Sunday, August 31, 2014

Back to School Night

Hi all!

I wanted to do a super quick update about how I set up for Back to School Night, since I was super happy with how smoothly everything went, other than everyone dripping sweat due to the extreme heat and no air conditioning combo.

I decided to go with stations since I'd seen a lot of similar set-ups on Instagram. It makes sense to design BTS this way since it's low pressure on the teacher, there's not necessarily a formal presentation, and parents can move at their own pace.


Station 1 was a supply sorting station. I made it station number 1 so folks didn't have to lug their bags around the room with them. I had parents and kids sort their own supplies to save some time for me later on. I used Ashley's supply bin labels on the Sterilite containers. There was even a "money" label, which I'm sure is for math manipulatives, but I was verrrry tempted to put it on an empty container to see what I could get. ;)



Station 2 was for Remind.com sign-ups. I want to stay in contact with my parents and make sure they're up to date on all announcements, so I've encouraged them to sign up. I provided an information sheet, an explanation of the service with a QR code and just a regular, ol' sign-up sheet for folks who wanted me to add them to my list.


Station 3 contained a QR code that takes parents to my Volunteer Survey. I created the survey in Google Forms and assigned a QR code to it to make it easy to access. I also have the survey on my website and a link to a printable version. It's all about the options!


Station 4 was essentially the same as 3, except that it directed parents to a Student Information Survey in Google Forms.


Station 5 was where parents let the school know they'd attended BTS Night by signing in. The adorable tray (from the Target dollar bin) collected the signature page of the Parent Handbook.


At station 6, students and parents chatted with me and grabbed their gift for the night. These delightful pencil tags are a freebie and can be found here. At this point, I also made sure parents grabbed one of our informational flipbooks, which can be found in Lindsey's store. I will, for a fact, be making these flipbooks every year. Not only do they include the information I need parents to know to start the year off on the right foot, they are also so pleasing to the eye and so well-organized. They were a huge hit!


BTS Night was a huge success and I'm so very excited to start the year! I'll be back soon with a classroom reveal.

Dawn

Monday, August 18, 2014

Teacher Week: Who Monday

Good afternoon, all!


I'm linking up with Katie from Little Warriors and Stephanie from Falling Into First for Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week!


My name is Dawn and I'm a third (and 1/3) year teacher. I taught Kinder in 2007, 3rd in 2008, Middle School English for the last trimester of the last school year, and this year, I'll be back in the 3rd. Phew. My entire professional story is here, if you're interested in all the details, but the short story is that it's been a whirlwind and I'm so SO happy to be back in a classroom and even happier to be back in 3rd.

I live in beautiful San Diego, CA, and have my entire life except for two years when I moved a couple hours north to teach.

Speaking of San Diego, I'm a huge Chargers fan (GO BOLTS!). As a San Diegan, I also love to take advantage of the regularly sensational weather by getting out and hiking. Beyond that, I'm pretty physically inactive (and to be completely honest, I haven't even been hiking lately because I've been working and generally being a lazybones Jones.). It is my hope and my goal to get in better shape.

Here's a photo of my hiking partner and me after a hike.


Outside of teaching, I am a wife and a puppy mama. 

My husband, Dylan, and I have been married almost a year and a half. We've known each other since 2007 and reconnected when I moved back down to San Diego. It was love at second sight. Check out the ornament he made me last Christmas.



The love of my life, other than Dylan, is my pup. Murphy is a rescue and we've had him for a little over a year. He is a source of endless entertainment and frustration and I couldn't imagine life without him. 



He loves when I hold him. It's pretty obvious.


Murphy's favorite place to relax is my face/neck/shoulder. He seems to think he's the size of a Yorkie and snuggles in.



He's not spoiled. He's well-loved.



I can't wait to read through everyone else's contribution to this blog hop!


Dawn

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Back to School Wardrobe Linky

I'm linking up with Lindsey from Thriving in 3rd for this back to school wardrobe linky.




Before you read on, a few warnings:

1. My hair is terrifying. I went on a lovely hike this morning, followed by acupuncture, so I'm a sweaty mess. But, hey! Authenticity! I'll be a sweaty mess the first day of school, too!

2. I have a stripes problem. I'm aware of it.

3. There are wrinkles. Some of these clothes have been sitting around since June. I've been in yoga pants all summer.

Outfit #1:

Outfit #2:

Outfit #3:

Outfit #4 (with or without sweater):

Outfit #5:

Outfit #6:


Won't you help me decide what to wear the first day of school? Leave your vote in the comments!

Thanks for stopping by,
Dawn

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A (Slightly) Unconventional Path

My career path turned out to be a little different than the standard path. I'd like to share it to give you a bit more background about me.

I knew after a couple of years at a junior college that I wanted to teach. I KNEW it was the perfect profession for me. I loved kids and I loved learning and school, so what else could I possibly be satisfied doing? I began to pursue my Bachelor's in Human Development and a Multiple Subject Credential and was hired a couple months after receiving my credential in a town about two hours north of my hometown.

