Thursday, December 8, 2011

Farewell Fall 2011

This has been one crazy semester but it is finally over. I have officially taken my last final and turned in my last paper. One semester of Grad school is over and behind me. How has middle school been going? Well that is a totally different subject. Let's just say I was lured in and hired under false pretenses and I am not one bit happy about it. Luckily I didn't sign any contracts and I am free to walk. I really despise being deceived. I was told that the teacher had taken a medical leave and would be gone until at LEAST March and there was a big possibility that she wouldn't return for the rest of the school year. I was told I would be getting paid one amount and then later I found out that this was a discrepancy and I would actually be getting paid less (I decided to ignore this minor issue and continue anyway). I was also told that they were not just looking for a substitute teacher but a certified teacher who could construct lesson plans, guide paraprofessionals, work on IEPs and lead instruction. I was so excited to be able to construct and implement my plans and eagerly planned things. I observed the students and the paras and familiarized myself with what had been going on. First warning sign....Where were the IEPs? I was told that the teacher had all this information at home and they would be contacting her to get it. (She had already been on leave for 2 whole months by this time). Second warning...all the students did was work on worksheets with help from the paras (that was ok, I was already brainstorming unique ideas to get them up and working on hands on activities). Third warning....Me to para: I notice that they are all working on the same worksheets, do they ever do work catered to their own ability but different from the other? Para (blank stare): no we always do the same exact worksheets for everyone but we just differentiate certain instructions. I don't think they should do different work....
Fourth warning..the principal tells me hey we were wrong Ms. So-and-so won't be out all year, in fact she won't even be out until March. She has decided to return in January...
Do you want to know the last and final warning? The warning that burst the bubble...Ok here goes....
I get called into the principal's office and here is what he said....wait for it.... He wanted to clarify my role in the classroom. Since Ms. So-and-so is coming back sooner than we thought, I really don't have to do a thing. He wants me to sit back and let the paras teach and instruct as I observe them (observe, what is this college? And excuse me, did he say observe the paras? my turn to use the blank stare). I should also do whatever the paras think I should do. Also although he wants me to relinquish control to the paras, if anything goes wrong I am the one who will be blamed (yeah he actually said that)
So basically I am the teacher on paper yet I am expected to perform the duties of a paraprofessional and observe and take orders from the other paras since "they have been there all year and know how things should run"
I am still shocked and I honestly don't know what to think but I do know that this is not where I want to be. My instincts say RUN and RUN FAST!
BTW I was called by an elementary school principal yesterday and offered the chance to interview for a long-term job there...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Middle School here I come!

It's official. I'm a middle school teacher! Wow I never thought I would say that. I'll be teaching a 6-8 resource/self-contained class. I'm so excited. I have already met my students and TAs but tomorrow will be my first full day in the classroom to get a feel for the students and look at IEPs. Nervous? Why yes I am.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Updates, New Laptop, and Middle School, OH MY!

I have been super busy and haven't had time to update due to problems with my laptop. I am happy to announce that I now have a new laptop, but I'm still super busy. These 12 hours are no joke. I am glad that the semester is almost over. I haven't even had the time to apartment shop so I decided to put that off until the winter break. I have been learning a whole lot in my classes and I am still hoping to be able to put all my knowledge into practice very soon.
I have recently been told that I would make a very good middle school teacher. As a flexible person, I am okay with trying out this new role. The only thing I have to do is sharpen up on my classroom management plan for middle school because I know it it different from elementary. I have experience working with students of all ages and the LEAP test does NOT scare me. I have actually helped a student prepare for the ELA and Math portions of his LEAP test and my techniques proved to be very successful. There appears to be quite a few openings in nearby school districts for Middle School Special Educators. Will I be walking into a middle school sometime soon? Only time will tell...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


This is the first time that I have ever decided to join a linky party but this one was just too cute to pass up. I'm linking up with Oh' Boy 4th Grade for her October linky party.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Thinking about updating my blog and making it more visible. I usually just like to come here and talk for my own benefit without feedback from a lot of people. My Facebook and Twitter are overrun with comments from hundreds of friends everyday but this blog is for me. Maybe I will increase its visibility in the near future. All it will take is a link on either my FB or Twitter page but I don't think I'm ready for that yet. This is my little safe  haven for now. I love to come here and not see 1,000+ followers. It's my yoga on the internet.
On another of my classes requires us to participate in a forum. Not only do we have to answer the professor's original questions, but we also have to respond to 5 of our classmates. Really??? 5 times? It just seems a little like overkill to me..GRRRR....

