Sunday, March 24, 2013

Beg, Steal and Borrow

Let me tell you something, friends. If you are not on twitter, you are MISSING OUT. And I don't mean for personal reasons. Let twitter become your (actually useful) Professional Learning Community/Network. (I don't know about you, but my current school doesn't do PLCs and I am so grateful. Every PLC meeting I went to at my last school was totally useless.) However, my #PLN on twitter has literally saved my teaching life. Yes, I am a first year teacher. But please remember, most new teachers burn out and quit by year three. I could feel myself on that slippery slope with no back up plan in sight. I was considering nursing school, daycares, having a million children and staying home with was getting bad. All I knew was that I had to get out of my school and fast. 

Wrong. Turns out the problem is not my school and not my students, the problem was me. I felt stuck, even though I have a great job with an excellent opportunity for next year. I was so beaten down by cscope and STAAR and everything else we have to do, that I had lost my joy of learning and teaching. I'm so grateful that I went to a round-table discussion on flipped classrooms and met Louise Morgan, a second grade teacher in my district. (You can view her blog here!) She announced that she was having a skype in the classroom training that Thursday and on a whim at noon that Thursday, I decided to go. 

Not only did I learn about skype in Louise's training, but I learned about mystery skype, and world read aloud day, and using twitter as a professional network. Since then I have learned about twitter chats (my favorites are #elempblchat, #geniushour and #flipclass), genius hour, and met some very resourceful and kind people. I spent the majority of my spring break on twitter, begging for help, stealing ideas, and borrowing resources. I came back to school ON FIRE

Sadly, that fire was dimmed by walking pneumonia and sinusitis, but I have had a steroid shot and am on a lot of medication. I predict a return to normalcy and FIRE tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest. :) 

Every teacher should have the opportunity to be as excited as I am now that I have "found" twitter. If you've been on the fence, let this push you over it. If you're already there, follow me! I am always looking for new connections and friends. 

Sincerely yours,

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Welcome back?

Well, it's spring break time for me. My very first post was a "currently" post, and my "wondering" question was "I wonder if I'll be able to keep up with this in the school year." Clearly, I failed. But after joining twitter (as a teacher, not a social network junkie), I was shamed to realize I had a blog and was failing to use it. 

There were several times during the year where I thought "oh, this would make a great blog post" and thought about pulling out my camera, but I just never got around to it. The first year of teaching is supposed to be the worst, and so far it has been FULL of ups and downs. I think I spent the entire first six weeks crying to my mom and hubs about how awful my life was. 

But I am pleased to report I have finally learned how to DEAL. And how to put up with the craziness that comes along with fifth graders. And even though I still hate testing and STAAR and want to move to a first or second grade classroom, I have been given an amazing opportunity at my own campus. 

Next year, another first year teacher and myself will be piloting a flipped classroom. I have taken this little idea and turned my ideal classroom into a flipped/PBL/genius hour/whole brain teaching mecca. You can't even believe how excited I am to implement all these ideas!! (I still have a long way to go...I haven't really figured out how to incorporate all of them into one classroom.) I plan to spend the rest of my spring break relaxing...I am on vacation with family...but also learning as much as humanly possible. 

Now: a very late "currently" post. 

For like, love, and hate, I had to use words that started with an L. I like being lazy on vacation...hate it in my kids or when it keeps me from working out. I LOVE learning. See above post :) I hate losers - sore losers, good losers, people who just give up. UGH. 

I hope you all have a lovely spring break, whenever yours happens to be! 


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