Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer Projects

The past four days have been great! I've actually given myself a chance to relax for once. Even though it's summer, I will be starting camp tomorrow—which runs from June 18-July 20 (with a week off for July 4th), from 7:30-4:00 each day. So.... I will basically be working the same hours as school—not that I will be doing anywhere near the amount of work I was doing during the school year! Once July 20th rolls around, I will probably take another couple of days off and then try to get back into my classroom to either pack it up to move to a new room or begin decorating my old room again. It all just depends on what grade I teach next year. Either way, I will have a lot of work to do! Thankfully, I tried to make things a little easier on myself by going ahead and taking everything down and storing it. That's one less step I will need to do at the end of the summer. Look at the before and after:

Before (well... this is the beginning of the year pic... but it looked basically the same)

After. Totally clean!

On that note, since I am only teaching during weeks 2 and 4 of camp, I am going to try to do a “summer project” every week or so. I can not for the life of me remember which blog it was that I was reading a few weeks ago where the blogger said she was going to post a new project every Monday to hold herself accountable, but I am going to try to do something along the same lines. I'm not making any promises though! :) I have a couple projects that I already know that I would like to complete this summer (I'm sure the list will get bigger... but I'll handle that later).

Here are some of the things I really would like to get done.

  1. CLEAN- First and foremost, I have got to clean my apartment. I mean it is a WRECK. A disgusting, messy, I'm-never-home, wreck. I already spent half a day cleaning out the fridge, my part of the pantry, and my closet (holy crap... now that was a project in itself!), but there is still the rest of the kitchen, my bathroom, my bedroom, and the living room. After that is done, I can start on some new projects!
    Look, you can see the floor of my closet! I don't think it's been this clean the entire time I've lived here!
    I forgot to take a "before" picture of the closet... but this is after I had taken all of the stuff out of it to organize and put back in it.

    After! I even left space on the side for all of the school stuff I need to put in here. I do plan on reorganizing my clothes and possibly getting a shelving unit, but this is SUCH an improvement!

    2. Gallery wall- My roomie, Brittany, and I moved into our apartment almost a year ago and I still have not finished decorating my bedroom. I have an entire wall that I have been planning on turning into a gallery wall since I moved in but never got around to it. Brittany even bought me some frames for Christmas to get me started and I still haven't done it. I have been so consumed with decorating/organizing my classroom that my apartment kind of took a backseat. Well, now that I can't get into my classroom for a while, I have to look at my apartment all the time! So, maybe that will inspire me a little bit.

    3. Pirate theme- I need to print/create some pirate wall art for my classroom. I already have my pirate themed CAFE signs and writing posters. Now I need to print out the ABC letters I bought (is that even appropriate for 3rd grade still, if I end up moving?), classroom rules, and some cute signs I plan on framing. I also want to do a couple paintings. There's a lot of things I can't do while I'm at home, because it takes materials that are at school—but I'll worry about that in August!

    4. Organize- I need to find some more organizing things for my classroom that look good together. I am a bin hoarder, but none of the bins match and all of those bins together still don't make things look organized. I plan on doing a lot of yard sale-ing and spray painting this summer!

    5. Read- I know that I am definitely reading the CAFE book and some books on writer's workshop... but I am going to read some books for fun too. I finally finished the last book in the Hunger Games series last night, so I will be moving on to some other novels I've been wanting to read.

    6. Lose weight—Ohh the constant goal that is on everyone's list. I managed to lose 15 pounds earlier in the school year (not really due to diet and exercise, more due to the fact that I was very sick) but I have gained it all back in the last few months, because I haven't been sick anymore. As glad as I am to not be sick, being sick was a very easy way to diet! Haha, I'm kidding. My goal is to get healthy and feel better and continue to not be sick; hopefully, in the process, I'll go down a few pants sizes at the same time! ;)

    7. Randoms—Here are a few pictures that I have pinned that I would really love to create this summer. I'm not good at writing sources correctly, so I'll just put the link under each picture where I found, if it is available. I am a pinaholic, so this narrows it down for me just a little bit:

    Seashell Lamp
    I've already started collecting a lot of shells and it gives me an excuse to keep going to the beach. :)

    Anchor Paintings

    I know that these are beach towels, but I want to paint at least one painting with an anchor on it, but in red and white to match my classroom.

    Mod-Podge Filing Cabinet

    I will probably not actually use mod-podge because I want to be able to take the paper off it I want. But I want to cover my cabinets with red, black, and white paper.

    Scrap Paper Organization

    I have a ton of scraps and end up throwing away even more because I have no real way to organize them. I want them to be organized enough to look good, while still being easily accessible for the kids. No more wasting paper!

    Pirate Bulletin Board

    I want to create one of these, without the “Captain of the Week” at the top. I want to use it to put near my desk to hold personal pictures. Right now I have only one personal picture up in my room and would like some more to remind me of all the people I love!

    Guess I'd better get to work! :)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

No Longer a First-Year Teacher!

Well... yesterday marked the last day of my first year of teaching! I suppose I'll need to change the title of this blog to something else then. Any ideas? This year has been one of the most stressful and influential years of my entire life—I am definitely not at all the same person I was a year ago. When I graduated from college, I was very worried that I was not “grown up” enough to start a career and really just wanted to go to grad school instead. But I have learned that you can't possibly feel completely ready to teach upon graduating—it's just one of those things that you have to jump into and work your butt off until you get it. There are still so many aspects that I don't get... but I was able to reflect on my teaching this year and really find some key areas that I needed to focus on improving this summer before I begin teaching next year. All I can do is improve!

As of right now, I do not know what I will be teaching next year. There is a possibility I may move to third grade! I am very open to the move and can't wait to start preparing for either grade... I just hope I know something soon!

My current challenge is a science camp that I will be teaching at for four weeks this summer (beginning on June 18). It is all inquiry-based and I will be teaching sessions of 2nd - 3rd graders, 4th - 5th graders, and 6th - 8th graders (a little worried about that one—but I'll survive). Right now I am trying to learn all of the content I am teaching, as well as looking over past lesson plans and trying to revamp them a little bit to add my teaching style to them. Although school has ended, I don't officially get to relax until July 20th. At least I won't be bored! :)