Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

5 Tips for Surviving your First Year Back as a Mom

In September 2017, I went back to work as a homeroom teacher and a full-time mom. This year has been so different from any other. Before kids, I would work a lot, plan educational events and edchats but now, I have a family to take care of. Someone who needs me to be there and be present. I’ve found out this year that balancing it all is tough. It is definitely been all about learning what is important to me and asking myself what do I want to spend my time and energy on.

Here are some tips that helped me survive my first year back:

1. Plan ahead

Being a mom and teacher, I feel like there are 50 balls in the air that you are trying to juggle. In order to do it all well, you need to plan. Planning ahead your teaching plans, knowing where you are going in the unit and planning the night before keeps you anxiety free when drama occurs.

My partner and I have a shared Google calendar where we both enter our work events and who needs to pick up or drop off the kiddo on specific dates. This really helps when trying to organize your time.

Planning ahead what is for dinner every night or making your lunch for the week on the weekend seems like a small thing but it saves so much time and thought after a busy workday. I find as well, if you preplan meals, you eat healthier and feel better.

2. Ask for Help

Asking for help from colleagues really helps. Ask for coverage if you have a support teacher if you need to write report cards or IEP’s. Ask for unit plans or report card comments for other teachers you trust. Teachers love to help each other but if you don’t ask, you don’t get help.

Asking your spouse for help also is important. If you need time to stay late at work or some time to yourself, ASK. It will help you feel calmer.

3.Self Care

We cannot take care of others when you are exhausted. Do something small for yourself every day. Some ideas that I enjoy are a big cup of coffee with a good book, a bubble bath, a run, or listening to upbeat music. All of these things help me feel better.

4. DO NOT reinvent the wheel

All teachers want to do their best every day but sometimes it is better to save yourself time and buy the lesson/unit. There is no shame in it. Check out TeachersPayTeachers for millions of resources!

5. Choose your Priorities

Did you know that it takes 3 years for a new mom to feel completely back to herself? I had no idea that it took that long! Pre-kids, I was so active in the education field. I actively learned, read professional development books and then blogged about it all. But since having a child, my priorities have changed. I am slowly getting back to feeling like myself again and with that, I want to step back into the educational world again and begin blogging more often. I’m starting by really focusing on what my priorities are and being really intentional about what I am working on. So right now, my priorities are taking care of myself, family, school, and blogging when I have time and/or inspiration.

I would love to hear more about how you guys survived being a parent and balancing your teaching career. Please let me know in the comments below!

Reddit gifts for Teachers 2014

Do you know about Reddit? My friend called pinterest the lady version of reddit.

Reddit ”is an entertainment, social networking service and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links. Only registered users can then vote submissions “up” or “down” to organize the posts and determine their position on the site’s pages. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits (From wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddit).”

Part of reddit is for gift exchanges and they host one once a year for teachers. You can sign up to give to teachers or to receive as a teacher. 

Last year I signed up and got some gifts. Check out the post here.

To sign up, please click here.

Free Teacher Planner

Hey guys,

Last year I really wanted to buy a teaching planner but didn’t want to spend the money and found that all of the premade ones didn’t fit my schedule or what I wanted.

So I created my own! It has:

  • fun, inspiration cover
  • place for your info
  • spot for birthdays
  • classroom volunteers
  • student/parent contact information
  • How students get home
  • monthly calendar
  • at a glance monthly teaching benchmarks
  • pages for staff & grade meetings
  • and Notes/ideas pages

For some reason, uploaded onto Google Docs it messes up the pages, so you may have to play around with it a bit. When you download it to Word, the alignment is perfect.

Click here for the Google Drive version or here for the pdf version.

Make sure you print this planner double sided!

Here are some pictures of the planner.

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“Passionate Learners” by Pernille Ripp

Wow, I just finished Pernille’s new book “Passionate Learners” in 2 days. What an amazingly written, non-judgemental, hopeful look at what teaching can be.

I love that she admits her mistakes that she is not proud of but moves onto how this didn’t feel right and now what she has done to fix it.

This book is about how to go from rewards and punishments, grades & teacher-led classrooms to a passionate, feedback filled and student-led classroom.

I’ve had a different teaching experience than most. My first teaching placement was at a normal elementary school but my second placement was at Churchill Alternative. I had no idea what the Alternative meant and when I showed up on the first day and told a student to sit down and take off his hat, he responded “We don’t do that here.” I quietly sat down and took this different teaching environment in.

Churchill Alternative is a school where the students, teachers and parents work together to teach the whole child. They focus on intrinsic motivation, community, cooperation and goal making. They believe in innovated and differentiated learning as well as assessment that meets the students created learning goals. Churchill Alternative has been my home base for the last 7 years of my teaching journey. I have been a supply teacher, had many Long Term Occasional positions but I always ended back at Churchill. Churchill Alternative has this amazing sense of community & partnership, and the most responsible, helpful and respectful children. I have created many friendships with the amazing staff at Churchill who I always will look up to.

This book is about making your own Churchill in your own classroom. I have seen the affects of passionate learning at Churchill and the outcome is unlike any other I have experienced yet.

Pernille gives you ideas about how to create this classroom for yourself but doesn’t give you a step by step guide. Every classroom and group is different. You have to figure out what will work for the group you have now.

You have to make sure:

  • you create a community
  • the classroom is focused on the students
  • students create the class expectations, no rules
  • no grades, only feedback
  • classroom meetings
  • no punishments or rewards, have a conversation instead
  • fun, engaging activities planned with the students
  • creating routines with your students
  • really, really get to know your students
  • be present & listen

This book is a definite must read. I have only just finished it, but going to go through it again and figure out how I can try this out next year.

If you would love to buy this book, click here or to know more about the amazing Pernille Ripp, who is also the creator of the Global Read Aloud, click here.

I know that since I started my blog, ClassromCollective.com I have become so passionate about teaching and technology. I want all my future students to feel that same sense of passion.