Saturday, February 24, 2018

Let's Try This Again...

It's been a while since I have posted on the blog here, but after recently reading a blog entry from Meagan Kelly at I Heart EDU, I felt inspired encouraged pushed to make time to do something that I had previously not been able to go long without (writing!)

Like many teachers, my personal hobbies and leisurely activities got pushed to the back burner as other priorities took precedence (e.g. work, increased leadership roles and responsibilities, my daughter, my husband...the list could go on!) Blogging, unfortunately, was not one of those things.

My blogging became inconsistent...and then moved to non-existent.

However, with the resurgence of ideas and new things that I am trying in the classroom (and want to share with the EdTech community), I thought that I needed to resuscitate my blog and get back to my first love...writing.

In her article, Meagan suggests setting a "blogging goal." So, I am going to push myself and commit to blogging once a week. 

I'm not quite sure if this goal is overly ambitious...but I guess we'll see!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Back to Bloggin'

Another six months have come and gone and I find myself with TIME to finally update my teaching blog!

Now, when I say the last six months have been CRAZY BUSY - I mean it! Since my last post in February (earlier this year), I went on maternity leave, got two new kittens, had a beautiful (healthy) baby girl, went back to work for the last two weeks of the school year, packed up my classroom for the summer, and have been busy tutoring and packing up my apartment for our big move at the end of this month - all while watching my TEETHING baby girl. Whew.

I had very grand plans for the summer. I wanted to get my two blogs back up and functioning. I wanted to work on some products for my TPT store. I wanted to redesign my teaching blog. 

Well, folks…none of those plans met fruition.

Being a mom is hard work. Being a mom who is still working part-time during the summer AND planning for the upcoming school year is even harder.

My husband's been great about helping with the baby on the days that I tutor. 

But I got to tell you, it can be rough being a first time mommy and not having idea what the heck you're doing half the time. I'm worried about breaking her half the time, and when I'm not worrying about that, I'm worrying if she's had enough to eat, if I'm providing enough tummy time, if she's meeting her monthly milestones appropriately. 

And then in between the worrying and the crying (on both our ends) and the dirty bottles/diapers, I have moments when I look down at her smiling face and it's all worth it. Every late night. Every diaper blow out. Every bottle. 

Anyway, I'm hoping to get back to regular blogging (I really miss it!) Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

6-Month Hiatus and the (Not-So) Prodigal Blogger Returns

It's been 6 months since my last blog entry on here and A LOT has happened in that time frame…where do I begin?

Let's start with the NEW JOB. After last year's debacle, I interviewed with (and subsequently got hired by) a district that I've been longing to get into since I first started my teaching career five years ago. They never hire…but by some miracle, they had a huge hiring fair toward the end of the last school year. I went, I interviewed, and by some stroke of luck, they chose me to be one of their new special education teachers.

I moved into my new classroom this summer and had a lot of work to do. My boyfriend and his son were such a BIG help with getting all of my teaching materials from my storage unit to the new room. I literally had about three or four dozen moving boxes strewn across desks and tables. I had to take a lot of my first grade and kindergarten materials out of storage (since I'd be teaching those grade levels again).

Classroom life has settled down since then. We started the year with six students and I am now up to ten. I'm thankful that none of the ten are huge behavior problems (unlike my kiddos from last year). I have several paraeducators who are great and such assets to the classroom - they make my job that much easier!

Apart from starting the new job, I also got MARRIED in December! We had a small, intimate wedding with only close family and friends at the Old Orange County Courthouse. The whole day was perfect and I couldn't have asked for a better husband and partner in life.

We did have kind of a shotgun wedding, though…because we are EXPECTING OUR FIRST CHILD! Tests confirmed at the end of August that we were pregnant. Since then, it's been such a whirlwind!

I am now entering my 8th month of pregnancy and will be starting my physical disability leave for pregnancy at the end of March. Our baby is expected on April 23rd but who knows when this little lady will decide to grace us with her presence. We are rapidly working on getting our little home ready for her. Our next project: putting together her crib and changing table!

I am hoping that with the additional time off for maternity leave - and with me not traveling this summer  - that I will have plenty of time to work on continuing to grow my blog and brand. I've had several projects on the back burner that I'm hoping to get started in the near future.

And of course, I won't forget to post tons of precious pictures of my new baby!

