Posts Categorized: School


Sep 05

Back to School!

School 1

It’s back to school time! Jimmy Fallon always makes me laugh,

IMG_2117

This is my first year at a new school and I’m very excited. I’ve also put a lot more effort in to my room this year. I hope that students find it inviting and encouraging.

IMG_2066 IMG_2065 IMG_2068 IMG_2067

I made a quote poster this summer, but there was no way to make it poster sized so I did this instead.

IMG_2114

I also have a freshman homeroom. Last Thursday was our freshman kick off and the upper class mentors came in to put on the program. My room looked like this.

IMG_2107I really liked the gold streamers and wish I could have kept them, but I doubt it would have held up!

I hope everyone had a fabulous summer!

Kimberly


Aug 05

Back to School!

Education, School 4

via GIPHY

Hello Everyone! This sums up my feelings on school supplies. I have a hard time saying no and have already dropped a good chunk of change for the upcoming school year. But it’s all good because I am pumped and ready for a fresh new start.

This year I’ll be at a new school and I am both excited and a wee bit nervous. I’m not always very good with change but I just could not pass up this opportunity. I know someone that works at my new school who absolute loves it there and it’s only 15 minutes away versus the 40 I was driving before.

Every new school year is a fresh start, but this one more so because it’s a new school too, so the students don’t have any preconceived notions about me. I’m not really able to work on much curriculum wise (which to be honest I don’t really need to because I am not teaching anything new), but I’ve been working on things for the classroom.

#1 – The Bulletin Board

FullSizeRender

Someone posted it this to my Facebook a few months ago and I knew this was something I wanted to put up in my classroom to turn those negative feelings around.

#2 – The Happy Board

FullSizeRender 2

I got this idea from another teacher to keep things that the students wrote/gave me so that if I have a bad day I can look at these things and remember them. I left plenty of white space for things from my new students!

I also wanted to take a moment to share the card. It’s definitely the best thing I’ve gotten from a student in my three years of teaching.

Untitled

#3 – Student Quotes

The last two years I’ve had my Geometry students write letters to future students. This years letters were REALLY GOOD and they had some very helpful advice so I made a quote poster. The plan is to hopefully have it blown up and printed on big paper to display in my classroom, but I’m not sure that my school has that machine. If not I will just make copies and pass them out to students.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 9.10.06 AM

I really hope that I can get it in color too, but we’ll see.

That’s about all from me now. I hope to have some more reviews and things coming soon!

Kimberly


Jun 11

The End of the School Year is Here… and I’m a Crying Fool

School 6

Obviously this post is not about books, but I haven’t done much reading so I there isn’t much to talk about there. Plus I NEED to say these things about the end of the school year.

Several weeks ago I accepted a job at another high school closer to home. I KNOW this is the right decision for me. It cuts my drive time from 1 hr 20 min each day to 30 min, plus gas, mileage, etc. I already know someone that works at the school who is really happy there so I know I’m getting something good.

So why all the crying? Because my kids were awesome this year and I’m not ready to let them go. I know that it’s time. I know that there is zero chance that I would teach any of them next year. I know that all my precious juniors would only have one more year and they would be leaving me. I know that when September rolls I’ll have new kids who will be awesome too and these kids will have new teachers.

But it’s so damn hard.

I really bonded with my kids this year – and I know that went both ways. Kids who HATE math willingly came to my room to hang out. We laughed and joked and had a few serious conversations. The best thing that came out of this year was that THEY CHANGED ME. I like to think that I changed them too, but I don’t know that for sure.

The hardest thing I had to do was tell them I was leaving. For the most part kids reacted as I expected, but one student stormed out of the room. When he finally came back in he wouldn’t talk to me. It hurt my heart. Later that day I read the Dear Geometry Student Letter he wrote that morning (before he found out I was leaving) and my heart broke in to tiny little pieces.

FullSizeRender 2

My heart breaks a little more every time I read it.

My kids aren’t making it easy either. Constantly reminding me of all the good times this year… and some of the bad times too.

One student told me that two other students were planning something, possibly hay baling my car *cries a little*. When I asked if I was being punished he said, “No, that’s how they show their love.” I don’t know if they are actually going to do it, or if they just like torturing me with the knowledge that they can, either way, I’m having fun with it. Here is their diagram. Please excuse the spelling of “vanilla”.

