Monday, November 2, 2015

Student Teaching - Week 8

I'm pretty sure all outfits this week were on repeat so no outfit of the week. Instead, here's what I'd rather being wearing all week:





What I Did:

This week was all about the testing. The kids had a map test Tuesday and a unit test Thursday. The unit test was all material that I taught the kids exclusively so it was interesting to see how the kids fared (pretty good!). Other days were spent reviewing and playing games to prep them for the tests. 

Things I Learned:

These kids thrive on getting a reaction out of teachers. The best way to deal with them is not to show emotion. I had to really yell at one class on Monday and instead of getting the intended reaction they thought it was funny. They even told my teacher that getting me to raise my voice was the highlight of their day. I'm going to say it, don't judge me....jerks. 

Things I Still Need to Learn:

Not showing emotion. I usually wear my heart on my sleeve. I need to learn I can't do that. 

Memorable Moment of the Week:

Two students who used to be favorites of mine began dating a little bit ago. They're still good kids but since they're in the same class, I spend more time trying to get them to pay attention so it's hard to love them as much as I used to. Anyway, this week my teacher caught them passing notes during a test. When she grabbed the note, she was in for quite a surprise when it said that one of them wanted to *ahem* orally please the other. Awkward.....

Honest Thoughts:

8 weeks down, 4 to go. I feel so close, yet so far. Not gonna lie, I'm back to wanting this to be over with and wanting to be done with it. 



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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Things I Really Miss Right Now

I don't have much of a life right now while I'm student teaching, if that wasn't already apparent by the lack of posts beyond the weekly recaps of teaching. I couldn't even do an "End of the Week Roundup" post if I wanted to since it would literally just recap what I'm already recapping. Anyway, there are a few things that I absolutely miss right now and makes student teaching stretch out a little longer than I'd like it to.

via


1. Having a life in general

So while I'm teaching, I'm still working a minimum of 10 hours a week at my regular job. While that may not sound like a lot, couple that with the fact that I never know quite when I'm leaving school each day and it makes for a really tough schedule. Most days I don't leave the school until around 5 and I still have to go home and prep for something with school, meaning I'm working well into the evening on school stuff. To make up for the time, I work every Saturday at my regular job 7-3 and then go into work for an hour two nights a week to make up the rest of the time. Sundays are spent doing school work too. That leaves no time for anything else. Literally.

2. My friends

Since I'm so busy/tired, it's impossible to make any time to hang out with friends let alone text them to see how they're doing/hold a normal adult conversation with them. I really miss all my friends, so much so I've been avoiding most social media since seeing them makes me feel "homesick" for them.

3. Sewing

I haven't stepped foot into my sewing room since the end of August and I really miss the hum of my sewing machine. The one plus side of teaching right now is that I have a creativity outlet so I'm not going insane needing to release my creative energies.

4. Spending money

That's right, I'll admit it. I like to spend money. Who doesn't? I'm not saying it's a great thing, I'm just saying that I like being able to buy a new shirt if I want to or some lipstick I want to try. But when you're living off your savings, spending money on anything that isn't a necessity is not an option. Sometimes I'll log on to my Amazon wish list and just look at all the pretty things I want to buy. 

5. Me time at lunch

Lunch time at my regular job was something I really relished. Whether it was going to Panera, sitting in my car reading, or going for a walk, I could do pretty much whatever I wanted on my lunch break. Now, lunch break consists of either completing school work with my cooperating teacher or helping students out who are oblivious to the idea that their teacher needs to eat too. 

Don't get me wrong, teaching is not all that bad. In fact, it's a good thing I can't spend money right now. It's a lesson in learning how to budget, which I've never properly learned. Plus, the connections I'm building with my students will stay with me forever, and will probably be much more satisfying than most of the "relationships" I have with people I work with. But in general, I miss  a lot of the cozier aspects of my life that I had pre-teaching. Just a few more weeks and I'll have it back and I'll probably be moaning about how much I miss teaching. 





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Monday, October 26, 2015

Student Teaching - Week 7

What I Wore:

Student Teaching Week 7


What I Did:

I went into this week in a mild panic. It was a notes heavy week and I had tried to come up with alternatives for the students instead of note taking but my energy, brain capacity, enthusiasm, and lesson planning skills were just not up to par so I knew going into the week that not only would the kids  have to take notes three out of the five days but also that I didn't have enough filler to take care of the downtime. Luckily for me, my cooperating teacher is awesome and within ten minutes of me walking into the building, she had suggestions in place and I was ready to go. 

