Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday's Word of Wisdom

Have you started back to school?  What is one thing you dread every year?  Honestly, I can say I dread working with some of the other adults in my building.  It is not that I have a problem working with others, but it some of their attitudes that drive me nuts.  I take my job seriously and try to do the best I can to be the best teacher I can be.  Don't get me wrong, we all have our days (even me).  However, others can bring you down quickly with their attitude.  I typically stay to myself, but I have to watch how I respond to certain adults' statements and/or questions.  This is my verse for this:

Proverbs 15:1 

We are in the profession of teaching to make a difference in children's lives.  However, we can even make a difference in adult's life.  You never know what the adult you may be talking to is going through in life.  It is important to keep this in mind.  When speaking to another adult, it is important to remain calm and keep some of your comments to yourself.  This is sometimes easier said than done. 

Sometimes I am asked why I keep to myself while at school.  Usually it is because I have so much to do and my mind is on trying to get things accomplished.  However, sometimes I keep to myself so that I don't say something that offends another person or should not be said.  I am open to talk to anyone, but I use my work time to benefit the children.  I stay away from the teacher's lunch room not because I don't think it's a great place to get ideas or a place to feel supported, but because I use that time to get myself ready for the rest of the day and to have a quiet time with God.  This has been a blessing in my life that I have needed, and I realize that others may not need this.  

Next time you are quick to make a response to a colleague or jump into one's conversation, think if you have a gentle answer or a harsh word.  We want our words to be gentle and more Christ like each and every day.  Sometimes I have to tell someone that I will get back with them so that I can think how I am going to respond.  It is so easy to stick your foot in your mouth before you know it.  It's OK to take time to figure out your response.  I truly believe God likes it when we do, because it gives us a chance to ask him for guidance.

I pray that you are able to get along with your colleagues this year and remember why we are in this profession.  I pray that you are able to respond to others with gentle responses.  I pray that you seek God's guidance in tough situations.  I pray that you are not only a positive influence on your student's lives but also your colleagues.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday's Word of Wisdom

I officially should receive the worse blogger award.  I have been meaning to get on here and catch up, but I have been so extremely busy since school starts back.  It seems like when school starts back everything starts back.  Football season is in full swing, and so my afternoons are busy getting cheer stuff together and my Friday nights are spent watching football.  My husband is busy harvesting the fields. :)  So he has not been much help around the house.  Yes, my husband helps out a lot at home to help me out so it makes a world of difference when he's not around.  I love my life busy, but it takes some getting use to after being off from the summer.

As my life feels up with meetings, lessons, games, and so much more, I have to remember that I have to take time for myself and my family.  My husband just told me the other night that I need to learn a two letter word "N-O".  I have gotten better than I use to be, but I still have trouble telling people no.  I don't want to let anyone down.  This verse helps me remember the importance of what I commit to: 

When I get asked to do something now, I typically say I will get back with you after I pray about it and talk to my husband.  This gives me time to think and pray about it to see if it is God's Will.  I truly believe that we can get into things that aren't God's Will by being to quick to give a response.  When we do get in these things, we aren't able to be the best we can.

There are so many duties of a teacher, and we have to know our limits.  There are some things that have to be established such as the student's learning, our professional development, etc.  However, there are some things that aren't mandatory like cooking snacks for the class, decorating our classrooms to look cute, having our students do crafts, or coaching a sport.  These are all great and all, but only if done for the right reason.  

If we commit to something and can't give it 110%, then I don't think it was meant for us to do.  The Lord will help us with things that he has planned for our lives, but first we have to ask for his direction and then seek his guidance in  helping us accomplish it.  This not only allows us to have a sense of peace, but it also helps us accomplish great things.

I pray that you are able to learn the "two-letter word, N-O".  I pray that you seek God's will before agreeing to extra activities this year.  I pray that you put Christ first in all your duties.  I pray that when times get rough that you seek God's guidance, because He is the answer to all of our problems.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday's Word of Wisdom

First off, I feel bad because I did not get to write the blog post I had intended on yesterday.  It was our first full day of school, and I was dead tired when I got home.  I will try to have it up by tomorrow.

After a long week last week of meetings, students started school on Monday with a half day.  The 2012 - 2013 school year is up and rolling!  I am very excited about my class but nervous as well.  I have quite a few ESL students.  I am not worried about teaching these students, but I am worried about communicating with their parents.  I strive to keep my parents informed and up-to-date on school matters, and I am afraid that I am going to leave these parents behind.  You see, I have had two years of Spanish, but after I took Spanish I took two years of French.  So needless to say, I do not speak very much Spanish.  I can read Spanish fairly well though.  Also in my class, I have a wide range of academic abilities.  I have had this the past few years and have pretty much incorporated small group everything.  I just always get nervous, because I want all students to have the ability to reach their fullest potential in first grade.  With that being said this is the verse for the week:


I don't have to be nervous about anything, because God is with me.  I remind myself daily that God wouldn't give me something that I couldn't handle or something that I couldn't learn from.  I have to lay my desire to be perfect aside and do the work for Him.  It gets hard, because we all have challenges in our classroom.  However, we were put in this profession of teaching for a purpose and that purpose was to play an influential role in young children's lives.   

