Hey guys! I haven't talked about school in a while so thought I would pop in because this year is weird. Right now we are doing remote learning, Arizona has been struggling to keep our numbers down, but we have some groups of parents pushing to get all kids back in the building. I'm not sure what's going to happen so trying to prepare either way! I really don't mine the remote learning right now, other than not seeing all my students in person... But we have a schedule for all our students and live sessions daily so that we can still teach and make sure they are getting their education.
I love the beginning of the year because that means school supplies! But, because we aren't in the classroom I didn't really get much of anything this year. I snagged a few things from the dollar bins at Target, but for the most part I got what I wanted/needed from Amazon. So check out my favorites below and tell me what do you like getting for the new school year?
*Thank you for shopping through my links, I earn a very small commission with no extra cost to you*
First lets be real, clothes are always what's on my mind so I grabbed all of these for teaching in the classroom or for being comfortable at home. I LOVE these three dresses and have already worn them all. The skirt is also another favorite and I have paired it with multiple top + it's long enough to wear to school! I finally got this highly rated jumpsuit so I will update you with what I think about it. Side note, many of these items have been getting discounted and have coupons so check them out!
Next up are well, school supplies....for me. We have a budget at school ($100, woo!) to buy classroom supplies so I tend to buy things that I will use for myself in my classroom. I love flair pens and they are on MAJOR sale right now so add to cart if you need to restock! Binder clips are my jam and I use them for everything so I love having extra on hand. This at home laminator is amazing. I have had mine for years (older model) and will continue to buy Scotch when I need to replace (going on 9 years with mine and still no issues!). Teacher carts are always useful and this year especially if we are moving classrooms or locations! I use my ipad to create digital lessons a lot so a stylus is a must. I like this one because it is rechargeable, has a pencil tip for one end, and then the soft stylus for the other. And lastly are blue light glasses. I love these thicker framed ones but there are TONS of options. I started wearing them consistently at the end of last year and feel like they do help cut down on those headaches.
Now, let's talk about self care. This is something that I have generally always put to the side until Covid hit More time at home means more time to actually start taking care of myself more with routines. My facial routine is much better now because I have been consistent with it and also my hair routine as well. I linked some of my favorites below. I use these beauty blenders daily, the microfiber towel is perfect for plopping my hair up when went then scrunching, and the case is so good for storage and traveling. The silicone face mask brushes are new to me and I am really excited to try them out because my brushes have all been inconsistent and these were recommended to me on Instagram.
This is an unprecedented time for all of us and honestly I'm not sure what to think of all of it. My school is officially closed for two weeks as of now and possibly longer depending on the situation. As of now we as teachers have been told to just "hold tight", we are not creating and putting out digital lessons because most of our students don't have their own computer at home or even internet other than their cell phone. I prefer to create video lessons but it takes many hours to do so and at the moment I have paused on all of my lesson creations, but I wanted to share the countless resources other teachers have created and shared during this time. Whether you're a teacher trying to find a way to move content online or a parent trying to do some homeschooling or just entertaining on your own check out this list below to hopefully find a great resource to help you!
I tried to group these into two different categories but some do overlap from the K-6 to the 7-12. If you have more to share please leave a comment and I will add them to this list!
Also, I want to point out that I am doing none of this, I am spending this time away from school and teaching to make sure that my family and I stay healthy both mentally and physically so please do not feel pressured at all. You can spend time with your family reading books, watching Netflix, playing outside, and it will still be okay. Once my district officially announces our plan then I will implement my digital teaching if that is what is decided.
One thing I do want to share with you all is Prodigy though. I have created multiple classes in my account where I will monitor and assign content for students to practice. It is a free website where you sign up with your email (much easier than creating an account) and then you enter my code to join my class. This is not a promotion, I don't get anything for it, it is something I use with my own students. If you are a teacher and are transitioning to digital learning I HIGHLY suggest that you try it for math for you students! It goes from 1-8th grade. Click on this link to register!