I was hired to teach 3rd grade, which was my preferred grade, and I spent the summer buying all the cutesy things I thought I needed to be a great teacher. I started teaching at a low income school in August 2007 and, though there were ups and downs, I LOVED it! Fast forward six weeks. Our enrollment numbers weren't great, so I was moved to a different school to teach. Kindergarten. I was...anxious, to say the least. Luckily, everything else went swimmingly after that. My Kinder team were absolute angels and took such great care of me. Look at this gorgeous standards-based (HA!) dress your own turkey project!


I made it through Kinder somehow and was offered a third grade position at the end of the year. I thought everything was fine. I had challenges and was learning from them. My principal and I didn't see eye to eye on everything, but I'm not a troublemaker and I kept my head down. 



At the end of my second year of teaching, I was let go, along with several other teachers from my school. Most of us were in our first or second year of teaching. No real reason or explanation was given to us and it was a shock. Aside from the professional disappointment, my principal said several things in our final meeting that haunt me to this day. They were personal attacks and could not be considered constructive criticism. Most importantly, they were completely untrue. The most hurtful (and the sentiment that runs through my head in times of doubt) was that she was most concerned because I didn't have a relationship with my kids.


I was floored.

Is there anything more painful for a teacher to hear than that?

After the end of the year, I returned home to San Diego and to the job I'd had before teaching: working in the business office of a car dealership. To keep this portion of the story short, let me just say it was not the environment for me. I don't belong in the corporate world, but I stayed for four years because I bought into the idea that I couldn't teach. That I couldn't form relationships with kids.


In July of 2013, I was aching to get back into education. I began to apply for every office job in a school that was posted. I knew I wouldn't teach again, but since I wanted to be back in a school and my background was in an office, I figured that would be a great fit.

I got a response from a little K-8 charter in San Diego a couple of hours after I applied. I went in for a first interview and a second interview. I got hired and I fell in love. I have never in my life been around such warm, caring, energetic, positive people. Never not ever. This was my home. This was where I belonged.

I plugged away at my job, kicking butt in my office duties. Then, after a series of crazy events, I ended up teaching Middle School English for our school's final trimester last year. This year, I'll be in a third grade classroom again.

You guys, I'm tearing up as I type this. Things happen for a reason. If I hadn't been let go in 2009, I never would have left that district. I wouldn't be back in San Diego. I wouldn't be married to my love. We wouldn't have our perfectly imperfect puppy. I wouldn't be so close to my family and my dearest friends.

I wouldn't be where I belong.
At a wonderful school.

Full of bright, shiny, charismatic teachers.

Teaching again in a 3rd grade classroom!

Forming lasting relationships with kids.

Dawn

Monday, August 11, 2014

Meet the Teacher Blogger Linky

Hi all!

My name is Dawn and I am *justnow* getting started as a teacher blogger, so I'm elated that this linky came along so I could read about all of you and hopefully make some new connections.

My professional path has been a bit unconventional and, as I began to type it out here, realized the length and detail were a bit inappropriate for this post, so I'll bore you another time.

So, here are the basics. I live in San Diego, CA, and have for all but two years of my life. I'm 34 and have been married to my perfect match, Dylan, for about a year and a half. This is the two of us on our wedding day.



We have a puppy named Murphy, who is our greatest joy and simultaneously our greatest frustration.



I'm thrilled to be back in education and to have a third grade class this year!

I can't wait to get to know you all!

Dawn

 THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS...

I'd feel negligent not mentioning the husband and dog, since they're my life. I also love planning and cleaning (but not dusting because allergies). I'm sort of addicted to Instagram and Pinterest. I also read way too many young adult novels. Hiking is my only athletic pursuit and I love to cook and bake.


 IF YOU WEREN'T A TEACHER, WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
If I weren't teaching, I would love to be a personal chef. I get a great deal of joy from feeding people and watching them enjoy what I've created.


THREE LITTLE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE YOU.
Goofy. Intelligent. Loyal. 

 
FINISH THE SENTENCE, "________,  SAID NO TEACHER EVER!!"

"I just need to finish ONE more thing", said no teacher ever. At least not a teacher who meant it.
 

Q: IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY AND YOU CAN INVITE ANYONE {DEAD OR ALIVE} TO THE PARTY. WHO ARE YOU INVITING?

Anna Kendrick, Richard Brautigan, Winston Churchill.

Q: IF SOMEONE WROTE A BOOK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD BE THE TITLE?

With a Little Help from My Friends  


 Q:YOU GET TO PICK ONE SUPERPOWER. WHAT IS IT?
 The ability to freeze time, for sure. 

Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE OR SAYING?

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. -Kurt Vonnegut
 

Q: IF YOU HAD TO SING ONE SONG ON AMERICAN IDOL, WHAT WOULD IT BE? 

 Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert because it's so much fun!

 
 Q: ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

Night Owl all the way. Mornings are my enemy. 

 
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RESOURCE THAT YOU'VE CREATED IN YOUR TPT SHOP?4

I haven't taught since 2009, so my shop is mostly bare right now. Two products! Woo! Since I'm teaching again, I expect to have lots added throughout the year.