Sunday, January 22, 2012

I got the Liebster Award!!

I am so honored that Ka'Shawna over at Fantabulous 4th grade chose me to receive this award! And she said some really sweet things about my blog on her blog! Thanks so much! I feel guilty now that I don't blog as often as I should LOL

The goal of the award is to spotlight up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 followers. The rules are:
  1. copy and paste the award on your blog
  2. thank the giver and link back to them
  3. reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog
  4. hope that your followers will spread the love to other bloggers
Here are the 5 blogs that I chose to honor with this award as well:

Fourth Grade Fanatics

Tales from a 4th Grade Teacher

Well's Tales of a 4th grade Nothing

Turkish Delight - this blog is written by a Christian American teacher teaching in Turkey

Think Share Teach

Check out these great up and coming blogs and follow them all for great ideas and inspiration!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

An AhHa Moment Day

I have been doing a lot of thinking these last few weeks (as evidenced in my last post) and I have come to the conclusion that I do enjoy teaching 4th grade. My stress is coming from all the paperwork and extra stuff that keeps getting piled on and piled on. Well today not only was that confirmed for me but I had a bit of an epiphany if you will. This morning my students were reading an article about Martin Luther King Jr. and then they had some questions to answer. I was at my desk quickly trying to staple together writing prompts and respond to emails asking for data information and putting together things that needed to be submitted to the office and paperwork paperwork paperwork.

As I am at my desk, one of my students raised his hand and I had to stop what I was doing to go to him and answer his question, I no sooner got back to my desk to finish what I was doing and another raised their hand, this happened like 4 times and as I stood at my desk looking at the pile of paperwork and the unanswered emails and everything else I was trying to get done, I found myself thinking "Good grief if these kids would just leave me alone for a few minutes I could get my work done" and then I heard it, my "God voice", the one I hear really softly in the back of my head when I have been praying and praying for an answer, it's MY voice but I know it's God's way of talking to me so I will listen LOL.

Anyway, after I say to myself "Good grief, if these kids would just leave me alone for a few minutes I could get my work done." I hear my God voice say "THEY ARE YOUR WORK"  I stood there for a minute looking at the little faces that I am charged with teaching and thought, that's absolutely right, they are my work. Not the paperwork, not the emails, not the data. This hands in the air asking for help, THEY are my work. I love my job and I am so glad that God spoke to me today.

I have been so conflicted about what to do and now I feel like I know what to do. Focus on my students and the rest will get done when it gets done. I feel like I accomplished so much more today after I decided that I wasn't going to worry about any of the other "stuff" I actually was able to pull a group of students to my back table today during math time and help them with a concept they weren't understanding. I didn't get something else done but you know what, I don't care because what I did get done was much more important, especially to those 5 students who weren't getting it.

I think this is why I found my peace in my earlier teaching years, I didn't let things like paperwork cloud my head. Moving from Kindergarten to 4th grade has certainly been an adventure of paperwork and data but teaching is teaching and that's what I know how to do. I know how to teach and its what I'm good at. I may not be the best when it comes to the paperwork but that's OK, paperwork isn't my job, TEACHING is my job.

Now I am off to play Wii with my son and eat another Red Velvet Coke Zero cupcake with cream cheese frosting (only 5 WW Points Plus) and sleeping in tomorrow - NO SCHOOL!

Monday, January 16, 2012

A fish out of water?

Last year was my first year teaching 4th grade after 8 years in Kindergarten, and 2 years in 3rd grade. I made the move because I was feeling burned out in kindergarten and thought it would be a good idea to get my passion back by moving to a grade level that I had never taught before and it worked. I was super excited about the move and the challenge of a new grade level. Last year I felt like a fish out of water and I knew it was because technically that's what I was. I figured it would pass with some time.; When I first started teaching kindergarten I had that same feeling of having no clue what I was doing but with 8 years of experience and a National Board Certification in Early Childhood when I left kindergarten I felt like somewhat of an expert. Now that my 2nd year of 4th grade is half over I am a little concerned because I still feel like that fish out of water. When it comes to early childhood I know what I'm doing and feel good about what I do and the choices I make. With 4th grade I am constantly second guessing the choices I am making. In primary I could see the growth the students made and I didn't have students who groaned when it was time to learn something new. In 4th grade that growth is a lot more subtle and sometime I have to wonder are they actually getting it and I hate hearing "do we have to?" when I say "take out your math book."

I find myself wondering if it is, once again, time for a change. I know that I do NOT want to go back to kindergarten but I feel like I am more productive and actually a better teacher in the primary grades. I have been really thinking a lot about the possibility of asking for a transfer to 2nd grade next year. I feel like that would give me the best of both worlds, the little ones who are becoming independent. It would also remove the stress of the state standardized assessments too which I absolutely despise, because in Florida 3rd grade is the first year for state standardized assessments. I also feel like it might be a good move for personal reasons as well, namely I could request to stay in my current classroom since it is right next to the 2nd grade hallway and was actually built to be a primary classroom. I just don't know if there will be any openings in 2nd grade next school year which brings me to my other area of thought... I have been at my current school for 6 years, ever since we opened, and I have a strong bond with so many people there, especially those who also opened the school. Lately I have been feeling like I am in a rut and the only way out is a fresh start. I like having my school so close to my house (literally 5 minutes away) but there are a total of 8 other elementary schools within a 5 mile radius of my house and I am wondering if it is time that I start considering a change of location as well as grade level. Of course this is all just thinking, I have not yet made up my mind as to what I would like to do and I won't make that decision hastily. It will require a great deal of thought and also prayer. I have always relied on God to place me where He needs me to be. Which of course makes me wonder if the thoughts I am having are His way of telling me that its time for me to move on. I've also wondered if the fact that I was discontented in Kindergarten my last year there, and now again am finding myself feeling a bit discontented is a sign that maybe I'm ready to leave the classroom and move on to another area of education. Apparently I have a great deal of thinking to do.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I'm getting a smart board

I am super excited! I was chosen as 1 of 8 teachers in my school to get the first round of SmartBoards!! They are coming on Friday to survey my room for installation and then hopefully it will be installed soon after that. I am SO excited but I have no idea where to even begin with using it in class. I would love to get some ideas on how others use them in their classroom. I have some ideas how to use it in our math program because our math program comes with quite a few technological components. I would love to hear how others are using their SmartBoards in their classrooms or if you know of websites that have pre made smart board lessons please share it. I can't wait to read what all you wonderful teachers do with your SmartBoards!

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Last night, at midnight, my son proposed to his girlfriend and she said yes!!!! I'm so happy for him but at the same time I am totally in disbelief, my little boy is getting married!!