Whenever your principal asks you to do something out of your comfort zone, remember that God is with you and He will guide you through it. Whenever you feel that a student is just never going to pick up a skill, remember that God is with you and He will help you through it.  Whenever you feel that you cannot talk to one of your student's parents, remember that God is there to walk you through it.  

I pray that you have peace knowing that God is with you every step of your way at home and at school.  I pray that you do not get discouraged this year, but that you are encouraged by the impact you have on student's lives.  I pray that you are able to show your courage by stepping out of your comfort zone and being a light for Him.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Classroom Tour - The Jungle Room

On Friday night, we met our students.  For the most part, I have my classroom put together.  There are a few small things that still need to be done, but I'm getting to them.  Last week, my To Do list was getting bigger and bigger day by day, but I have almost got it all done now.  A few of the other teachers and me worked until 1 o'clock Thursday night trying to get everything ready for Friday.  I feel like I should have just made a bed up there and slept there this past week with as much work as I have done, but it will be worth it.

Since my classroom is pretty much completed, I thought it would be a good time to join Brigid's Classroom Tours Linky Party from Brigid's Daily Lesson Log

Of course, the theme for my room is a jungle so I try to keep the theme throughout the space.
One side of the room

 Classroom Library - Reading Rainforest

View from the side of the room (I forgot to take pictures of the other side, but I will post them tomorrow.)  I still need to hang the green board, and label a few more things.

Promethean Board area
Computer Area with Top Toucan board (Student of the Week)

Kapok Corner for Science and Social Studies

Storage/Closet Area used from Behavior Chart and Word Wall

Small Group Area - I have another horseshoe table for my assistant, but I forgot to take a picture.  I will post tomorrow.

Tables ready for students!

Check back tomorrow for some pictures of the classroom and pictures of the hallway.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday's Word of Wisdom

This week has been super crazy.  Faculty and staff went back to work on Monday, and we have been in meetings from 8-4 everyday.  In the mean time, we are trying to get our rooms done for Curriculum Night (a Meet the Teacher night) that will be held on Friday from 5-7.  I am actually just now getting home, and it's 9:30 here.  I will be back up at 4 in the morning to do my daily routine again.  With all the stress this week, I have been reminding myself of this verse:

This Weeks Top Bible Verse - Philippians4:6-7 

One of my main concerns is of the children that I will be teaching.   I do not know my students' names yet.  I know this may sound crazy to some of you, but I live in a very small town.  In a small town, word spreads like wildfires.  If parents are not happy with their child's teacher, everyone and their mamas are going to know.  This also causes chaos for principals.  Additionally, if a teacher quits last minute (which seems to happen every year) or students are added at the end of the summer sometimes changes have to be made.  So, we are getting our lists at noon on Friday when we meet the children and their parents at 5 that night.  Let's just say I am going to be a mean, green, labeling machine from 1-5 Friday. :)

With this being said, I have been worrying about the students I am going to get.  It's not that I am picky of who I teach, but I hope that I am able to teach them everything they need to know and allow them to get the most out of first grade.  I hope that the parents and I get along well, and the year turns out to be amazing. 

I have needed to remind myself that God already knows who is going to be in my class and he knows who is going to be in your class.  He picked them out himself.  When the going gets tough and we don't think we can handle "Billy Bob" anymore, we can go to God in prayer.  There is no need to worry.  He has made sure that we were equipped to do the right thing.  All our actions are for His glory.  He has blessed us with great years in the past and challenging years as well that has helped us become the teacher we are today.  We not only need to pray to him when the going gets tough, but we also need to thank him for what he has done for us to prepare us for this day.

I challenge you this week or in the weeks to come in which you start back to work to sit down and pray for each and everyone of your students in your classroom.  They were hand picked to be in your class.  Pray that God's will be done.  I take the Sunday before our first day of school to sit down in each of my student's chairs and pray for them specifically by name.  Additionally, have others pray for you this year.  We have church groups that come to our school on the same Sunday and pray for each of our teachers specifically.  One group has already arranged a prayer meeting at each school's flag pole to pray for the school.  There is power in prayer, because the Bible says:

"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." - Philippians 4:6

I pray that you have peace about this upcoming school year.  I pray that you are able to stray away from the stress that comes from teaching, and that you are able to receive comfort to do a job well done.  I pray that when you first need help that you go to God in prayer.  I pray that you have an amazing school year!