Things I Learned:

With the exception of the electives, I teach the lower academic students. That isn't to say they aren't smart, history just may not be their forte. Anyway, this week I learned that those students love word puzzles. I gave them cryptograms, crosswords, word searches, and word scrambles and they really took to them.

Memorable Moment of the Week:

An exceptionally difficult student who refuses to do any work yelled out "I love word searches" and then poured over it, being the first one to complete it. It's the first time I've seen her show any kind of enthusiasm for anything and it was nice to find something that she really took to.

Looking Forward To:

This week in general. It's a fairly easy week for me, Friday is a half day so I won't teach them. Tuesday and Thursday are a map test and a unit test, respectively and the other two days will be review games. The week usually flies by for me anyway, but I'm assuming this week will really go quickly.

Honest Thoughts:

I'm definitely enjoying myself much more now but I still can't wait for this to end. It's still very exhausting and time consuming. Plus, no matter how many lessons I create or days I head into school prepared, it still causes anxiety. It'll be nice to be done and actually rest (and sew!) for once.

Seven weeks down, five to go! The countdown is really on!

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Student Teaching - Week 6

What I Wore:
A few things are similar but not exact since most of the things I own are a few years old.

student teaching week 6



What I Did:

This week was a bit of a nice break for me. Not only did we have Monday off for Columbus Day (thank you Mr. Columbus for getting lost!) but Wednesday was PSAT testing so I got to spend the majority of the day supervising students watching movies. It was such a light week, but definitely a much needed reprieve. 


Things I Still Need to Learn:

Alternatives to note taking. I attempted to create two different types of lessons for the coming week, which is note heavy and both just ended up bombing in my face. It doesn't help that I'm new to this and, honestly, there is a ton of pressure to do well. Maybe down the road, in a classroom of my own, I'll find a way to teach without lecturing/notes, but for student teaching its not going to happen.

Looking Forward To:

Teaching a new class. So far I've been teaching all three core History classes, which means the same lesson three times a day. This week, I'll begin teaching an elective course my teacher has, Myths and Legends. Considering Greek mythology is one of my favorite things in the world, I have so much to share!

Honest Thoughts:

It's still very stressful, especially today (I'm writing this Sunday). I've spent the past four hours trying to find fun activities to go with all the notes I'm cramming down these kids' throats and I came up empty handed. It's so frustrating and the thought of heading there stresses me out but then when I actually do show up, most of my worries melt away and my days fly by. It's a catch-22.

6 weeks down, 6 to go -- I am officially halfway through this!

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Monday, October 12, 2015

Student Teaching - Week Five

What I "Wore":

Most of what you see here I own, a few things like the boots and flats are similar but not exact since the ones I own are a few years old. 

Student Teaching Week 5




What I Did:

This was my first week of teaching my own lesson plans in my core history class for the entire week. It was exhausting, during the day I'd either be prepping for the lesson, teaching, or modifying the lesson to better meet the needs of the student. Then, I'd go home and make sure my lesson plan was set to go for the next day/write lesson plans for another day.

Things I Learned:

End of the school day by no means end of the work day. Most days I'm staying two hours after school lets out to finish up grading or prepping. Then, when I do eventually get home, I'm still working on school stuff. 

Things I Still Need to Learn:

Still working on that classroom management! It's the bane of my existence.

Memorable Moment of the Week:

I'm currently teaching the students about the industrial revolution, and Thursday I had half the class pretend they were working in a factory. One of the roles was a 9 year old factory worker who cried a lot. I asked one student in one of the classes that I knew would really run with it to play the kid in the factory. He was so hilarious but also very helpful in making the environment uncomfortable so the kids could get an idea what it would be like to work in the factory with a child. I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants a few times.

Looking Forward To:

Right now, I'm looking forward to all this being over, its so tiring!

Honest Thoughts:

See above.

5 weeks down, 7 to go! Next week we will be halfway done....I'm so ready for normalcy again!

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Monday, October 5, 2015

Student Teaching - Week Four

What I Wore:

Just a few key outfits....

Teaching Week 4




The Limited mini top / LOFT scoop neck tank top / Merona purple cardigan / Express / Banana Republic pants / ZiGiny pointy toe flat shoes

What I Did:

Things week was a bit broken up, since sadly Dave's grandfather passed away and the funeral was Thursday.

