Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Teaching while Pregnant...

Hello again!

I know, I know... It's been awhile. However, I have some exciting news! My husband and I recently welcomed our first born into the world! I will take a step back.

Teaching while 8 months pregnant is DRAINING! I could barely keep myself afloat let alone blog about it. Although I wish I would have, looking back on it now. I had many new obstacles to face. I wasn't new to working with ELL students, but I was new to working with ones that had such an extensive traumatic history. However, my year progressively got better as my belly grew bigger. The responses and comments I got from my students were anywhere in range from hilarious to concerning. 

Here are a few examples:

"Do you know how they get the baby out?... They cut you from here to here, (student using one finger to draw a line from one side of his stomach to the other) then take the baby out and give it to you."

"Do you know how bad it hurts when they take the baby out? My mom said it is THE WORST!" (THE WORST was said with flattened serious eyebrows and a stern voice.)

One student to another teacher, "Did you know Mrs. B has two hearts? (6 year old student places his hand on the teachers chest) One here, (then moves had to her belly) and one here."

After first telling my students I was pregnant, which was on a Friday. I come back to school on Monday and one of my students got very serious and mad, then said, "I thought you said you were having a baby? Where is he?!"

Needless to say, there was never a dull moment! They also enjoyed meeting him when I brought him in at the end of the year. Now, this year they are in second grade and they are all asking me how he is doing. They even remembered his name.

So, even during the stress I built relationships and learning took place.

Now, our baby boy is 5 months old and I am into my another year of teaching! Although it is so hard to leave my little one to go back to work, I love what I do and I am excited to see what another year has in store.


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Getting Organized in 2014!

Well, I am not sure about you, but I surely enjoyed this 'extended' winter break! Since Gov. Dayton closed Minnesota schools on Monday due to dangerously cold temps and our district decided to close today as well. We got an extra two days tacked on to our already lovely break! Well yesterday and today, even though I am at home, are back to reality. I have been getting things ready to go for the new year and getting organized!

Here are some things I have been doing to stay organized in the classroom:

This idea I got from a co-worker last year and let me tell you- it is a LIFESAVER! 
Instead of doing a filing cabinet with each student having a file folder or other filing systems that are hard to take with you and not very practical. Take a large 3-ring binder and the plastic, folder dividers and give each student their own. (Plastic for durability and folder to hold the important papers.) I print out a small roster and tape their name on each tab in alphabetical order. 
 I can now take it with me easily where ever I need to go- IEP Meetings, Home to Grade, Parent Meetings. It is wonderful! 

Organization Tip #2-
Since the 3-ring binder organizer is for important papers such as F&Ps and benchmark assessments and other important documents, you still need a place for the student's wonderful works of art and other amazing classwork! (Some teachers just send it home after each quarter and some keep special things for an end of the year portfolio.) Either way, this next organizational tip keeps all these items in one easy place and it actually fits the larger projects we make in the younger grades!
Take a plastic crate from any store and turn it sideways- now get the LEGAL size of the file folders- these are longer then the standard file folder. They fit perfect in the crate when it is horizontal. Now, each student has a place to keep and hold their 'special' projects and works of art until the end of the year!