My Car and Hay Bales

That’s my car. Surrounded by hay bales. And a nice Walmart chair and umbrella so I can sit down and enjoy my Vanilla Coke Zero.

This is only my third year as a teacher and I never really thought about this part of the job, that I would care about them so much that it would be this hard to leave them, but sadly that’s a part of the job every year, because we certainly don’t want them staying in high school forever!

Kimberly


Aug 21

Getting Ready for the School Year!

School 2

In less than a week I’ll be back at school. Two days of professional development and one teacher workweek and the kids will be back in school! Right now all I can think about is school. Last year at this time I was so EXCITED for the school year to begin. This year I am more ANXIOUS. We’ve had a lot of changes and most of them are either not good or will add to my workload. To some extent I understand the changes, after all we did not meet the state requirements during the 2013-2014 school year, however the way the changes have been handled and some of the changes themselves are the problem. But that’s not what I want to share with you today, I want to share with you something that I am excited about!

Even though I’ve only been teaching for 2 years I have not been able to find a planner that I like. The ones the school gives us are vertical *cries* other ones have too small of a space to write in or other things wrong with it, so this year I decided to make my own!

Best thing is, it has everything I need, and nothing that I don’t need.

I had it printed at Office Depot and picked this pretty blue as my cover.
  First up is the yearly calendar. Then the monthly calendar.

Then the pièce de résistance: The planing calendar! I created it myself on excel so that I got EXACTLY what I wanted. The spaces are large enough for these mini post its so that I don’t have to worry about erasing or scribbling out when I have to move lessons. I also customized it to my school’s calendar so it already has days off and early release dates built in.

After the planner I put in my parent call log, just so I had a place to keep it!

I can’t wait to make good use of my planner this year!

Kimberly


Jun 19

End of the School Year Reflection

School 3

50354497Everyone pretty much told me that the second year of teaching is infinitely easier than the first and I am so happy to say that they are right. Everything about this year went better. I didn’t spend every moment working. I had better classroom management which led to better classes. My test scores were higher (which I know it’s not about test scores, but whatever, we all know it’s about test scores). I really enjoyed my students this year – even the ones that drove me nuts. To be honest, I had a soft spot for a few of the students that drove me nuts.

This year also showed me just how much I can care about these kids. Last year I think I was so overwhelmed with all the things that there were some students that slipped through that I could have prevented. This year though I had more time to focus on other things, which definitely benefited my students. My end of year “goal” was for one of my students, I’ll call him Jake, to pass Geometry.

Jake’s older by two years brother was currently in Algebra for the third time as a junior, entering as a freshman Jake was already one math ahead. However upon entering high school and hanging out with his brothers friends things started to unravel for Jake. While a fairly decent student in middle school he took his brother’s lead, which eventually resulted in him punching another student at school. This results in an automatic 10 days of Out of School Suspension (OSS), however in Jake’s case things turned out a bit different and he ended up serving a two month OSS instead.

This put Jake significantly behind in my class and combine that with another bought of OSS later in the year (he was caught skipping – literally, he was caught by a teacher leaving the building and then ran into the woods) and I was worried that Jake would not pass my class. He is smart (and obviously not smart as well) and can do math when he tries but it felt like he was on a path to be just like his brother. Thankfully though he did successfully complete Geometry (and all his other classes). It was a lot of hard work on my part, another teacher and him, but it was worth it in the end.

Unlike last year I had quite a few seniors this year, and several were in the “I need to pass this class to graduate” camp, which was such a pain to deal with. It’s very frustrating to care more than the student does about graduating. Seniors can be quite frustrating, but I loved getting to see the walk across the stage at graduation.

I am looking forward to what good things will happen next year, and hope to have another successful year.

But for now, I’m going to enjoy summer break.

Kimberly


May 29

Best Letter I’ve Ever Seen

School 6

As the end of the school year approaches I had my students write a “Dear Future Geometry Student” letter. This letter needed to include a variety of things: Expectations, favorite thing, advice, etc. I received several great letters (and sadly a few bad ones as well) but this one absolutely did me in.

IMG_0108

Kimberly