The school I am at expects their students to write a five paragraph essay at the end of each unit. I think this is a great idea since it gets the students used to writing but it's also like pulling teeth with them. The first three days of my core classes we spent prepping the kids for the essay and then getting them written. Friday I taught my own lesson again with the core classes, although it was just notes.

Things I Learned:

"I don't know" doesn't necessarily mean "I don't know". Sometimes it means "I don't want to do this".

Kids who pay no attention to you whatsoever will suddenly be very concerned in your absence.

Things I Still Need to Learn:

Classroom management is still a tough one for me to conquer. This week it was learning how to gradually increase my threats to get them to be quiet instead of heading straight to the worst consequence.

Memorable Moment of the Week:

I got a chance to connect with some teachers over my Chicken and Rice Bake recipe when I brought some for lunch this week. They tried it and loved it so much, I ended up printing the recipe and sharing it with them!

Looking Forward To:

Having a day off next Monday. Seriously, I need a day of binge watching Netflix by myself.

Honest Thoughts:

I'm really starting to get into the nitty gritty of all this and it's tough for me. This past week I literally went to school, then went to my regular job for a bit and then came straight home to work on even more school work until I went to bed. They were long days and I'm definitely on autopilot right now to get myself through all this. I'm hoping that this week was rougher because not only did I have to come up with the lesson plans for the core class for the month but then I had to write some. Now hopefully for the next month all I'll need to do is write up the lessons and prep for them. We'll see!

4 weeks down, 8 to go!



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Monday, September 28, 2015

Student Teaching- Week Three

I was so sick this week, but I hustled through. What I didn't do was take a picture of any of my outfits, so no outfit of the week picture. 

Memes I Love In Lieu of an Outfit for the Week:





What I Did:

This week I taught two of my own lessons, both turned out very well. The first one was an activity about Latin American liberators and the second was a review game for the test. 

I also started grading things this week, which is tougher than you think. The hardest thing to grade were the student's French Revolution storybooks because it's really subjective. I also had to write down what the grade levels would be for each score because at first I was grading them a little tougher than what I realized. 

Things I Learned:

Grading is hard. At times I spaced out from the sheer mass of words coming at me. Other times I'd get so frustrated at a capable student's complete lack of effort. My head literally hurt after grading a few storybooks. 

Things I Still Need to Learn:

Classroom management aka learning how to get them to shut it when I need them to. 

Memorable Moment of the Week:

I had a student who wants to do good but really struggles with his work reach out to me to help him study for the test. We went over everything together and I showed him what he needed to study. When he came in for the test on Friday, he NAILED it. I am so so so proud of him. 

Looking Forward To:

Surviving another week!

Honest Thoughts:

I'm still on the fence about whether or not this is the right career track for me, but the good news is that both my cooperating teacher and my supervising teacher think I do a great job in front of the classroom. I love most of the kids but there's so much more to teaching than just the kids and there is so much in my life that is still waiting to happen (like kids hopefully) that I'm not sure I can devote my entire life (which is pretty much what it's going to require at first) to it right now. Who knows, maybe over the next few weeks I'll keep swaying towards teaching considering when I first started doing this I was completely against the idea. 

3 weeks down, 9 to go! We are officially in the single digits!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Rent the Runway

A friend introduced me to Rent the Runway a few weeks back and I'm not going to lie, I'm obsessed. It's an online rental service where you can rent designer clothes, jewelry, and other accessories at a very affordable rate. 

I first rented a dress, earrings and a necklace for dinner in the city for my birthday. The thing I loved most about the whole experience is that I was much more adventurous in what I chose. The dress I chose was all sparkles and that's not something I would ever wear. The earrings and necklace were huge statement pieces that 1. I never wear and 2. are usually priced more than what I'd be willing to spend on something I would rarely wear.  




Then, three days before I  was set to go to a wedding (that was the day after my birthday), the dress that I had ordered weeks ago from Modcloth still hadn't come in so I hopped on to Rent the Runway and ordered this gorgeous dress that was green sparkles on the bottom. Again, not something I would typically buy but renting it made it so much easier to try it out. Since the wedding was the day after my birthday I was able to wear the jewelry pieces I rented again.

