Friday, February 17, 2017

typical day in the classroom + teacher style

Ahhh, we are almost to March. If you didn't know, March is the arch nemesis of most teachers. It's still dreary outside, there is not a single day off in March, we are usually testing and the kids start to go nuts around the spring time. There is always a spike in bad behavior and it gets tough to stay on top of it! However, I regret not enjoying this "dreary" time with my students from last year because I really missed them in August. So this March I will focus on enjoying my students!

I thought it would be fun to do a little write up of what an average day looks like for my students and I. We are in my favorite unit in both subjects I teach right now so it's a great time to do a day in the life type of post! We have A and B days at my school so I will summarize my B day! 

My alarm goes off. Why not 6? Why not 5:45? I couldn't tell ya

Get ready and listen to a podcast

Drive to work! I love my commute. It helps me wake up and clear my head for the day

Answer emails, get everything ready for the day

Bell rings. My first class, a gifted US History and Honors English combined class starts. Students come in and get their chromebooks. They have a starter on the board, usually a creative writing prompt or a question from the lesson before. We have the pledge and announcements

We do a "current event minute" where one student, who has signed up previously, presents a controversial current event for five minutes and they all discuss it. They run this themselves while I take roll and get my teacher aide going on their task for the day

The activity starts! Right now we are doing the Industrial Revolution. We just finished talking about child labor back then, child labor now and students are writing a letter to a company asking about their child labor policy. We actually send them and we actually get responses back! So we will either do a simulation, they will take a few notes an then we will do an activity or they will work in groups/alone on an assignment

Students put their chrome books away and clean up

Plus time starts. Plus time is basically homeroom and I do Mock Trial during this time. Right now is pure madness and chaos as we prepare for our trial on Friday. We run through our case, I individually conference with kids and see what they are struggling with, etc

The second half of my class from earlier starts. We are writing our own Ted Talks right now, so we are watching Ted Talks and discussing what makes them good and what the speakers could improve on. Then students try to brainstorm their own topics so they can eventually write their own talks using what made the already existing Ted Talks great!


8th grade honors English! This class period is especially fun because I have the best mix of personalities. I love when you get a class that just clicks, and this one does! I always look forward to seeing this group of kids especially. We are also doing Ted Talks, it's so awesome to see what topics they pick for their own talks like, "The Science of Being Pretty" and "Unsung heroes" etc. I think middle school kiddos have such unique voices and my team and I try to create many opportunities for their voices to be heard.

PREP! Glorious one hour prep a day. I make an effort to not leave my room because I get way more done. If I go the faculty room to get copies I will stop by the office and talk to the secretaries all period. I just love them so, but I have to discipline myself and stay in my room. Anyway, prep is the best. Lately I don't even have to bring work home because I work so well during prep. During this time I grade but mostly plan for the next week. I'm lucky that I have taught all of these subjects for two years in a row now so I don't really have to generate new content, just add to things. It makes a world of difference!

US History! We are doing Industrial Revolution just like in first period. It's my favorite unit of the year! I love talking about the implications of the Industrial Revolution like women's suffrage and the creation of the public school system etc etc. When I teach this stuff I remember why I love history so much!

Mock Trial practice! By far the most stressful part of my day. I just wish I could clone myself but I can't. I feel bad because the students always need me and I don't get to all of them. It's rough feeling like your students aren't taken care of  but I'm lucky to have google docs so I can help them when I get home

Home! I spend about an hour each night answering emails, sending out reminders for students to do their homework and prepping for the next day. On Sundays I work almost all day grading, giving feedback etc. Again, I do a lot less work this year now that I have taught the same thing for a year but I really put in an effort to stay updated. I have a teacher blog Instagram account and I love scrolling through and getting new ideas. It's my favorite thing to do!

I hope that didn't bore you to tears! My day is a lot more exciting than it sounds. There is so much variance in every day because I teach hormonal teenagers who have fluctuating moods and so the day kind of changes depending on how they are feeling!

