Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Seven Days Under My Belt

Tomorrow is the eighth day of school already! I can't believe it, it's been going so fast! The first day of school, honestly, was a little lot nuts! It was just chaotic because I didn't know what to expect (with breakfast, lunch, dismissal, etc), and of course the kids didn't either. But we've gotten MUCH better each day! We're slowly getting into a routine together and getting to know the rules/expectations.

I have 24 five-year-olds in my room, some of them have never been to school before! But like I said, they are learning so much everyday, even if we haven't touched on a lot of curriculum yet. Last week was all procedures/rules/expectations and practicing them (about 100 times...) over and over! One boy even started crying because he didn't know why we were sitting on the carpet, lining up, and then sitting back on the carpet about 5 times in a row....guess I forgot to explain that we were just practicing. :-) I finally got into some real teaching this week and it feels wonderful! I love being up at the front of the room being the actual teacher! I have a WONDERFUL assistant every morning and I am lucky to have a paid, high school intern who comes in every afternoon. The other staff members have been extremely welcoming and helpful over the past couple of weeks and it is much appreciated!!

I am nowhere near perfect as far as classroom management, lessons and teaching go, but I am journaling (apparently that's not a word) everyday after work (which reminds me I need to do that!) to reflect on the day and learn from it. It'll be a while before the kids and I have settled into a nice routine/schedule, but we'll get there and I cannot believe the improvement I've seen in all of them since we began last Monday.

I was running in adrenaline/excitement all of last week, and by Friday morning, I could barely get out of bed because I was so exhausted. I never knew how much extra time teachers put in before and after work, but man, I've been working my butt off! My 'teacher brain', as I like to call it, has been going non-stop since I found out I got this job. I can't turn it off. I'm constantly thinking of what I could do better, how I should approach a student, what's a fun way to learn this?, etc. But that's how I'm going to learn and be a better teacher for my students.
LOVE my job, I go in with a smile on my face everyday, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Just wanted to update you on how the first week and a half has been going. To sum it up: Fun and exhausting! :-)
I'll leave you with a picture my principal took of me the first day (in the afternoon) and sent to my uncle who works in the district, with the caption: "Lol! I told her this was a forced smile...she is feeling super exhausted...the joys of being a first year teacher..."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Back in the Saddle!

I finally got my butt out of my classroom and off the couch, and finally went running tonight...and man, did it feel good! The hardest part is always just getting myself to do it...it's like I forget how much better it makes me feel. Tim went with me on his roller blades which encouraged me to run more than walk. I only walked about 1/2 block total. We only went about 1.4 miles (6 blocks), but it was a good start. I'm going to try to get back into my 'on two, off one' day routine again with one more run tomorrow evening. I even registered myself for another 5K to motivate myself to stay healthy and keep running! AND, I got Tim to register too so we'll be running it together!  It is a little less than a month away on Sunday, September 16th, and I'm looking forward to it! :-) (Anyone available that morning to please take some pictures for us, I'd really appreciate it!)

In other news, Monday is the first day of school!!! I am SUPER excited for it! I thought I'd be much more nervous, but I'm not...at least not yet. I've still got a little bit of work to get done in my classroom before the kids come, so I'll be in there for a few hours tomorrow and I'll take updated pictures.
Thursday afternoon we had a Kindergarten Open House where the students and families came in to meet their teacher and drop off any supplies. I was able to meet about 1/2 of my students and their families which was really cool. It was very relaxed and it made me very excited for Monday when I'm able to meet all of my students! :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012


That's how I'm feeling right now!!! Nervous. Excited. Anxious. Overwhelmed. Excited. Little bit more nervous. 

I cannot believe how fast this past week and a half has gone by! A huge thank you to everyone that helped us in our moving process. It was quite stressful for me the morning of the move because we literally had to pack everyone's vehicles full to fit everything (and we still didn't get everything), but we made it and that's all that matters. We've been in our house for almost a week now and we're slowly settling in. Up until this afternoon, our refrigerator and stove were in our living room....Tim was laying tile floors in the kitchen, so now we have our appliances where they belong so we were able to unpack the rest of the kitchen boxes this evening. :-) Clutter, mess, and disorganization make me very uneasy/crabby, so I'm feeling much more relaxed now that more things are organized. Garbage day is also tomorrow, so we were able to put lots of stuff on the curb = less clutter in the house!

Besides unpacking and settling into our house, I've also spent a ton of time in my classroom this week! I've met a few of the other teachers and actually got to be on the interview committee to find me an assistant. It was interesting being on the other side of that process, especially since I was just on the opposite side a couple months ago! I've done a lot of work in my room this week and it's finally starting to look like a classroom! I still have several things to do (organize my class library, finish bulletin boards, laminating...) so I'll be trying to manage my time wisely over the next week. Monday-Wednesday I have all day New Teacher Orientation meetings, Thursday is a teacher work day and our Open House (get to meet the kinders and their parents, and the students drop off their supplies) and Friday is a district-wide Rally and then a teacher work day....then the following Monday is the first day of school! Yikes! It's coming up quick. Here a few of the latest pictures of my classroom - I've completely rearranged and added some color to the room by getting some of my bulletin boards done:
Tim playing in the books/puzzles/games area :-)
The view from my desk/group table. I put the rug in the front of
the classroom instead of along side where I originally thought I
wanted it. I really like it this way!

Word Wall - this is where we'll be posting all of the words
we're learning to read this year

The side board where the calendar/schedule will be posted.
Here's a view of a couple of the bulletin boards I've done so far.
As I mentioned, I still have a lot to do but it's a huge difference from when I first saw the room. And with all of this going on, I haven't missed a treatment. :-) They've been getting done much later in the evening than typical for me, but that's just because I don't have a routine yet. On the other hand, I haven't gone running at all. I'm just constantly on the move between my classroom set-up and unpacking at home, I honestly don't even feel like going. I might try to get out there tomorrow and take advantage of the break in the heat....but don't hold me to it. My parents are also coming to visit this weekend, so I doubt I'll go then. I really hope that once school starts and I'm in more of a routine that I can get back out there. That's about all for now. Gotta get my rest for House Calls tomorrow -- showing up at new families' houses welcoming them to our school...should be interesting. :-)