Both rentals came in a really nice gown bag that folded into a smaller, more compact size and you got to keep the hangers! 
I wasn't paid for this review or anything, I won't get any kind of credit if you check them out but if you are in need of a dress or some jewelry, or even a clutch, for an event, definitely check them out! 

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Monday, September 21, 2015

Student Teaching - Week Two

I'm not going to lie, this week was a rough one for me, but I'm thankful for it. It's better to deal with the tough stuff now so that I don't go into teaching thinking it's all sunshine, rainbows, and cupcakes.

Favorite Outfit of the Week:


Shirt: Loft (old, similiar)
Pants: Victoria's Secret (old, similar)
Shoes: Zigi Soho Tilly Flats

What I Did:

Experienced a few run ins with some students, one who was trying to get attention while I was attempting to teach and another who was not happy with my attempts to separate her and her friend during a half day school wide project. 

Broke down after said student yelled in my face and contemplated giving up. 

Taught a few more times and thought up a review game to play next week.

One of the lessons I taught (which was a plan the teacher thought up), that is an absolute favorite of mine, the students had to create a "museum exhibit" out of play-doh and create a title card that had a brief description of the exhibit. 



Things I Learned:

Apparently Victoria's Secret stopped selling their suiting clothes (like pants) over a year ago. I used to only wear their pants exclusively but I hadn't bought a new pair from them in years and I only found out now when I was trying to find the pants that I was wearing in this picture. Slightly saddened since their pants always looked good on, but not so much since it's been a while since I actually purchased anything from them. 

Starbucks is slowly becoming my new best friend, since this is exhausting, especially coupled with the fact that I'm still working too. I nearly fell asleep on my way to work on Tuesday and had to grab a frapuccino to wake myself up to work in the evening and then again on my way to seminar on Wednesday. Considering I fell asleep standing up while talking to Dave Thursday night, my usual "I don't need caffeine to make it through the day" mantra might have to go out the window during the next 10 weeks.

If you know what you're doing, writing lesson plans aren't that bad.

Play-doh is awesome at any age, even high school. 

Things I Still Need to Learn:

So I'm better on the monotone aspect of my teaching but my speed is not good, I go too fast. So now I need to find the happy medium.

Memorable Moment of the Week:

During Friday's half day "Tech Day" I got to work with a small group of students and participate in the projects with them. It really gave me a chance to work more one on one with some of my regular students that I haven't had a chance to really interact with yet and I had so much fun with them. One of the projects the students had to do was come up with a six word memoir. At first they didn't want to do it at all until I came up with some for them and then they ran with it coming up with several more. It was so satisfying to see them really get involved because of my efforts.

Looking Forward To:

Teaching the review game that I came up with on Thursday. If it's a success I'll share it here!

Honest Thoughts:

I'm not going to lie, there were several moments this week where I was seriously close to giving up, I mean I was literally thisclose. It was a rough week but I'm sticking with it, even if I end up hating this, I've worked too hard and come too far to not see it through. I need to look back on this time, regardless of it's outcome, and know that I didn't give up.

2 weeks down, 10 to go!
 

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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How to Have the Best Lip Sync Battle Party

A few Friday nights ago was my lip sync battle themed 30th birthday party. To say it was fun would be an understatement. Of course in all the excitement I didn't take the time to take proper pictures of the set up (just me and my friends rocking it out), but I still wanted to share with you what I did to pull off this fun party. 



First things first, most importantly you need music! What I did was have as many friends as possible give me the songs they planned to sing at the party and created a YouTube playlist but I also left it open for friends to sign up for songs the night of since many of them saw how much fun it was and wanted to participate. 

I was lucky enough that I had a friend who was a DJ and I borrowed her equipment for the party BUT there are so many other options if you don't have DJ equipment or want to spend the money on a DJ. For example, speakers like this one project amazing sound as well and can be set up for Bluetooth so you can just use your phone!

The next important item on your list is props. You can't have a lip sync battle without microphones (I purchased a pack of toy ones off of amazon)  but you also need fun props for your lip-syncers and the crowd to have too. I went to the dollar store and just walked around and grabbed random items like bead necklaces, glow stick bracelets, glow stick clappers, noisemakers, crowns , feather boas and so much more. I also purchased a 12 pack of sunglasses for everyone to grab while performing or taking pictures. 



