Monday, July 27, 2015

My Best Back to School Tip Linky Party

Hi all! I'm linking up with Christina at Hanging Around in Primary and Katie at Pop Into Primary for a Back to School Linky.

I hope I'm not veering too far off course when I say that my tip is more of a whole year thing, but is definitely something you'll want to start at the beginning of the year to make it a habit.

Last year, I struggled big time with balance. I felt like I was just getting by at work and at home. I wanted to be the best at both and that just wasn't happening. I was drowning in work.

My tip is to use your preps wisely. I understand that there's a need for socialization and camaraderie with other teachers. Our job is tough. We need support. But I find that often devolves into social hour or, for me, a venting session. That may make me feel better in the moment, but ultimately doesn't make me a better teacher or wife.

So, my advice is to use your preps to grade, copy, or plan and make plans to meet with your positive colleagues outside of work. Or use your preps to visit their classrooms while they're teaching to get ideas to become a better teacher. With Option A, you'll bring less work home and with Option B, you'll be bettering yourself professionally.

Both options serve a purpose and they'll both help you find a little balance.

What is your Best Back to School Tip?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Organization Advice?

Hey all!

I need some help and thought I'd reach out to the tribe to see what advice you can offer.

Since summer break started, I've been putting off organizing my school stuff. The school is moving this year, so it was a good opportunity to bring everything home and get it set up in a logical and easy to access way.


I am a procrastinator and get overwhelmed easily and I have no idea how to start this project. I have nearly reached the fetal position stage.

I started with the two easiest tasks and organized my supplies.

I finally got to put together the world famous teacher toolbox! Don't think I'm a weirdo for taking a picture of it backwards. Kittenface thinks pushing all the drawers out from the back is the MOST FUN GAME EVER!!!!! so I have to keep the front pressed to the wall. #kittyproblems

I also organized my task cards.

My before situation did. not. work.

Ziplocs, third graders, and task cards don't mix.

I got 13 section coupon organizers from Target on clearance! They were about $1.50 each.

I plan to make covers for each organizers and a label for the top so they're easy to pick out. So far, I have one organizer per domain (Operations & Algebraic and Geometry have separate organizers, for example) and in each little spot inside, I'll label specifically which standard the cards focus on. But. This is all I did for today.

I can't figure out to begin to get the rest of this stuff organized, though.

I also have two file cabinets in the garage, containing a majority of files that aren't mine, so I'm not even sure what they are. I returned to teaching last year after a 5 year break and took everything the previous teacher had.

I think my priority project is to switch from files to binders for documents. Other than that, I'm lost. I function best when there's a plan and I have a comprehensive list of things to do. Otherwise, I don't get started. It's all or nothing with me.

If you have any suggestions, please share them! Or if you happen to know an organizational powerhouse, please direct them to me.

**A huge shout out to Sheila at Sheila Jane Teaching and Megan at A New Box of Crayons for sharing on Periscope. I wouldn't have been motivated or inspired to blog if not for them. It's scary and lonely to be a little guy and they gave me just the push I needed.