Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Beginnings

I’m proud to announce… I have officially survived my first full week of teaching!!!!  Hooray!!!!  I think it’s time for some celebration!  J 
I’ll be sure to fill you in on all the details, but first let me catch you up until this point…
I’m 22 years old and just graduated from UNC (Go Bears!) in May with a degree in Elementary Education.  Teaching children has always been a passion of mine, so I’m ecstatic that my dream of becoming an elementary school teacher is finally coming true.  I was lucky enough to be discovered and given the opportunity to be a reading interventionist at a truly amazing school with wonderful students and a very supportive staff.  I couldn’t have asked to be in a better spot for my first year of teaching (and hopefully for many more years to come)! 
In a large school with a growing student population, I, unfortunately, do not have the luxury of having my own classroom.  However, I am one of the lucky few to have a consistent spot where I will be teaching all my reading groups – the conference room!  Surprisingly, it’s a somewhat spacious room (for being a conference room) and will be home to roughly 15 students at a time.  I’ve been racking my brain trying to figure out a room arrangement that will accommodate this many kiddos, but I think I might’ve found something that’ll work.  I guess only time will tell!  Haha.  Pictures will be coming soon (it’s definitely still a work in progress)!
I decided that it would be fun to come up with a theme for my “classroom” so that students would enjoy coming to my room for reading instruction.  After sorting through an over-abundance of theme ideas, I finally narrowed it down to one (drum roll please…): OLYMPICS!  I turned my itty-bitty room into an Olympic Training Center!  And, knowing that the Summer Olympics are less than one year away, I figured it would be the perfect fit!  I want every student who enters my classroom to realize that they can achieve their dreams, no matter how big or small, if they just believe in themselves and persevere.  There will be hardships, but if they put forth the effort and maintain a positive attitude, success will be the end result.  In my classroom, students will always be striving for victory and going for the gold!  J
After a chaotic week of testing, shoe-tying, and sorta-kinda-not-really knowing what I was supposed to be doing and when I was supposed to be doing it (which was to be expected for the first week), I’m feeling more inspired than ever.  I haven’t met with my reading groups yet as I’m still in the process of testing and figuring out student needs, but I’m thrilled that I get to work in such an upbeat atmosphere with extraordinary people.  I can’t wait to start making a difference in the lives of my students and am looking forward to the incredible journey ahead of me!


Smile of the Day:  Being a first-year teacher can definitely be overwhelming at times.  I feel like my head is constantly spinning with “what ifs” and “should haves.”  It was Back to School Night and I was stationed just outside of the cafeteria when a little girl came sprinting towards me to greet me with a big bear hug.  She hurried her mom along and proceeded to introduce me as “the best teacher in the entire school.”  Needless to say, it melted my heart and is a moment that I will never forget.  Any doubts I had were quickly pushed aside and a ginormous smile spread across my face for the entire evening.  What a magnificent feeling!

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