Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's been awhile...

It's almost been a month since my last post!! But lots has happened since then...

1. I got married!!!
On July 6, I tied the knot with my wonderful new husband Evan. It was such a perfect day. Everything was so wonderful and I am sad that it's all over. We were blessed with great family and friends surrounding us that day as well as beautiful weather.

2. Honeymooning in Paris!!!
Evan and I spent a week in Paris on our honeymoon. It was truly a special, romantic, whirlwind honeymoon. I now understand why a lot of couples go to resorts where they can lay around all day and rest. But we had a blast! Especially since it was France's FĂȘte Nationale aka Bastille Days and this happened:
Amazing yes?

3. Back to Phoenix.
Boo on this one but I have SEI class next week and Evan has frogs to care for so it was kind of unavoidable.

4. Back to School...Soon.
School starts up on August 7 and I have a week of trainings and meetings and such beforehand. I'm excited to work in my room but not so much for hours of endless meetings. 

5. And I am now no longer a first year teacher! Woooo! Second year teacher over here! So in order to celebrate, I'm linking up with Latoya for her Let's Get Acquainted Linky Party!

So fresh from the mind of an old-new teacher, here we go!

Buy, beg, borrow and steal: Obviously, being a new teacher probably means that you don't have a lot of teacher things and supplies. But just because you don't have it, you don't necessarily have to buy it. Borrow it from someone who isn't using it/looking to give it a new home. Beg for things, "steal" ideas and make them yourselves. It's hard to look on Pinterest and see beautiful, perfectly matched classrooms with themes and coordinating library baskets. But that's ok. If I had been obsessed with matching things and making everything perfect, I probably wouldn't have had a paycheck for a month. My classroom definitely wasn't the cutest one on the block but it did its job.

Always remember why you chose teaching: So there were definitely many, many times where I would sit at my rainbow table, head in hands, asking out loud (to no one at all) what was I doing? Why did I pick this profession? It's too hard, annoying, difficult, time consuming, etc, etc. Then I would remember that I am a teacher because I want to help kids learn so they can go to college and be successful. And sometimes that would get me through the tough times (and when that didn't work, a martini or ice cream was a pretty good second option!). You can't forget why you are a teacher or else you'll get sucked into Doomsville USA.

Never stay too late: You've heard of some teachers being the first to arrive and the last to leave, but that's just not a feasible option. We're human. We need down time, time spent with family and friends and pets, time to rest, time to shop, time for you. And if you are always staying at school until 6:00 or 7:00, spend 30 minutes driving home, and then you have to make dinner and probably do more things for school, only to fall asleep at 9:00. I stayed at school late for the first few months or so of school, but once I got a better handle on things, I made it my goal to leave at 5:00. And then 4:30. And then 4:00. And I was much happier leaving at 4:00 than leaving at 6:00.

Find some great teacher friends: It's so important to develop a good support system at school. It's so much harder when you don't click with anyone. You have no one to cry to or talk to or snag ideas from. It can be hard to put yourself out there, but be friendly, polite, and kind to everyone! 

Make copies a week in advance: I used to make copies every morning. And every morning, there would be a line at the copiers. Especially since our copiers are very old and often one or both of them are broken. So I started making all my copies on Friday afternoon. Is it fun to be staying later on Fridays making copies? Nope.
But it makes the whole next week go so much smoother. Everything is all done and ready to go. 

Be true to yourself: Last year, I found myself and my opinions of things being easily swayed by other teachers. I felt that since they had so much more experience, education, years, etc. that they much have been right since I had just started off. But I finally realized that my education and my experiences were valid, worthwhile, and had truth to them. I remembered what I learned and what I felt was best for my kids and began to do things the way I felt would be best beneficial for my kids. I am still always open to new ideas and am willing to try new things, but I can also recognize when something just isn't me. 

Overall, your first year is hard. I can't even tell you how many people told me it'll get better next year. So here's hoping!


  1. Congrats on finishing your first year! As much as I LOVE Pinterest I am SO glad I didn't have it when I first started teaching. It is WAY to easy to compare yourself to others and seeing all those beautiful classrooms as a first year teacher would have driven me nuts!
    I also stay late on Fridays ( sometimes Thursday if I am REALLY on top of things) to make my copies. It is so nice to walk in Monday morning with everything ready to go.
    Diving Into 2nd Grade

  2. Your pictures are INCREDIBLE. You looked so gorgeous but even better? You look so HAPPY! Congratulations on your wedding AND on being a 2nd year teacher!

    I love staying on Fridays. People think I'm crazy, but if I get everything planned, copied, and ready on Friday, I don't have to worry too much about school for the rest of the weekend (except for things I want to do or a little grading!).

    My first year, my husband had a late class night, so Thursdays were my late night to stay at school and get a lot done. Other days, I'd leave by 4:30- but on Thursdays, I stayed til 6 or 6:30. Staying late one day allowed my other days to be shorter without guilt :)

    The first year or two, it's hard to not take every idea because you feel a little lost and you are trying to make sure you don't upset anyone. But I'm finding that it gets easier and easier to venture out on my own and do what I know works for ME, and I know that'll happen for you, too! :)

    Good luck getting ready for back to school!

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad