An open letter to my sons first teacher…

Hey there,

So, I know that you begin your year way before students arrive. I know how much time, and effort you put into the meticulous planning and arranging of your room. I know that you’ve spent countless hours debating boarders, and themes. I know that you’ve spent several of your own dollars making sure that your room is just right. I know you won’t sleep a wink the night before school. I’m sure my son won’t either. You’ll both lose sleep but, for different reasons. You’ll be too nervous, and he’ll be too excited…

I know the year can be long, hard, and rough. I know there will be days where you repeat yourself hundreds, literally, hundreds of times. I know there will be times where you lose your patience. I know that you will spend hours upon hours planning for authentic, and meaningful lessons. I know that you will spend grueling hours analyzing data, organizing stations, and planning for small groups.

I know these things because I am a teacher too, but I am also a mother.

As a mother please know I am sending you my best. I have spent so much time preparing him for this day. I have put carful planning, and effort into the person he has become. I have spent several hours raising him to be a gentleman, kind, and polite… We are still working on it though. I know there will be times where he is the one you have to repeat instructions for. Once again, please know that I am sending you my best.

You see this is something I have learned in my years as a teacher. Students come to us from all walks of life. Some have experienced more than others, and not always the good stuff either. Some might not know what you think they should before they enter your room… Regardless, you must know every mother sends their best, they aren’t keeping the “good ones” at home, I promise you.

So, on those days where you feel like you’re not getting through, you’ve repeated yourself for the millionth time, and lessons don’t go as planned. Please know, I’m sending you my best. I am thankful for you, and the investment you’re making in my son.

Sincerely,

Greyson’s’ mom & your fellow teacher

PS: You’re doing a great job!

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Confessions Of A Third Grade Teacher…

Please, don’t judge me, or do… Whatever.

1. We don’t grade everything.

Yep, that’s right we don’t grade every assignment that students complete. Why? Because who has that much time!? So if your student comes home with smiley face on an assignment, it’s not because they rocked it…. It’s probably because:

a) I was too tired to grade it.

b) It was an assignment given by a substitute.

c) I already had enough grades in the grade-book for that reporting period.

2. Recess isn’t for the students, its for us!

When most people think of recess they think of gross motor development, and social emotional skills. Yes, recess is great for developing the above, but lets be honest… It’s not for them, it’s for us! If you stay at home with kids then you get it… A break is necessary! Be it in the form of a nap, a 3o minute episode of their favorite show, or a 20 minute recess.

3. Pinterest guides our lessons.

It’s true, those awesome lesson plans are often stollen  revamped and tweaked from some rock star teacher who posted her info on Pinterest. She really should open up a teachers-pay-teachers account.

4. We don’t teach for the money.

Of course we don’t teach for the pay but, summers and holidays at home off  lesson-planning isn’t too bad especially since most conferences are taken up with ARD’s, PLC’s, conferences, and other meetings.

5. Coffee is our lifeline.

Surviving a day with 38 students requires caffein, a lot of caffein. Before my classroom Keurig bit the dust all of my students knew how to brew Mrs. C a nice cup of joe. Luckily the following semester the teachers lounge was gifted a Keurig and Mrs. Davis down the hall always has a hot pot brewing!

So there you have it, not a complete list of confessions by any means, I can’t give away too many of our secrets… My fellow teachers might hunt me down if I do. Happy Monday folks! Have a good one!

For my fellow teachers I leave you with this, there are only 17 more Mondays in this school year, spring break is only a month away and I’m pretty sure we have a a few Monday holidays in the mix too!

#iswearilovekidsandteaching #keepcalmandteachon

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Teaching through the eyes of a mommy…

Over the past five years I have had the privilege of teaching our future.  I have spent two years in Kindergarten, two years in Pre-Kindergarten and  now my fifth year of teaching  in Third.  I can truly say that I have enjoyed my time in the classroom. Yes, there have been trials, late night planning, countless professional development hours, millions of class newsletters, assessments, blood, sweat and more tears than you can imagine.  It is a difficult job that follows you out of your classroom to your car and into your home.  Your students become your prayers.  I have always had a soft spot that has in my opinion made me a better teacher.

