Week 1- Done... What a Week!!

I can't believe I am still alive after this past week- and it was only a four day week. I felt so unprepared from day to day- as I am usually a planner, and I felt like I didn't know what to really plan day to day due to all our interruptions (2 assemblies, whole school modeling schedules, etc.) I thought I might get a bit of a honeymoon phase with my students- it's the first day of school, they'll probably be a little shy... WRONG! Many of them were showing their true colors on day one- which was a little tough on me, but actually quite appreciated. Now I know what I'm working with and begin to start getting some plans and ideas into place so that I can help them be successful both as a student and as a person. I had meetings everyday, would come home, work the entire evening- then go to bed. I would get to school 2 1/2 hours before it even started (we have a late start, so I'd rather get there early than stay till 8pm), and would still leave after 6 pm, making it nearly 12 hour days. I was thrown challenges and tested- but I think for my first week ever- it went well. It could have gone a lot worse, and although I wish it would have gone a bit better, I learned a lot about my kiddos and myself as a teacher and that was one of my main goals.

I was so grateful for the weekend for some time to just get organized. My planner wasn't even put together yet- which, if anyone knows me, they would be shocked to know that I survived this week. I had a plan for the weekend to get so much done (grading, sort paper work, organize, plan, prep). However, I didn't have as much time to do all of this as I planned due to a little surprise.

You should see this sparkle in the sunshine!!


I GOT ENGAGED! Nick, my boyfriend of nearly 7 1/2 years proposed to me Saturday night. We spent the evening going out to dinner, walking on the beach, calling friends and family, and just enjoying every minute. Needless to say, I am a bit overwhelmed now- but in a good way! I hope that now that I get to start planning the wedding, that it will help me take time for myself and my new fiance and not solely focus on school. Don't get me wrong, I'm still totally invested in my kiddos- but I think I will better be able to serve them if I take time out for myself and remember there is a life outside of school.

We have our first full week of school this week, and it's filled with testing and push in lessons so the chaos continues. Hopefully fill you all in later on sometime!
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Workshop Week Done

Well- it came and went. The week was full of a whole lot of useful information that I haven't yet sorted through in my brain or my filing cabinet, but I'm trying. I swear I got a whole ream of paper worth of stuff that is suppose to help me get ready for school. However, I don't feel any more ready than when I started. Not because I don't have the information, but rather I have too much and it's a task and a half just trying to find everything I need in regards to preparing for my first week with my students on Tuesday. Over the whole week, we only got 7 contract hours to spend it as we please in the school. One of those was a 4 hour chunk that involved me running around like crazy trying to get my room in order for Open House. Here's a little break down of what went on this week:

Monday-

  • Welcome and general staff meeting in the morning. 
  • In the afternoon we met with all the other 3rd grade teachers in the district for a little PLC time (very basic- kinda seemed like wasteful time considering the work load that I needed to get done by Tuesday, but I'm looking forward to the future PLC planning time with the other 3rd grade teachers the rest of the year since its based on literacy!)


Tuesday-

  • Balanced Literacy 1/2 day training (very informative, but a whole lot of stuff that I just don't have time to think about yet)
  • Open House Prep time, followed by Open House


Wednesday-

  • We spent the morning at a church with everyone from our district and a neighboring district that we do a lot of PD with... we're talking over 1,000 people. I wish the speaker was more applicable to elementary, but he was a good speaker. Al Franken also stopped by! Great guy, not so good at public speaking... at least not this past Wednesday.
  • The afternoon was spent learning about our new BAS (benchmark assessment system- for finding reading levels for students). I actually did BAS at my student teaching placement so it was all review for me. However, it was good practice again to do all those common codes for those running records. 


Thursday

  • Thursday morning was all about the data! It was our data and Qcomp day, so the morning was spent looking through our schools data and discussing what some of our challenges will be this year. We also found out that we were labeled a Celebration school based on the MMR. We were a rewards school last year, so that will be a goal of everyones to get back up to that status! I did find out that my sister's school is a reward school, which is HUGE news for them after having a difficult year prior. They were all so excited and rightfully so!
  • Afternoon was school PLC time. We met together as a 3rd grade team and went above and beyond! As in, we just had to establish norms, but we actually figured out our first trimester goal. Woo Hoo.


Friday

  • This was by far the most helpful day in a number of ways. First, our morning was focused on our bully prevention program. We will be piloting a new 'program' where we bring two different organizations together to create one focus in creating a safe, welcoming environment for all. There was a ton of useful information that I can easily begin to use on day one. The part of the morning that made the biggest impact though was the panel. 2 students (one of them a former student at the school where I'm teaching at) came in to share their stories of how school was for them. These 2 were so brave, as they both are transgender and have been through the deepest pits imaginable. It made it real that we as teachers need to be more aware of the type of language we use (boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen). It also made me motivated to step up and do what I can to ensure that any student who comes into my room will feel safe and supported by not just the teacher but by their peers. Let's just say, there wasn't a dry eye in the room after these two got done talking. 
  • The afternoon was work time, which involved finding out I was up to 27 kids now, then back down to 26, signing up for my 403b, and a bunch of other small stuff. I was grateful when I found out people were coming to school tomorrow to work, so I'll have the whole day tomorrow to get settled and organized for day one!


I can't believe that in less than 48 hours, I will be greeting my first class ever. Why am I not feeling the nerves yet?? Probably because my mind is busy with all the things I need to get done first!

I hope to blog each night this upcoming week- but I can't make any promises! Wish me luck!
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