Thursday, May 30, 2013

Let it begin

Well the paperwork is in, and my staff badge has been made.  Today I sat down with my new boss and discussed the plans and expectations for the ensuing school year.  The discussion was not as formal because I spent the past semester working with her during my student teaching tenure.  Within this conversation I learned that the format for the 6th grade would be changing.  My cooperating teacher and I will be each teaching 2 subjects, and I opted for Language Arts & Social Studies.  This new format will cause the 6th graders to get used to the changing of classes that comes with Jr. High.  I welcome this new process because this means less lesson planning for me.  Only having to focus on 2 subjects rather than all the subjects allows me to ensure all required content is covered.  Of course I will be implementing a cross-curriculum method, incorporating the Math and Science my partner teacher will be focusing on will help create a well rounded learning environment.  I left my meeting with the Principal with the curriculum created by the district.  With this arsenal in my hands I am not beginning to start curriculum map.  It will be nice to come with an idea already in line when I finally sit down and plan with my new 6th grade teaching partner.

After much research on the internet for curriculum map templates, I decided to create my own.  I downloaded an adorable universal border and using a table started the blueprint to begin planning my first year of teaching.  Below are the forms I created to begin this process.  Since I am only focusing on Language Arts and Social Studies I only created 4 templates - one each for Reading, Writing, Speaking/Listening & Language, and Social Studies.  Using this will help me get the year in line so I am not trying to scramble to make sure I cover all the required content to ensure my students are successful and ready for 7th grade.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Words of Wisdom

One of my friends posted this article from the CNN website authored by the infamous and inspirational educator Ron Clark.  There are many words of caution and wisdom through out the article, but the most important thing the article shares is the importance of the partnership between the parents, teachers, and administrators of our students.  Click on the link below to read the full article.  Enjoy!!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Its In My Hot Little Hands!!!

I finally got the call.  The district office called me to advise that I have been approved for a teaching position by the school board and my contract is ready to be picked up so it can be signed.  All my hard work and determination has finally paid off & I can call myself a full time certified teacher.  What shocked me when I went to pick up my contract was the novella attached to the contract.  But, I got through all the pages and got my signature where it was necessary there are only a few more things to do before I can turn in all my new hire paperwork.

  • Get Teaching Certificate from AZ DOE
    • need to order 2 certified transcripts
      • 1 for the school district
      • one for AZ DOE
  • Get copy of my MMR/Immunization records
  • Turn it all the paperwork & contract into the district office.

At the same time I got an email from my new boss advising me about the school retreat we are having for all the staff.  Because our school is going to be half new teachers and half existing teachers we all are getting a chance to meet and form a community before the school year begins & we are all too busy will lesson planning, evaluations, grading, teaching, and testing.  Besides that I went to see my mentor teacher to see what supplies I get to inherit from him since he is leaving elementary teaching and moving onto a college professor.  He and the other 6th grade teacher are leaving me a lot of different items such as books, worksheets, and supplies they believe will be beneficial to me as a new teacher.  So, I am going to start working on my classroom as soon as next week because I am starting a temporary job on June 3rd until my teaching obligations begin.  My husband has been the sole supporter these past 17 months while I pursued my Master's Degree, I need to help contribute to ease the burden of the monthly bills and to make life a little easier.  Also, I want to have a little money so I put it into making my classroom fun, colorful, and engaging for my new students.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Finally a Graduate!!

My cohort classmates and myself celebrating the end of
a long journey together....
Well this past Saturday, May 11th I walked across the stage at Northern Arizona University to receive my Master's Degree in Elementary Education.  It came after 17 months of arduous work and perseverance to make my dream of becoming a teacher a reality.  I was happy to celebrate this event with 8 wonderful women I traveled this journey with - my cohort classmates.  My family also made the journey 3 hours north of our homes in Phoenix - my husband, mother, brother, his girlfriend and son, along with my father.  What made the ceremony more special was getting hooded by my university supervisor for our classes.  She was an amazing teacher and I know I will carry a lot of what I learned in her classes with me into my own classroom.

Another note... my last day with my students was on Fri, May 10th.  We celebrate the day with a ice cream sundae party and then I got to watch the students get soaking wet at the end of their field day.  It was a great day to end a wonderful student teaching experience.  I cannot wait until next year when I finally get to begin teaching my own class of 6th graders.

My summer posts will be light, but I will try to remember to write something once in a while, especially when I get my IR (institution recommendation) which will allow me to get my license from the AZ Dept of Ed. and finally when the school board approves my post and I get to finally sign my contract.  Teachers return to school on July 15th and the school year starts August 5th...its seems quite a bit away but I know it will be here before I know it.
Stage right before the ceremony...
Walking to my seat to get my Master's degree, I'm the one
in front of the lady with the gold/yellow collar -- my husband
 takes blurry pictures
Stadium before the ceremony starts.
My husband & I before the ceremony...
My family & I celebrating the big day
Dr. Uyder - University program supervisor
..she is awesome!!!