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A Sense of Peace

Wow this semester is certainly keeping me busy. I have decided to halt the search for a teaching job and focus on my graduate studies for now. I am regularly substituting but I can always choose my own days off. I am taking 12 hours of graduate courses (yeah that's a lot, or so I've heard...) and I have recently started taking yoga classes. Yoga has turned out to be really relaxing and I am really enjoying it. I will be satisfied until I have comfortably mastered the pose below :)
I am very happy with the way things are going right now. I cannot remember the last time that I have felt this type of peace.
My current routine:
I'm usually subbing at the same schools, so I am well known by staff and students around the campuses that I do frequent. I am very interested in all of the classes that I am taking and I feel like I will learn a whole lot through this program. I have started yoga and have finally started working out regularly and it feels great.
Things to do:
I still have yet to find a place in my new city. I currently live 45 minutes away from where I attend school and work and I cannot wait until I can move closer and get settled.
I am looking for a topic in special education to research for one of my classes. (possibly comparing the different ways that 3-4 states are implementing RTi and recording their success or lack of success with the program)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Farewell Summer...

August signifies the ending of the summer and the beginning of a new journey for me. This month I will be starting the MAT program in Special Education at the University of Louisiana. I was previously enrolled in an Alternative Certification program but because of unforeseen circumstances I was forced to quit that program. I am happy to be able to continue my studies. This time of the year is also pretty nerve wracking because of the fact that I only have a Practitioner's teaching license. This means I have to wait for a last minute job opening. I have a lot of experience and good references so I'm confident about my chances of getting hired for a full time position. 14 more days until the school year starts and 21 more days until my graduate career begins. I'm so excited.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July Update

I have had a looooong month but thankfully it is almost over. The GRE test no longer hangs over my head and I am proud to say that I did very well on it. I not only made higher than what I needed but I also exceeded my own expectations. I am keeping up with the reading of The Book Whisperer and I am thoroughly enjoying it. I am also enjoying my new found hobby of blogging and using the website Pinterest. I am sad to say that one of my favorite blogs has apparently been shut down. I loved reading Apple and Pencil Skirts and I will definitely miss it. I hope she comes back to the blogging world :(

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Testing in 3, 2, 1...

Only 1 more day left to study for my GRE test. At this time tomorrow I will be preparing to leave for my 3.5 hour trip to Houston. Why so far? Actually it's the closest place that still had openings for taking the test during this month. I have been studying like crazy and I must admit that my nerves are pretty bad right now. I haven't taken a math class since 2004!!! I am pretty confident about the verbal part but right now the math is still a work in progress. Wish me luck.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Book Whisperer Read Along

As a beginning teacher I hungrily search for advice and guidance from those who have been in the teaching profession longer than myself. This has led me to turn to teacher blogs and I must say that this has become a new hobby of mine. There are so many great, experienced teachers out there who take time out of their busy schedules to blog about what they are doing and I am one of the people who greatly appreciates this. Through blog stalking, I have stumbled upon this summer read along that is being hosted by several teachers. The chosen book is The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. After reading Chapter 1 I felt like the book was speaking directly to me and about me. I am so ready to learn everything that this book has to offer in terms of setting up my reading program for my own students. I could barely put the book down. Chapter 1 is littered with highlighting and post its.

  "Reading changes your life."
 " job as a teacher to equip the travelers, teach them how to read a map, and show them what to do when they get lost, but ultimately, the journey is theirs alone."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fonts Galore

Ok as a new teacher I'm just getting into this crazy font phase and I'm ready to start using them so watch out.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Books, Books, and more books

This book captured my eye especially since it is a nonfiction story written about the state that I live in and specific cities that I have also resided in. However, I never expected for this book to feature someone I actually know. As I read this story a certain name jumped out at me and I recognized it as being someone that I have personally had the opportunity to work with. After reading the account about this particular person, I was in awe at what he had accomplished. I knew he was a special person but I never realized just how special he really was. This made me even more honored to have had the chance to work with him and I definitely hope that I can work for him sometime in the future. My hat goes off to him. 
Now I'm off to read and revamp my library of children's books. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

June 2011 Summer Reading List

Because I'm such an avid reader I decided to list my summer reading list in two parts, June and July. This list consists of books for fun and books for professional development. I'll start with my list of books for fun.
I'm sure it's apparent that I'm a fan of James Patterson and mystery novels. Now for the books for professional development.