-INSERT MOMMYHOOD-

Patience, being a teacher especially in early childhood you must have an abundance  of patience. If you don’t you need to get out, fast! Seriously, run in the opposite direction for the sake of the kids! I feel that I have always had a great deal of patience and empathy with my students. But, after being introduced to motherhood I have felt that patience and even the love I have for my students grow.  I now see my students through the eyes of a mother.  When I am dealing with a “challenging” student I think about Greyson.  What if this were him how would I want his teacher to handle the situation?  I would want her to handle it in love.  I would want her to have grace with him and be quick to forgive.  Kids are kids, they are not perfect nor should they be. Kids are unique individuals who deserve every ounce of patience, empathy and love we can give them as teachers. I am thankful for this new perspective. I feel that it has helped me to be a better teacher and I am so, so grateful.

So, when the next “challenging” student comes my way I will use my mommy eyes and I pray that I will handle each situation with love and grace.

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7 things you might not know about your child’s teacher….

          Ahhhh, the life of a teacher. It’s the best! You only go to work 8 hours a day. You never have after school meetings and lesson plans…They pretty much write themselves. Oh and if you’re a kindergarten teacher you pretty much just play all day. SAID NO TEACHER EVER!

       Here are 7 things that you might not know but, you should definitely know about teachers:

  1. A teachers gets a yearly budget for their classroom, it comes directly from THEIR paycheck….So go ahead, buy those extra pack of crayons for sixty-eight cents at Target on back to school special. If your student’s teacher bought one for every student that would equate to $22.01 after TAX, assuming she has only 30 students.
  2. We are not a babysitting service. If we were we would get paid by the hour for every student…. Actually that might work in our favor…. I should bring this up at the next bi-weekly staff meeting. Regardless, school ends at 3:35pm. Be there or be square!
  3. School(work) does not end for a teacher, EVER! We bring lesson planning, grading and professional development home.
  4. We DO NOT get summers off regardless of what you’ve been told! Don’t get me wrong we may take a vacation or two, lounge by the pool and visit with family….The rest of our time “off”  is spent preparing for the school year to come. We might be getting familiar with new curriculum, re-writing lesson plans, attending MANDATORY professional development, taking classes to further our own education or making games/activities for students.
  5. We are totally in the profession for the moo-la!
  6. We can hold our bladder longer than you.
  7. Regardless of the politics and lack of pay surrounding the teaching profession we are in it because of the students. Not for the “time off” or the “8 hour days” but, because we have a genuine interest in students.

All joking aside, the teacher life isn’t for everyone. It’s definitely fight or flight. We do our job with integrity and expect nothing in return except that you pick up your student on time…3:35pm to be exact. I don’t want to be late for my after school training 😉

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The fruits of my labor…

For the past four years I have been a pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teacher.  I truly enjoyed both of these grades.  I got to be the one who taught my students their alphabet, numbers, shapes, colors, months, days, high-frequency words, cvc words, spelling and the list just goes on and on.  I was the one who introduced them to the idea of learning and my goal was to have them fall in-love with learning and become life long learners.

I have several friends who teach at the secondary level… Over the past few years I’ve seen posts on FB of them with their students at their high school functions and even their graduations. They seem so proud of their students and they should be! However,  I secretly feel discouraged and a little jealous… I will have to wait 8 more years to see my first group of kids graduate. Will they even remember me? Will I be invited to their graduations parties? Probably not.

This year I began a new adventure in my career, third grade! It didn’t hit me until the middle of the summer….I would be teaching the students I thought in kindergarten four years ago! How exciting!

I have completed my first week back with students today and it was a success! I know each and everyone of my students (from kindergarten). They are sweet as can be and to my surprise were even more thrilled than I was to find out they were in my class, again.  I even got a few first day of school gifts from them 🙂 one of my boys told me secretly that he has wanted to be in my class again since kindergarten. This seriously melted my heart!

This week was full of ice-breaker activities, rules and procedures as well as assessments to see where they are academically. This is where I got to see the fruits of my labor.  My sweet babies are excellent spellers 🙂 I would like to think I had something to do with that. After all, I did teach them their letters and sounds.  It was such an awesome feeling to see MY kindergarten babies being so successful.

So, I may not be at their high school graduation, they may not remember my name but, I had the honor and privilege of being their teacher not once but twice! I also had the chance to witness the fruits of my labor in action. I am feeling super blessed right now 🙂 I can’t wait to see what this year holds… It’s going to be a great year in room 211!

Here is to an amazing school year 2015-2016, here we go!

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