Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Teacher's Mid-Summer Dream...

School supplies are taking over the stores!!!!!!!!!!!  This is good news for some and a dreaded realization summer is coming to an end for others. If you know me (or a teacher), you know this means I am fighting every urge in my body to go spend an entire paycheck or two on school supplies. After all, a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils, the smell of an empty notebook, and a pack of brand new sharpies are a few of my favorite things.  However, I am not alone, for the aisles are filling with eager teachers trying to find a steal and get a deal.   Most educators are already working on lessons (guilty) and/or setting up their classroom. If I have just outed any of my fellow nerds post your name, share this blog, and attach a picture of your organized or chaotic classroom as evidence.

If you are anything like me, the summer is filled with summer school, lesson planning, curriculum and unit planning for the upcoming year and another degree conferred and finalized. It has been a whirlwind summer in my household as usual. I spend time enjoying my own kiddos and try to find ways to balance work and home. This can be a challenge when you have the heart of a teacher. After all, a true educator really does not have a full summer break. We are continually learning, growing and thinking about how to get better so our students will learn, grow, and can become who God created them to be.


So, this time of year when I start to feel the pull of the classroom, I savor the joy and anticipation the first day is building and rumbling inside my soul.  I feel torn between summer break when I can sleep in a little later, and wanting to meet the new challenges and experience this new year will bring. The beginning of the school year is really a teacher's "New Year," and we feel devoted, refreshed and ready to attack the world.  As the last few weeks of "freedom," are upon me I begin to reflect on my future students I will be blessed to teach this year. I wonder what will they love, dislike or need? Will I have students who need school supplies, shoes, or a hug? What will make them excited to share, discuss and create? However, I also think about the students I have had in the past. Where are they now? Did they enjoy the summer? Were they well fed and cared for? Are they excited for the next chapter in their lives? Either way I pray for those I have loved and those I am sure to embrace in my heart very soon. I just hope I am able to teach them as much as I will surely learn from them.

I am ecstatic and nervous about starting a new position in a new district this year. However, I do not have my classroom yet, so I am really beginning to wonder what it will look like and feel like when my kids walk in the door. While I wait for my own classroom I am going to live vicariously through all of you. If you are teacher share something you MUST HAVE in your classroom to make you feel "ready." If you are not a teacher share a memory about your favorite teacher or his/her classroom. Warning as educators most of us are living paycheck to paycheck and beg, borrow and steal a lot.  So, we just might steal your ideas, so be creative, descriptive, candid and share!

Allie's Must Have's
1. My dingers (http://www.musicwands.com/) are used to get attention by tapping on a hard surface. The chime is a musical wand that rings softly. They come in a variety of shapes, but they are pretty popular so you have to order them as they become available.

2. My reading apron. This apron is one I picked up at a yard sale for 50 cents. It has books on it and three big pockets. The pockets hold my proprioceptive pieces for students (stress balls, twist ties, twine etc), pencils and stickies, and one is for my dinger for the day.

3. No teacher desk... If I have a teacher desk in my room I feel unorganized. It sounds strange, but it really becomes a place for me to be disorganized. I tend to just throw things on it to sort through later, and takes up much of my time after school.  For me, I feel like a messy desk is a sign of a messy brain (sorry if you are reading this at your messy desk). As an educator, I am constantly busy and running around the room anyway so I do not sit there anyway. Most of the time you will find me on the floor with pillows and a throw rug, sitting at a student's desk or working with students in a variety of locations around the room. So, the desk is a big waste of space and energy.  I took it out of my room a few years ago and have never looked back. Try it...I bet you will love it.
A picture of my hs English classroom
My reading Corner 

My 4th Grade  Classroom : I like to have alternative seating in my room
 (yoga balls, rocking chairs, ottomans, carpets, couches, chairs, pillows)
My hs English classroom