Thursday, August 2, 2018

That Time I Almost Quit Teaching


Let me preface by saying my opinions do not reflect the administration or teachers that I work with. In fact,  I've been very blessed to work with such wonderful teachers and an amazing & supportive administration! My thoughts below just represent my general life as a stressed-out teacher. :)

Teaching is hard. Like CRAZY HARD and can be super stressful.

To the point where I almost threw in the towel and quit teaching altogether. I hate even saying that out loud. But the stress, the constant feeling of being overwhelmed, the feeling that I HAVE to work 24/7 or else my students will fail, the anxiety, the pressure, the ridiculous expectations, the immense workload, the lack of respect for teachers, not being treated like humans but rather robots, not feeling appreciated, the heavy emphasis on scores for state tests as opposed to real world preparation, the piling of new initiatives...it was all literally eating me alive.

I felt like I couldn't have a life. My husband and my two little girls weren't getting the mom and wife they deserved...instead, my 24 students at school were getting an energetic, patient, compassionate, fun, loving teacher. By the time I got home, I was exhausted and had used up all of my "niceness" at school. On top of that, I would become more stressed knowing that after I'd put my girls to bed, I still had to plan for the next day.

It was a vicious cycle.

But the thing was..

I LOVED teaching. I really did.

I still do.

Even though I'm going on my 8th year of teaching, I still have such an immense passion for this crazy, roller-coaster-of-a-ride profession.  Looking back now I realize I wasn't quite done yet. There were still so many things I wanted to accomplish...so many things I wanted to implement in the classroom...so many things I wanted to do for education...so many lives I still need to impact. But I have Hope King to thank for that because she ignited my passion for teaching again. Not only does she make teaching and learning fun for kids and teachers, but she pushes for ENGAGEMENT and RIGOR and truly embodies these principals. Ever since incorporating her strategies, I've fallen in love with teaching again! So if you don't know her, she's definitely a must-follow on Instagram. You could even check out her site here.

Sadly, too many kids these days hate school, which is terrible because I have so many wonderful memories of school as a kid. It is these positive experiences that ignited my desire to read everything and learn everything. That's exactly what I want for my students! #LifeLongLearner

I want my students to WANT to come to school and I want them to have so many AMAZING memories of school. I want them to race off the bus in the morning so freaking excited to come into the classroom -- ready for the day's activities.

That is ONE of the reasons why I wasn't ready to leave the classroom and become another statistic of teachers who leave the profession.

It wasn't until I met Anna (she's the blogger and TPT'er for Simply Skilled in Second) that teaching became doable for me. She is seriously my role model. LIT-ER-ALLY, I want to be her. She is so smart, creative, and knowledgeable about the best educational practices; and creates the most engaging yet RIGOROUS activities and lessons for her students. She has this comprehensive monthly teacher membership site that literally changed my life. EVERYTHING is planned and emphasizes Guided Reading. Honestly, this gave me my life back.

I cannot even tell you how much weight has been lifted off my shoulders or how much my anxiety lessened because of her help. In fact, I never thought that would actually happen! For the first time in my career, I feel like I can breathe again. I feel like I can be better mom and wife who isn't tied down to hours of lesson planning, Instagram and Pinterest scrolling. I finally have my weekends back. Hallelujah! If you want to learn more about this monthly membership, you can watch a short video here. If you decide to enroll in the membership, keep in mind enrollment ENDS at midnight on August 7th! You can enroll here {affiliate link}.

But seriously, whether you need a teacher membership site like Simply Skilled Teaching, Teachers Pay Teachers, or lots of wine ;) to help you reduce the constant overwhelmed feeling and anxiousness or reduce the amount of hours spent on lesson planning, just know that you CAN do hard things.

Yes, this profession is crazy hard work {only teachers can understand this}, but know that what we do is so freaking important. We ARE important. We are bad ass teachers who are making a difference and changing lives in this amazing country. Don't stop. You got this. You are capable of so many AMAZING things.

This job is flipping hard but GOODNESS GRACIOUS we have the ability to change hundreds of lives...so let's do just that. These kids need us.

So, until some things work themselves out in education and working conditions improve, hang in there and keeping being the bad ass teacher that you are.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

3rd Grade Math and a FREEBIE!

Helloooo and HOLYYYY MOLYYYY because it's been a CRAZY long time since I've blogged!

I'm talking a couple of years.

Kind of embarrassed to admit it ha!

BUT I did have two children in the process so I'm using that as my excuse!

Here's a picture of them <3 <3 <3 Aren't they so stinkin' cute?!!




Okay so anyways, I've been creating resources for my classroom like a crazy person because I switched grade levels and needed new resources {I switched from 2nd to 3rd}. I'm going to share one with you today that you'll be able to start using in your classroom right away because it's NO PREP  #hallelujah

There's also a FREEBIE down at the bottom of this post!

I use the Guided Math framework in my classroom, so my students are moving through 3 different rotations during my 1 hour math block.  One of my rotations is normally an Independent Work station. I LOVE having my students completing an engaging, hands-on activity that they can do INDEPENDENTLY,  so that I can focus on my small group and they can work on mastering that particular concept.