 It's a tough time to be in education and sometimes I have days where I am so, so done. I just had a parent ream me out for something and I honestly was so over it that day. However, most of my days are really good. Since Christmas I have gotten in a great rhythm with my students and I am already not looking forward to sending [most lol] of them out the door in May. Teaching is hard. It is personal because you put so much of yourself into these kids. It's gets hard at a really emotional level. However, as my Principal told me when I was having a really rough time at the beginning of the year,  I have come to know that I will have many souls in heaven that will come and thank me and all teachers for the work we put in and the differences we make. That thought inspires me to do better for these kids, be a greater, more patient and loving teacher and push them to be successful and to realize their worth.

Well that was all very heavy. Let's lighten things up with some ridiculous pictures! I decided to have a little classroom photoshoot today! Haha, my students weren't there it was after school but I love my classroom and I hope it is an inviting space for them. So much money goes into classrooms (my classroom library alone is like omg I can't think about how much money I have put into that) but to me it's worth it if my students feel safe in my space!

Do I ever sit in those chairs? NOPE. Germ city!!!!

It looks like I'm unorganized but I promise that is the furthest from the truth. I am so overly organized at work that I don't feel like I can be at home...haha

I was hoping you could see my view, the mountains and the temple!

I decided I really need some engagement style pictures with my chromebook cart because we are in a very committed relationship

So glam with this classy garbage can.
At my last school they encouraged us not to wear skirts or dress super professionally. The students were mostly low income and were intimidated by professional dress, I guess. So I wore jeans and a nice shirt every day and dressed nicer than most of the teachers. At my new school most people dress very nicely every day. I still wear jeans occasionally and usually they are black but I try to wear skirts or Old Navy pixie pants every day. I love a good stretchy pencil skirt and I have over 25 (I have problems, I know) different ones in my closet. They go below the knee which helps when I am kneeling down to help my students at their desks and they are fashionable and professional.  This one is from Cents of Style and it's super duper comfy! I like it for this time of year because it's symbolic of the gray of winter and the coming of spring. HOW IS THAT FOR ENGLISH TEACHER ANALYSIS! Anyway, they have a ton of other types of skirts in sizes S-3X! They really make sure that all sizes are represented on their online store. You all know I love and respect a company who will make sure that happens which is why I will work with them, support them, buy from them any day of the week! (that and their colorful wall that I'm obsessed with haha) You can find the floral skirts as well as other items for spring time (come faster plz) by clicking here.
They are having a sale on all floral skirts! Use the code FLORALSTORY and every skirt is $19.95 shipped! These skirts are as good as Lularoe and Agnes and Dora for a fraction of the cost.

I'm off to St. George for the weekend! Have a grand one!
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

best. week. ever.

You guys, I won't lie to you. Since the election I have been down, down, down. Down in the dumps. Constantly disappointed and unsure of what to do next. Feeling sad about the future.
It wasn't just about the election, I just felt like, "what are we even doing" like where are we going to live, am I going to stay at my school? Am I going to teach at all? Where is Mark going to get a job? ETC ETC ETC

Last week Mark had a interview and felt really good about it, then they scheduled him for a second interview and were emailing him all these questions so things were looking good but things had looked good we were using The Secret but also it was hard to be optimistic!
Well, yesterday when I was teaching I went to pull up a Youtube video and my messages app on my computer popped up. It was Mark saying he got the job offer! I literally screamed for so long (with jazz hands) and my students didn't know what to do or what was going on! 
So Mark is going to be working in Lehi, right down the street from where we live (but we still might move, our landlords drive us kind of crazy because they take our mail haha) and so that means we can stay in Lehi and I can keep teaching at my school that I love so much next year and maybe even the year after that! I told my Principal that when she leaves I will leave because I love her so much, so let's see if that happens!

Anyway, we went to Copper Onion to celebrate Valentine's Day and Mark's job offer. I have heard that going out to eat is nuts on V-Day but we made our reservation for 5:00 and everything was very calm and so tasty!

So anyway, moral of the story is I am feeling so chill right now like everything ~*~worked out~*~ and I'm feeling so good about the future. Yay!