Until next time...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Big Move

So…I'm moving! I have boxes strewn across my apartment, plastic bags that are slowly filling up with clothes for Goodwill, and lists of things I will need to buy for the new apartment.

The BF and I made our first major purchase together - some new furniture items for the apartment! Among our new purchases, we got a new mattress (a SUPER fancy, adjustable, vibrating, memory foam/gel one), bed frame, sofa, and matching love seat. It's probably the most expensive thing we've purchased yet - I mean, the furniture I have now was purchased from IKEA about 10 years ago…and it's falling apart. So I am SO excited to be getting our new items soon! All of our furniture was purchased at Ashley Furniture.
I also purchased some other little things from Walmart - two dressers for the bedroom, a living room rug, and a TV center. I'm so excited to make a home with the BF! 

Our move is two weeks away (exactly)! I've been trying to work on more TPT products (think - bundles!), but have been side-tracked with things involving the move. I'm hoping to get some work done this coming week. I will (hopefully) be getting into my classroom this week - pictures to follow!

Until next time...

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Back to School Shopping!

It's officially back to school season when I head out to shop for school supplies!

Today, I met up with my friend Melissa from The Autism Adventures of Room 83 and we headed out to the Lakeshore Outlet Store in Carson, CA. Shopping is always better when it's down with a fellow teacher who gets the excitement of shopping sales and getting quality goods for rock-bottom prices!

After we had lunch, I headed to Target to hit up their Dollar Spot section. While I adore Target as a whole, the dollar section is where I spend the majority of my time (most of the time on my hands and knees, craning my neck to reach goodies that are shoved to the back of the shelves - the diamonds in the rough!)

I was particularly proud of this "building blocks" (wannabe Legos) find in the dollar section. (My students LOVE Legos…but I'm not about to drop some major change for them, just to have kids lose, chew, and "borrow" them from the classroom.)

I also found these great bins! They look very similar to the ones I already have in my classroom (that I purchased last year through Lakeshore - see here.) I found the green one and BY CHANCE a Target employee was putting the orange one back from a pile of go-backs. I loved them so much that I tried two other Target stores to see if I could round anymore up…but to no avail. (Sad face.)

Although I don't go back to work for another three weeks, today's shopping outing only makes me excited to return to work!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Back and On Track

I'm back from my trip abroad and I'm SO happy to be home! Although I love traveling and I loved having the opportunity to travel to two of my favorite places - Greece and Italy - there really is no place like home. That…and the fact that the 100+ degree weather in Italy didn't entice me to stay any longer.

At the Colosseum in Rome
On top of the world - at the Acropolis in Athens
While we were on program, we were given some disappointing news - the program I was traveling with (and have been traveling with for the last three years) would be closing at the end of this travel season. I'm disappointed that I won't be able to travel with my students again next summer. I guess I will have to find another company to travel with.

But now that I'm back in California, it's time to get back to work. I signed all of my contractual paperwork for my new district and I begin teaching again at the end of August. I've been assigned a 1st-3rd grade special day class for this coming year. I'm nervous and excited about this new position…I just hope things work out for me this year.

I'm also back to working on TPT products - which I haven't done in a LONG while. I've had products that I created (and used) this past year but never got around to posting them on TPT. I hope - that in the next few weeks - I'm able to get them up and active.

On a more personal note, I'm also moving in with my boyfriend in a few weeks! Exciting times! We've decided to stay at the apartment complex I've been at for the last four years. There aren't any two-bedrooms currently available, so we have been wait listed. Until that time, though, we are moving into a SLIGHTLY bigger bungalow (still a 1-bedroom). All of my teaching materials - which have lived strewn across my current residence and taking up every inch of available bookshelf space - will be placed in storage.

New job. New home. I pray that everything works out well. Until next time!

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Road Less Travelled

Well, in three days I am off to Greece and Italy for 19 days! I haven't been back to Greece since I was hospitalized in Crete in late 2010/early 2011 (with pneumonia!) And I'm ecstatic about going back to Italy. 

I'll be taking a break from this blog while I am abroad and traveling with a group of 45 middle and high school kiddos across the Mediterranean. But rest assured that I'll be back to blogging full-time when I return at the end of July!

If you're interested in following my adventures, you can follow my travel blog, The Traveling Teacher

Stay tuned for my adventures abroad!