I use Math Sorts for this ALL THE TIME.

It involves NO PREP on my part. And the kids love it because it's interactive and hands-on.

It just makes my Math Workshop run so smoothly and it's one less thing I have to think about.

Praise the Lord.

I just finished up a Math Sorts & Cut and Paste Matching Activity Set for my Place Value Unit. I created them for my 3rd grade classroom but they'd also work for your higher 2nd graders and for review or intervention in a 4th grade classroom.

Here are a few pages from the pack.


    











                                                          





If you want to try out a couple of these pages, go ahead and click HERE to download a freebie!

If you're interested in the whole pack (31 Sorts and Printables) you can grab those HERE.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Stay tuned for more 3rd Grade Math Skills! I'll be working on sorts for 3 and 4 digit addition and subtraction, as well as multiplication next!











Sunday, November 9, 2014

Veterans Day Scrambled Sentences Activity and Giveaway!

Hey Everybody!

I seriously cannot believe it's ALREADY November!!! It's crazy to me that I've already started planning for Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. This year sure is going by fast!

Well, every year I look for new activities to do with my 2nd graders for Veterans Day. Of course, it'd be easy for me to just pull from what I did last year, but apparently I want new new new--yes more work for me. Anyways, I created a Veterans Day scrambled sentences activity for my kiddos to work on tomorrow with a partner. We know our children needs LOTS and LOTS of practice with sentence structure, writing sentences, and working on their handwriting, so why not tie Veterans Day into all of that. They will unscramble the 6 sentences (facts about Veterans Day) and write the sentences in their 'My Veterans Day Book'.

Here are a few pics:











I usually print the cards out, laminate them for durability, and place them in individual ziploc bags, but I'll be skipping the laminating part since I'm doing this tomorrow!

You can grab these here from TPT store.

You can also visit my Facebook page and enter to win these today!

Happy Veterans Day!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Last Minute Thanksgiving Math Activity (FREE)

Happy Sunday!

I just realized I needed a last minute math activity for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving break! I quickly created this Turkey Skip Counting by 2s, 5s, and 10s activity. If there are any 1st or 2nd grade teachers out there still looking for a last minute math activity, here you go!




















Download this for free here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Take Home Reading Freebie

Just wanted to write a quick post on how I do take home reading each week. Each one of my kiddos has a large ziploc bag where they keep their books for home reading. I put two books (on their reading level) in their bag on Monday and they have those two books for the whole week--Monday-Thursday.

On Wednesday I give them this book report form to complete and return no later than Friday. They can choose either one of their books to write a book report on. There is a fiction side and a non-fiction side to the book report form.

You could also use this for independent reading time, guided reading, or as an assessment. It's up to you!

                           

If you are interested in this book report form, you can have it for free here.

Well I'm off to go cook dinner. Stuffed peppers with lean turkey meat and rice with Kale on the side!!

Yummmmm!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Breaking Blog Rule! Oops! FREEBIE Inside!

Sorry I know that I'm breaking the blog rule of only one post a day but I wanted to share with you my Journey's Work onWriting Journal Prompts. I blogged about this a couple of weeks ago and posted journal prompts from Unit 1 of Journeys. You can read that here.

I've added a couple more common core aligned journal questions to Unit 1. You can grab those for free here.

I've also added journal prompt/questions for Lesson 1 of Unit 6 for Journeys.

Grab these here.

If you don't use the Journey's reading program, you can probably still use a couple of these journal prompts!

Enjoy!




More Common Core Activities for Place Value

Hi y'all!

Happy Sunday! I have another place value activity for you to add to your Place Value and Number Sense math unit! The last place value activity I posted was for Skip Counting, Odd and Even, and Reading and Writing Numbers up to 1,000. You can read about those here.

Last week my class was working on mentally adding 10 or 100 to any given number, as well as, mentally subtracting 10 or 100 to any given number. We used my Matching Activities to do this! I had the kids complete this activity during the Independent Work station during Guided Math.

Here are some pictures of the activities that we used last week!



                               


                         




                               

Next week we will be using the Greater than and Less than matching activities from this pack to learn that concept.

Here are a few pictures of these activities!
























If you are interested in this pack, click on the picture to purchase or....comment on this blog post and I'll choose 3 fabulous followers of my blog, TPT store, and facebook page to have this for FREEEEEEE! Who doesn't love free???? :)






Sunday, September 29, 2013

Journeys: Work on Writing FREEBIE

My school has adapted the reading program Journeys this year. It's such a comprehensive reading program that is aligned with the Common Core, so it's fantastic! I wanted to share briefly with you how I integrate part of the Daily 5 with Journeys.  One of the Daily 5 rotations is Work on Writing. Since the Common Core is heavy on writing about reading, I've developed some journal prompts that go along with the book we are reading in Journeys. Below are the journal prompts/questions for Unit 1 Lesson 3, Dogs. The kids did a great job with these, with modeling of course!





If you use Journeys, you can grab these for free here!  I'll be creating these for every one of the whole group stories in Journeys.

Happy Sunday!