Saturday, December 27, 2014

First year syndrome...

Okay, okay...it's DECEMBER 26th and I haven't posted anything since August. I feel so terrible that I have posted absolutely nothing, but in a way this will be a great reflection on my first semester as a teacher. I could not even begin to break it down month-by-month because my days and weeks all run together. Throughout my time as a teacher, I have learned so much about myself, my life as a teacher, and my students.

I look back on the very beginning of the school year and I remember having each one of my days planned (that is something I still do each week). My classroom management was solid and working for my kids. Our classroom was respectful and we were functioning. I don't know where it happened or what went wrong, but my classroom slowly started getting crazier and crazier. I had days where I felt as if I was in the hallway putting out fires more than I was in the classroom. I didn't want to be the teacher that sent kids to the office and most importantly, I didn't want to be that teacher that gave up on a few kids. I have confidence that the new year will give us all a chance to "start fresh" and get back on track. I have some new 'things' planned and I am hoping those make the difference.

When it comes to content, it is such a learning process. I started the year feeling like I was just pulling random topics from our new standards list and I was just going with it. They probably were not logical, but that is the name of the game. We learn how to change things and adapt. Our district recently started mapping the standards with big ideas in mind. This recent change most definitely helped guide my instruction during quarter 2. When I think of content, I think of our state standardized test. I try not to think about this much because it makes me panic majorly. I worry that I have not done enough for some of the kids and I worry that it won't be the results they are looking for. In a way, I believe that this is every teacher's fear, but I pray every single day that I can help each one of those kids in some way. 

I know that each day is a journey and I have to take it one day at a time. I have no idea what I would do without my students. I love each one of them so much. They are all so unique in their own way and they are so funny! I have a goal that this new year will be filled with new beginnings to a successful year. 

I hope you all had an amazing holiday spent with your family. 2014 has been a great year and one for the books! 


Signed,

A teacher still LOVING her job!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Open House

Since this is my very first teaching job, I cannot tell you how many dreams and daydreams I have had about the first time I meet my students. NOTHING like I imagined....it was BETTER. I am a tad dramatic, but I never imagined having so many different feelings on the day of open house. When I was setting everything up, I had this feeling of pure joy and butterflies. I love everything about being a teacher. I know it will be hard, but I want to remember these moments when I doubt myself and remember the kids' faces when they walked into my room today. I could have cried when the sweetest 10-year old boy said this room is AWESOME! Even if it was just one student, it was the validation that I needed to know that the room was for them. Their smiles when they walked in the door was priceless. 

Here are a few photos of Open House! 









I loved watching them figuring out their locker combinations with their parents. There were even races going on to see who could open it up the fastest! I tried something I had been seeing all over Pinterest. I loved the idea of a "teacher wish list", but did not know how it would go over with the parents. I was so surprised when I saw that I only had 2 left! Such giving parents! 

I hope that all of this excitement continues throughout the year. I have a feeling it will be a great one! :)

OFFICIALLY,

Miss Newell 

Oops, it's August?!


Needless to say, I have been one busy bee these past few months. I have decorated and designed a classroom with NOTHING (I mean absolutely nothing) in it a few months ago. It has been SO fun, but has left some very late evenings at the school. I am so thankful my mom has been there to help me with everything--my grandma was even a super-helper with bulletin boards. My room is, in my eyes, 'finished'. There are still bulletin boards that need filled, but that is not something that needs done. I crave authentic work and discovering what should be on the bulletin boards. Even if I know what will be up there, I love the idea of creating lessons that go step-by-step to make them complete. I want to post pictures so badly, but I do not have them all taken yet. I can now sit in my adorable reading chair and say, "I'm done!" Whew, that is such a relief. I have one minor detail that is missing--my teacher desk. Since this is completely minor and can be dealt with, I am living with a table for now. 

Next up: OPEN HOUSE!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Today's the day!!!!

I can breathe a sigh of relief. I can now share with everyone this secret I have been keeping an entire month. If anyone knows me, they know I LOVE to talk! Don't get me wrong, I can keep things that need to be kept private, private, but it is just so difficult when it is something this amazing!

I HAVE ACCEPTED MY FIRST TEACHING POSITION AS A 5TH GRADE TEACHER!

I will be teaching at a middle school, but they have recently adapted a new model for 5th grade. Since it is a 5th-8th building, they normally came in as 5th graders switching classes every period. Now, the students will have 1 teacher all day, everyday. (AHH, I still can't believe I have my own classroom!) 

Did I mention the technology is top-notch at this school! How great to go into a school with Smart Board technology and 1:1 iPads. I even get a MacBook! (A sweet deal, right?) 

My sweet little Jetta (she can also be known as Bahn-Bahn to some as she is an Autobahn edition...total random side note) is all packed up and ready with all of my stuff. I can finally clean out the basement of all my stuff I have stored up over the past few weeks, months, and years. 

If anyone knows me, they have a very vivid picture of what my classroom will look like: clean, organized, and colorful. 


My wheels are a-turnin'...

Sunday, June 15, 2014

....and it's June....

Hello, strangers!

When I thought I was going to post my journey step-by-step of student teaching, I had this beautiful picture of weekly reflections to share with you all. Boy, was I wrong?! Student teacher Rule #1: You will not have a life outside of classroom prep and college key-assessments! This is where I was completely thrown off. I absolutely love the idea of blogging and sharing my successes and failures (we all have those right?!), but it is something that I have to schedule into my week. I will make it a point to do this in my own classroom! 

I need to take a deep breath before typing this. Who knew a person could go over some of the most important 6 months of their life in about a minute?....

Let's recap the first 6 months of 2014....

   We didn't go back to school January 16th as planned thanks to the that gem of a snowstorm! 
   We didn't have a full day of school until February.
   My first graders are the absolute best students I could have ever asked for.
   My cooperating teacher, Lisa, was A-MAZ-ING! We were like two peas in a pod (and she was my 2nd grade teacher--SO cool, right?)! :)
   I never thought I could learn so many little and big tips and tricks during student teaching!
   Spring Break was so relaxing spent with our normal group of tons of family and friends!
   By April I realized I only had 4 more weeks with my kiddos and that I had completed ALL of my college assignments! (celebratory pat on the back and maybe some silent LOUD cheering)
   May 2nd: Saying good-bye to my students was so hard. They had the most beautiful party planned for me. Who knew 1st graders could be so sneaky? They had each given me a gift to represent the letter of the alphabet. The amazing 1st grade teachers pitched in, too! (I was with such an amazing group!)
   May 14th: I HAVE A JOB INTERVIEW & I GRADUATE COLLEGE! Bachelor's of Science from Indiana University in Elementary Education K-6 (WOO HOO!)
   May 20th: Good news..... (shhhhh!)
   Too much waiting and way too much anticipation.... 
   We made it to June! How is it already June? Get to the point, Breanna!
   June 16th: The long-awaited day, which will be discussed in the next post! :)



Here's a look into some of my favorite pictures from student teaching!















Can you believe they put this all together for me?! I was in absolute tears! 



This might not be as exciting to you as it is to me, but these 6 months were ABSOLUTELY STELLAR! I cried, I laughed, and I learned A LOT! 

Here's to new experiences and a career that I am dying to start!