The biggest hits of the night were definitely the glow stick hand clappers I bought from the dollar store. If you can't find them, these would work out good too, since my friends just seem to like to make noise. I encouraged everyone to grab some kind of noisemaker at the start of the evening and made sure to make noise after each lip-syncer went so that everyone encouraged everyone else on. 


Lastly, what's a party without party favors? Everyone got one of these  party favors, because everyone participated, those who chose not to lip sync got to be the judges to determine who won the award that I bought for the winner, which wasn't the greatest of awards but it was still pretty fantastic. 

Throw in some good food and drinks, fun friends, and good music and I promise you will have the best lip sync party ever! 



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Monday, September 14, 2015

Student Teaching - Week One

You know those "Currently" posts that float around? I thought I'd borrow that idea and share tidbits for each week that I'm student teaching. 
Favorite Outfit of the Week:

Please ignore the grainy picture, this was taken 6 am with my cell phone, since I have no other time to do this.
Cardigan: Banana Republic (out of stock)
Top: Loft 
Pants: Loft
Flats: Gap
Earrings: Kate Spade
Necklace: Charlotte Russe (old)

What I Did:

This week was all about acclimating myself to the classroom and the students. I spent the first two days really trying to learn the student's names. By the third day, I was starting to get the hang of most of their names but I still needed the attendance sheet to remind me of the names of the students in each class. Quite frankly, I'm surprised that I've learned their names as quickly as I have. It took me a few months to learn my Teen Book Club teens names confidently and it only took me three days here.

Things I Learned:

Speaking of names, I never realized how important it was to the students for me to know their name until I started to learn them. The ones who I did remember quickly lit up when I spoke their name. The ones who names it took me a little longer to learn seemed exasperated with me. Learning their names helped me build a rapport with them and it's insane how far I've gotten in building a relationship with each of them just by learning their name.

Also, some kids know how to impress. I had two boys shake my hand when I introduced myself the first day. Their actions left such a distinct mark in my mind, I remembered their names instantly. 


Things I Still Need to Learn:

Using a decent inside voice when I'm at home or work. I'm so used to hearing loud voices all day or projecting my own voice that I find myself speaking loudly when I'm in quieter settings. It's going to be an adjustment switching between the chaos of the class to the quiet of home/work (side irony note here, I used to think work was loud...).

I taught a few lessons Friday and apparently I have a very monotone voice. I tried to fix it after the first lesson I taught and ended up only talking louder not with more inflection. This is definitely something I need to work on. 

Memorable Moment of the Week:
My first day I remembered the name of one girl in particular very quickly. When I approached her for the second time of the day and called her by her name her eyes widened and she had this look of surprise on her face. She said to me, "you know my name?" and seemed genuinely shocked that I would remember her so quickly. The look on her face absolutely melted my heart and made the entire exhausting, chaotic day worthwhile. It reminded me why I worked so hard to get to this point. 

Looking Forward To:

Teaching a few more classes...hopefully learning how not to talk in a monotone voice?

Honest Thoughts:

Before starting this, I was terrified. Enough so that I thought I might have been making a big mistake and that this might not be for me. At the end of my first day I was still wavering. By the end of my second day, I realized that I might actually really enjoy myself and learn a lot from this experience and that it's okay to wonder. 

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Friday, September 11, 2015

End of the Week Roundup

Phew! What a week it has been! 
1. My last day of work (full time) was last Thursday. That evening Dave and I went to see my favorite author Christopher Moore and have him sign his new book for me. 
2. Friday was my 30th birthday and I went to the city with Dave and my parents for dinner at Fogo De Chao. It was so good but so expensive. 
3. Saturday Dave and I attended a wedding and made a ton of new friends. It was such a wonderful evening, a lifetime of happiness to the newly wedded couple!
4. Sunday Dave and my mom threw a surprise birthday picnic for me, by this time I was so exhausted but we spent the day playing Backyard Jenga and Backyard Yahtzee so it was a blast!
5. Monday we stopped up at my friend Becca's daughter's 1st birthday party. It's hard to believe that Marisol is one already but she is! 

6. Tuesday was the first day student teaching. It was exhausting if I'm being honest, but the second and third days were so much fun. I think I'm going to really enjoy myself!

7. Wednesday was Dave and my's anniversary, we had dinner at Wyebrook Farms, a local farm/restaurant near our home. Dinner was delicious!



This week has been incredibly busy but one week down in student teaching, 11 to go! How did your week turn out?

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