Saturday, August 10, 2013

First Week Back and August Giveaway!

Hey guys! I'm finally back after a whirlwind first week back to school. There are all kinds of things at home I should be doing, but I need this day to recharge. I love getting back into my routine, but the adjustment from summer life to normal life usually takes a little while. I thought it might be entertaining at the least (and helpful at best) to share with you guys the things that I did right to start off my school year and the little failures I had as well.

Let's start with the fun stuff... the failures. :P

  • I definitely did not buy enough groceries to make my lunches for the week. I don't know what I was thinking! By Friday, I was eating a granola bar for lunch.
  • I went to bed late Monday night. Tuesday we had professional development and meetings... for five hours. Guess who probably wasn't as alert as she should have been? This girl right here.
  • I completely forgot to have my students say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning this week. I'm going to have to assign a kid to be our Pledge leader, because Mrs. Richardson is obviously not capable of remembering this daily detail.
  • I wore a sleeveless dress and a cute bright green cardigan on the first day of school. It was not only a very cute outfit that actually showed a bit of my personality, but it also looked very classy and professional. Sounds like a good thing, yes? Okay, my classroom, for the first time in history, was a million freakin' degrees on the first day of school. So guess who had to wear her cardigan all day long in the swampy environment of her classroom because she was wearing a sleeveless dress? That would be me... the one with a serious case of swamp boob by the end of the day. (too much information?)
  • I wore high heels on Friday. I don't usually wear heels to work, and I should have known better than to wear them during the first week, because I'm not quite used to being on my feet all day long again. I feel like I should clarify why I decided this. A few weeks ago I got a pixie haircut (which, by the way, is maybe the best decision I've ever made regarding my hair). It's super cute, but you really have to dress up a pixie haircut to maintain a certain sense of femininity. Friday, I wore my staff polo shirt (black) and khaki slacks. With my androgynous outfit and my black-framed glasses, I was sporting a not-so-feminine look that I didn't want to work with so early in the school year. I decided to class up my outfit with dangly silver earrings and the heels. The earrings were a yes. The heels led to a day of blisters and band-aids.
  • I didn't do my homework about Edmodo. Have you guys heard of Edmodo? It's a classroom website/network and I got super excited about it and I just jumped right in face first and set up my Edmodo classrooms and thought this was going to be the best thing since sliced bread to ever happen to my classroom. (This is extremely uncharacteristic of me, by the way. I'm the person who will deliberate for twenty minutes over which brand of cheese I should buy. I did research for four weeks before deciding to cut off my hair. I'm in the midst of deciding if I'm going to buy this cute pair of boots I saw in the store three weeks ago.) It turns out that our school computers hate Edmodo, approximately 30%(!!!) of my students don't have internet or computer access at home, and a teacher in the building had major issues with Edmodo in the past and apparently the "next big thing" is called My Big Campus. I've already been fielding parent phone calls over this whole thing. Tell you what, I'm about over the whole virtual classroom craze at this point, and I love virtual worlds! I blog, for Pete's sake! But seriously, this is dumb. Just let me teach in my classroom. Amen.
Now for the things that make me proud... the things I actually did right!
  • I made all of my copies for the first two weeks of school before we started back. I spent a ton of time in my classroom over the last several weeks and, even though I was banging my head against the copy machine a couple weeks ago, I did not have to make any last minute copies. This is a major success in my book.
  • I did my usual first day of school seating arrangement, and it worked like a charm. This year was the a record for me... fastest time taking attendance on the first day.
  • I let the kids pick their seats (for now) and instead of passing around the chart and letting them write their names in the correct spot, I took the time to make eye contact with each kid, look at their face, and write their names down on the seating chart. This is already helping me learn their names faster.
  • I'm going to tentatively say that my new Writer's Workshop program this year will be a success. I'm already seeing good signs. (I pinkie promise I will write about this very, very soon.)
  • My room is a well-oiled machine, better than ever before. It was so easy to maneuver around my classroom! I knew exactly where everything was, the layout of the room is comfortable, and it's generally just a pretty happy room to be in. I'm very pleased with my classroom at this point (exceptforthebackcabinetsbutIdontwannatalkaboutit).
  • I have the entire 1st quarter of the school year planned down to the day. My Friday prep for the upcoming week was exceptionally easy yesterday. Boo yah!
  • I arrived to school early every day this week. This, my friends, is a major accomplishment.
  • I ate breakfast every day except Wednesday, and that's because I had the first-day-of-school jitters. (Do you guys still get those??)
  • I have been much more sociable than usual with my coworkers, which is a big deal for this introvert.
  • I did not spill any food or drink on myself at work this week. Not even once. It's sad that I'm proud of this.

I think the year is off to a great start! I'm already particularly excited about the group of freshmen I have this year. They are enthusiastic, creative, and chatty. That's the way I like 'em!

And now for the giveaway!

Even though I'm back at it, lots of you lucky readers still have summer left! I've got a giveaway for August, and it's something a little different. For those of you who are still preparing for your school year, why don't you class things up a notch with some unique items from Etsy? Let me show you some Etsy finds for teachers that I'm loving right now.

Adhesive Chalkboards
Monthly Calendar Chalkboard Wall Decal

Classroom Sign

Teachers Plant Seeds That Grow Forever

Personalized Teacher Notepads

Hall Passes

Customized Teacher Stamps

Coffee Lovers Unite - Caffeine Molecule Tote Bag

Monogrammed Canvas Tote Bag

Custom Name Notebook

I don't know about you guys,but I would love to have every single one of these items, and tons of others! (Y'know, in case you are someone who wants to give me things. I hope my husband reads this...) 

A $25 Etsy Gift Card
You are on your way to adding some class to your class!

Your name can be entered twice in this giveaway!
Ways to Enter:
1. Leave a blog post comment telling us your funniest teaching moment.
2. Create a Facebook status including #EatWriteTeach. (If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.)

Convinced yet? Join the giveaway fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy teaching!