If you’re a teacher you know what I’m talking about, if not, let me explain. Taking a day off is just as much or more work than just going in sick. You never know what kind of sub you’ll get, if they’ll follow the lesson plans you spent hours making, or if they can handle your 150 students. You worry about your kids all day even though you’re sick at home. You expect them to be on their best behavior, hoping security isn’t called to your room. You hope the teacher next door doesn’t have to remove the kids misbehaving so their lesson isn’t interrupted.
This has been on my mind a lot this year because I’ve honestly missed the most school in the first semester I’ve ever taken off. I had so much going on with doctors and appointments that I used more sick days than I ever expected in a three month period. But, this is the first year I’ve ever been able to start to push this guilt aside.
Today I was home sick, and while I still followed team chats and responded when I could, I didn’t feel as guilty. Yes I wanted to be there to support my team, but it’s not the same as it used to be. I can’t even explain the kind of support you have on a team like this. Our cohort of teachers completely supports each other and it’s so comforting knowing someone has my back. Our interventionist taught my math lesson, our SLD teacher helped my kids that were struggling, and our aid supported the students that needed more time.
Although I know my team may change, I’m so excited to see this program blossom and grow. I’m continuing to track my students and see their improvement. Competency based education has changed so much of what I do, and I can’t imagine going back to a traditional setting. Pushing through chapters to force content rather than making sure they master the standards makes learning a challenge for many students. I love having time to dive deeper and not have to do this with our flexible schedule. We have some big changes coming this year and I can’t wait to tell you all about them!
Leave a comment and let me know what you’re interested in hearing more about! Math lessons, cross curricular projects, standards based grading, etc. I’d love to share more with you!
Also, if you missed my last post check it out here to learn more about this pilot program!
Hey all and welcome to my blog! I wanted to start my first post by telling you a little bit about my year and what school has been like. I work at a Title I school in Mesa, Arizona. More than 75% of my students are on a free or reduced lunch program. I’ve been teaching math here for six years. I have taught a variety of math courses including pre-algebra, math remediation classes (skill-builder) and intervention, where students would spend lunch periods with me working on different concepts. I’ve taught inclusion math classes with special-education teachers as well, but this year takes the cake. The program this year is a pilot program, something new to me as a teacher and also uncharted territory for my students.
We’re fortunate to have a very innovative principal who is all about what’s best for our students. Honestly, she has the kind of mindset every teacher and administrator should have. Towards the end of the last school year she approached select teachers in our school about her ideas for the pilot program. She wanted to create a school within a school. The program would include project-based learning with a flexible bell schedule designed by the teachers, I was hooked immediately. The ability to create our own bell schedule to make sure the students have the time to truly learn and master the content is a wonderful concept.
Over the past six years I’ve realized education needs a change, and I think the rest of the state of Arizona would agree. Unfortunately though, change in the education system is very difficult. There’s so much focus on state testing and I think we’ve forgotten the most important part of education: the process of learning. That’s what this pilot program is meant to do: create learners out of students and put the focus into mastery of content, not just focus on state test scores.
So, last summer after hours upon hours of planning and attempting to organize what we thought this year would be like, we took a trip to San Diego to visit High Tech High. HTH offers students the opportunity to apply to the school and enroll in their innovative learning program The entire school curriculum is built around the style of learning we are now offering our students. It’s basically a lottery of getting accepted into the school because the students want to be in this learning atmosphere. It was amazing to observe teachers and students and discuss what they do and how they do it. We knew we would be tackling a new program, but until we visited their school, we honestly had no idea what to expect.
Fast forward to the end of the first half of this year: we’re far from perfect. This year has been full of ups and downs, but I have to say I love that it’s different and that I’m not doing the same thing every, single, day. I’ve been questioning how effective I am as a teacher through this program, and through some data analysis, my students are doing the same if not better in certain content areas. I Can't wait to see how the rest of the year turns out!
I would love to hear any of your experiences if you've had similar or what else you would be interested in hearing about this new program!