time with my family and friends, and of course celebrating the holidays. As if two weeks weren’t enough, we had Monday and Tuesday off the week we were supposed to go back to school because of the very low temperatures. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had a “cold day” before, but I wasn’t complaining.

Last weekend we were in Indianapolis celebrating my cousin’s wedding…and what a FUN wedding it was! My cousin and his lovely bride looked amazing, and both the wedding and reception were absolutely perfect. It was a great celebration of the love of two very special people.  This marks the second of four weddings this year for the boy cousins (and my brother) on my mom’s side of the family. The first one was in September in our beloved Hilton Head and was an absolute blast. The next one will be in June and my brother will finish it off with his wedding in September. So much to look forward to! =)

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This past Tuesday, Scott and I celebrated our 7 year anniversary. I lucked out with a snow day and was excited to spend more time with him (however, it ruined his plans of surprising me with roses at school…I will remind him that my birthday in March is on a Monday – hint, hint =) ). We had a great day together and enjoyed dinner at the Cheesecake Factory later that night…mmm!

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This past year has definitely been the hardest on us – going from long distance for 4 years to finally being back in the same city, not to mention entering the real world and dealing with the changes/stresses that come along with it. Things are much different when you are 22/23 than when you are in high school, without a care in the world. We have overcome the obstacles that have come our way so far and I have complete faith that we will continue to do so in the future. Scott and I always say the bad times only make us stronger as a couple, and I firmly believe that. And with the bad, comes the good…and we have had a LOT of great times in our relationship. We have had 7 wonderful years together and I am excited to see where the next 7 will take us.

As for a school update, I am LOVING teaching middle school and am head over heels in love with the school where I am teaching. Everyone always asks how my first year has been, with the anticipation that I am going to say “hard” or “difficult,” but honestly it has been awesome. Sure the first month or two were pretty overwhelming, but once I got in my routine and had a little bit of an idea as to what I was doing, it was great.  My students are outgoing and always keep me laughing. I am happy to say I love what I do and enjoy waking up every morning to go to work (however, with all the delays we have been having lately due to weather, I could get used to sleeping in just a little bit more each morning =) ).

Hope everyone has been having a great start to the New Year! It’s hard to believe in just a week it will be February! Woah!

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A Look Back at 2013!

4 Jan

Happy New Year Everyone! =)

It feels like forever since I have been on here. If you’ve noticed, my last post was in September – over three months ago! Oopsies! I kept trying to keep up with this blog, but always seemed to fall short due to my crazy/busy/wonderful new life as a big girl in the real world.

What a year 2013 has been! It was filled with lots of changes including graduating college, moving back to Louisville, living with my parents, starting my career as a teacher, and adjusting to no more long-distance with Scott (hooray!). With these transitions, I’ve experienced many ups and downs, but wouldn’t have it any other way. 2013 was a great year and the start of a new chapter in my life. Here’s a review in pictures of my most favorite memories…

anniversay

[celebrated 6 wonderful years with this stud in January]

rooms

[enjoyed my last semester with these lovely ladies]

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[celebrated my 22nd birthday in March (while having double pink eye) with some great friends and family]

spring break

[went to the beach with my parents for spring break]

student teaching

[completed my student teaching]

roomies-grad

grad

[graduated in May from the University of Dayton]

car

[received a beautiful new car (her name is Stella) for my graduation present from my parents]

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[spent a wonderful weekend at the lake in July with my best friends and celebrated Scott’s 23rd birthday]

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[went on not one but TWO trips to Hilton Head this summer]

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[fulfilled my life-long dream of becoming a teacher in the fall]

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[went to Hilton Head for a long weekend to watch my oldest cousin get married on the beach]

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[football season started which was weird and nice having Scott sitting with me, instead of seeing him on the field playing]

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[enjoyed many nights out with some great people]

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[spend Thanksgiving in Indy]

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[got the house all ready for Christmas]

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[loved my first Christmas as a teacher]

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[watched Scott graduate]

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[had Christmas at our house with my mom’s side of the family]

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[went to Orlando to watch the Cards play in their bowl game]

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[celebrated the New Year with my one and only]

Well that pretty much sums it up. It was an amazing year and I can’t wait to see what 2014 will bring! =)

My Classroom: The Finished Product

20 Sep

Here it is!!!! The pictures from my room with all of its finishing touches (taken before the first day of school…which was 4 weeks ago…sorry I’m behind)

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What do ya think?!

Missing in Action

16 Sep

Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

That’s what I have been repeating to myself over and over again during the last 4 overwhelming, rewarding, nerve-racking, exciting, confusing, happy, stressful, and wonderful weeks…also known as my first month of teaching.

So if you thought I fell off the face of the Earth, I didn’t. I just have been surrounded by middle schoolers 7 hours a day and have been trying to adjust being a member of “the real world.”

In all seriousness, it really has been great. Even the days I leave home at 6:45 AM and don’t get home until dinnertime, I know that this is what I want to be doing and where my passion truly is.

There has been a lot going on with starting my first year as a middle school teacher, and I will try and post more this week about everything. I also just realized I never posted final pictures of my classroom. They will be up soon, so stay tuned =) PS- I just returned from my cousin’s wedding in Hilton Head…it was AMAZING! A post on that soon to follow, as well…

While You Were Out

7 Aug

Even though school hasn’t even started yet, I’ve had to think about sub plans because I will be missing two days in September for my cousin’s destination wedding…in HILTON HEAD =)

SO, I created this cute little while you were out form to leave for my substitute teachers to fill out.

WhileYouWereOut

This will help me get the basic summary of the day:

  • who was absent
  • what students were on their best behavior
  • which were not
  • any specific comments about the day
  • and the name/contact info. of the sub for future reference

To get this form for yourself, download here =) WhileYouWereOut

Pink Slip

6 Aug

While doing my student teaching, I observed a real problem in the way late assignments were handled in my classroom. I wanted to try and avoid this from the beginning of my first year of teaching, by creating a late-assignment slip.

I found this You’ve Been Pink Slipped! idea on Pinterest (surprise, surprise). I love it and it is very similar to what my teachers used when I was in middle school.

PinkSlip

It clearly documents what assignment is missing, why the student does not have it, and requires a parent signature.

My favorite part is that the slip asks WHY the assignment is late. The student can choose from the following options:

  • I did the assigned homework, but I did not bring it to class
  • I chose not to do my homework
  • I forgot to do my homework
  • I did not have the appropriate materials at home
  • Other

This holds the student accountable for his/her actions and allows the teacher to discuss the problem with the student. If the behavior continues, the teacher can use these slips to look for a pattern in why the student is not turning in his/her homework.

I will have a specific file in my desk where I will hold all of these slips to refer back to as needed.

To download this file click here: PinkSlip

Parent Communication

5 Aug

I have been working on a parent survey  to send to my student’s parents during the first week of school.

I combined some examples of these surveys that I have seen on other blogs. I picked the questions I liked best and chose the ones that would give me  the information I need.

Here is what I came up with…

ParentSurvey

(to download file click here: ParentSurvey)

This will help start communication with parents, as well as give me background information on my students so that I can work to best fit their individual needs.

I also came up with a parent communication log that I can use for each student and keep in a binder…

ParentCommunicationLog

(to download file click here: ParentCommunicationLog)

As I continue to make these various worksheets/forms I will be sure to upload them! =)

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