Time Travel

One of my students approached me today and said, “if you could travel back in time and see one thing, what would it be?” 

I took a moment to think before answering, “I would go see George Washington be inaugurated as the first president of the United States.” 

He nodded and told me he would see giants… didn’t want to burst his bubble about giants not being real.

The student next to him looked up at me and said, “I would travel into the future.” 

I asked him what he would see and he shrugged and said, “I would go to McDonalds…”

I love my kids! If they could go anywhere and do anything it would be see giants or visit a future McDonalds. 

Forest Themed Classroom

I finally made my decision about how I want to decorate my classroom. I am going to transition from school themed to Forest. I love being outdoors and being in a room full of woodsy things will remind me of one of my favorite places on earth, camp! I bought a few things and am working on some others. Hopefully, as the year goes on I can collect more things and really make this space my own!   

 
I also made myself a little woodland friend to put on the trash can.  

 

    
I am very excited about all of this and be sure I will post some cute pics when it all goes up! 

A Lot Can Happen In a Week’s Time

A little over a year ago, a dear friend and camp counselor asked me, “What are you going to do with your pathfinders (campers who are 14 and 15) week one?” I laughed because I fully expected to be Blazer (11 to 12 year old) once again. Now I faced with a similar situation; what am going to do with my fourth graders on the first day? I never thought I would be where I am right now. I applied for 14 different positions and the the only one that was not k-2 was the job I got. Now, I am not complaining! Believe me, I am over the moon excited that I have job and that I have the opportunity to teach. I am just a little scared!

Here is how it all went down…

Last week, Tuesday-

I get an email and text message from my mentor teacher while I am at work saying there are jobs open in the school and I should look into it. I work until 2:00 a.m. getting my application together. 

Sunday: 

My mentor teacher emails the school principal to inform her that I am interested in the job and “an excellent addition to -the school- staff.” (Her words not mine. Isn’t she fantastic!) 

Monday 11:52-

My phone rings while I am outside helping my dad with the fence he is building. I go inside and discover a missed call from the town my student teaching school is in. I immediately listen to the voicemail and call the school back. We set up an interview for the following day. I go and get interview clothes (as all of mine are too big) and then go to work. I stay up until 2:30 a.m. revamping my portfolio to fit upper elementary. 

Tuesday 8:50-

I meet the principal and interview with her. We take a walk around the school. I get to see all of the rooms and where important things are located. The interview takes exactly an hour. 

Tuesday 3:52-

 I check my phone to see what time it is and see a missed call and voicemail from the school. The principal wants to talk with me about the opening. I rush to my manager and ask to take a break because I got a call from the school. She says, “no! Go back to your phone! Call them back!” So I do. And the news is so good, I cry a little in the storage room while my coworkers watch. My manager even clears my schedule for the rest of the week so I have no worries about missing work for school! 

Tuesday 6:00- 

I rush out to my car after work. I text my mentor teacher that I will be teaching fourth grade in the school she works in. She repsonds happily and apparently texts the classroom aide she had last year. The classroom aide texts me to congratulate me. I cried again, a little. 

The most tears came when my mentor teacher said she would see me at the staff meeting! Last year, I sat through several staff meetings to get the feel for them and now I get to be a real part! I am beyond excited and honored that I have the opportunity to work as a peer with my mentor teacher! Imagine! Me! One week ago, I was grasping at straws and now I have a job teaching with some of the very best teachers out there! I still cannot believe it! 

All of my camp experience is going to have to pull me through the next couple of weeks before I get the hang of things! Thank goodness for my pathfinders! 

Rain and Libraries

It has been a pretty rainy day here and I haven’t had much motivation to get out of my bed and off of my computer. Though, my day has not been as unproductive as it sounds. I organized my classroom books today. I went through the laundry basket, box, and bags that have been sitting disorganized for months and blocking up my closet (my living arrangements being pretty tight nowadays considering everything I own for my classroom and apartment is in my bedroom at home). Well, the boxes are still blocking the closet, they are just a little bit more under control.

I have been struggling to decide how I will get all of them organized. I do not have any idea what my room will look like so honestly I could have to reorganize them all anyway once I get to that point. Not only did I organize them, I also used Library Thing (a free website: librarything.com) to help keep them organized. I just typed in the ISBN and could save that book into my library. I also tagged all of the books so I can search for books about animals, clifford, Kevin Henkes…. Now when I am planning units all I have to do is search to see how many books I have about frogs or whatever. Then I can decide what I need to borrow. This site also has pictures of the books next to the title so I can more easily find it on my shelves/ in my baskets.

What I think I am going to do is very similar to how my student teaching classroom teacher organized her books. She had her books grouped by theme/ subject on one set of shelves. She then pulled those books when she was doing a unit on that theme/ subject. She put some of the books in the student book baskets and kept the books she would read during read alouds on her desk. I like how that works because all of the books with the same theme/ subject stay together when they are not being used. Also students are not so overwhelmed with choices because then they take too long to choose books to read. It saves time and it keeps my brain from running all over trying to figure out where I put the book I was looking for!

I am hopeful that this will help my stay organized once I am in my room because I tend to be a little scatterbrained about where I put things. Hopefully, I also will not forget what books I already have so I do not buy 12 of the same book over time!

Classroom Decorations 

I pulled out all of the stuff I have been collecting in terms of classroom decor. I guess I really do like red! I have been trying to make preparations for when I do actually get a job so I thought I should take a look at what I have. I am now thinking that I definitely do not have enough stuff to decorate a whole room. 

I don’t want things to be too bare when the students come in for the first day but I also do not want the students to be overwhelmed by too many bright colors. What I really want is a big vinyl tree that I could change the leaves on depending on the season. I hope I have enough wall space for it somewhere. 

My Happy Camper canoe sign is going to go above my class rules. I saw this cute bulletin board on Pinterest and I think it would be very appropriate for primary grade class rules.  

  
I may change the wording a little but the whole idea is very cute. 

I have applied to a lot of jobs recently and hope one will work out soon so I can get into my classroom and get organizing and planning! 
 

Welcome to my Class!

Hello, everybody! My name is Miss Haley and I recently graduated from college. YAY! I graduated with a degree in elementary education and I cannot (absolutely CANNOT) wait to get a job teaching. I currently do not have my own classroom but I hope soon there will be one that is all mine. I just finished my student teaching at a lovely little elementary school in Indiana where I had the very best experience with the very best mentor teacher imaginable (you can read all about my adventures in student teaching through my last blog The View from Student Teaching). Now, I am ready for my own room with my own set of students. I am looking for jobs all over my home state of Indiana as well as my dream state of South Carolina. We will see what happens!

Everyone tells me the first few years of teaching are the hardest and the ones you learn the most during. I can imagine this is absolutely the truth and I hope by writing out my experiences I will learn as much as I can and maybe help others out in the process. I know it is going to be an adventure I will never forget. Come on by here any time and take a look though my classroom window. I hope what you will see is a messy, controlled chaos that means everyone is learning to their fullest potential.