Tomorrow I have Parent-Teacher Conference tomorrow from 1:30-7:30 (yeesh) and then book club (my fav) and then we are going to St George for the weekend! I'm excited to not think about Mock Trial for four days, lol. 

Have a great long weekend!
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

happy valentine's day!

Happy Valentine's Day! 
Mark and I are going to dinner at Copper Onion and then probably a movie. I still work tomorrow and am a garbage human who can't function on less than 8 hours of sleep, so nothing too crazy!
On Timehop I saw so many sad tweets about V-Day in the past and it was depressing, lol. It's so great to have a Valentines finally! I got flowers delivered to work today and so Mark has already done a great job.
I'm wearing this same outfit to work except with a pink sweater! The lips on my skirt are weirdly red or pink depending on the light so it all works. 
I hope you have a good v-day!
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Thursday, February 9, 2017


The past few months, it seems I have been getting the message to be kind over and over again. I didn't really know it was a lesson I needed but I'm grateful for it nonetheless.
I've been reminded recently that everyone is struggling with something in their lives and could all use a little more kindness. I have had a few interactions in the past little bit with people I know that shared some really personal trials they are going through and it made me think about if I have treated them with the kindness they desperately needed.
 I also went to an education conference and they had a presentation where students wrote their deepest secrets that they wish their teachers knew on posters they held. It really got me. A few weeks ago I met with some parents of a student and they really shared the struggles going on within the walls of their home. With 300+ students, it becomes very easy to see students as just another teenager that comes through your door and leaves 60 minutes later. I was so grateful for the experience to see the struggles my student and their family face at home because it slowed me down and helped me see that student as a person, not just another teenager. It also made me feel so horrible at times that I dismissed this student or didn't give them the help they needed. That experience and all the others I mentioned have made me a better and yes, more kind teacher and person and I've been trying to be patient with myself when I'm not and remind myself about times I have needed kindness.

There are so many times I have needed kindness in my life and sometimes, as everyone has experienced, I haven't gotten it. Today was different, though. I had a big boo-boo in one of my classes involving an inappropriate ad popping up on a youtube video and resulted in the need for me to email parents and I was honestly so scared of the mean emails I would get back. To my surprise, I got back so many emails that were kind and revitalized me. 
The world is daunting. More often, I am feeling consistently frustrated and wishing there was more I could do to make changes now, to make people feel safe and accepted now. Truthfully, I think I just need to be more kind and spread good vibes from when others are kind to me. 

Have a good weekend! The weather has been beautiful. On Sunday, I wore this outfit and it was perfect for the sixty degree weather. You can find this cute tassel kimono on Cents of Style's website, and it's on sale for under $20, AND they have free shipping all the time. It's not an affiliate link, just a FYI! :) They have lots of new stuff this week, and they carry plus size! I just got a new skirt from them and that will be up next week. 
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Monday, February 6, 2017


"is this making my bell sleeves look good? Mark? Mark? Mark?"

Oh man, this day was a m e s s. Haha! We got kicked out of two places trying to take pictures and then when we finally got to a place we could take pictures, the wind started blowing like crazy! It was so stressful haha! Mark had the best attitude through the whole thing so, husband of the year! Anyway, my dress is from Boo Hoo and sold out, but it comes back in pretty frequently. My shoes are from Cents of Style, here. Not affiliate links, just if you want to pick up yourself a gypsy dress. 

Speaking of, stress has been on my mind lately. I am the Mock Trial coach at my school and we are right in the middle of our season, our first competition is in two weeks and I am just a ball of stress! Sometimes I think stress is good and it pushes you to try harder and be better, but sometimes I think it's detrimental. What do you think? 
I am trying to chill out with Mock Trial because I think a lot of it is just about being together as a team instead of winning. Last year we made it past preliminaries and into the round of 16 and lost there, but it was still fun and the kids had fun even though we lost. So I am trying to focus on making memories instead of stressing about winning. So I went to Ulta on Saturday and bought three face masks and a hair mask and just namaste'd this weekend. Oh, and I ate processed cheese. Lots and lots of processed cheese. #bliss

Have a good week!
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