This is just a brief list of some of the books that I currently reading or already read this month. I will be adding on to this list as necessary.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Interview Season

I have been invited to interview at a high school for a teaching position. I have been asked to prepare a 10-15 minute demo lesson for  about 15 8th graders. First reaction-freaking out. I have never had to teach for only 15 minutes. What do I teach? Where do I begin? I do not know what level these students are on or what subject I should teach. I guess I will have to figure it out though. I can do this. This is my passion and my light will shine.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

JOB FAIR Season!

Job fairs. Man those things are hectic. So far I have attended two this summer. The first one was pretty much a waste. There were no jobs to be found in the district. I found myself impressing administrators for no reason. I chalked it up as practice for my next job fair. Job fair number 2 was 45 minutes away from my home and it made it there with plenty of time to spare. I found this job fair to be more successful because of the fact that there were actually job positions available. I know that I may be at a disadvantage because I am not fully certified yet but that will definitely NOT stop me from attending these fairs and making my best impressions. I feel that I have the ability to land a job and I am the best candidate for the position. I am currently composing an email to the principal of one of the elementary schools that I interviewed with and I will calling an assistant principal of another at her request. I was also approached by a principal of a middle school and the assistant principal of a high school and they requested that I speak with them and leave my resume. I believe that something good will happen this summer. I'm just waiting for it to occur. Like I said, I'm on my way...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Update from May

Wow May was a very intense month. I had the best experience with some of the best people and I enjoyed every minute of it. Okay maybe not EVERY minute but majority of them. I got to work with some of the most misunderstood kids and I was even able to teach them some things. Keep in mind that I was working with severe/profound students so this is VERY BIG! This position prepared me for the future in a big way. I have come to realize that my potential in this field is far greater than even I imagined. Next step is finding a job for the 2011-2012 school year. I'm on my way...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My OWN Classroom!

Today I received the greatest news ever. I no longer have to wait for a phone call late in the evening or early in the morning to confirm where I will be teaching the next day. I know exactly where I will be on tomorrow and the next day and the next. I will be in my OWN classroom with my 6 students and 4 teacher aides. I have been hired as a teacher for a Severe/Profound K-5th grade class. I am so nervous and excited. I don't have all the information yet so I await in anticipation of tomorrow and what it will bring. I have never worked in this type of setting before so this is something that is totally new to me. It will give me a chance to gain experience in this area and I am ready for the challenge.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Me I Used to Be

I'm just so tired of everything and everybody right now. I don't know which way to turn and I feel so lost and alone at times. I feel like running away and just starting over. Someplace where I can begin again. Somewhere that I can immerse myself into my surroundings and myself. Someplace where I'm allowed to just be me. Half of the time I'm struggling just trying to figure out who I am and exactly where I stand. I just want to let go and be the me that I used to be. The me I was when I had it all figured out. The me I was when I just let it all flow out. I'm tired of being this person that I've been pretending to be when all I really want to be is me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring 2011 comes to a close

So today was pretty much a bittersweet one. It was the last day of one of my classes. This means I'm one step closer (and only 2 classes away) to my status as a certified teacher. This upcoming school year, I plan on landing a job in some school district. I have the confidence and the faith that will ultimately put me in my own classroom come August 2011. I cannot bear to enter someone else's classroom day after day. I enjoy subbing to a certain extent and I am thankful for all the preparation that I have received as a substitute teacher over this past year. I have built a camaraderie with the teachers and staff at the schools that I frequent and hopefully one of those will have an opening in my area. If not, then I am willing to take my talents to another school or even district that is in need. For now I am done with the required courses that my mentor teaches so I will not be enjoying her lectures anymore. Upon leaving her class I told her that she would not see me in one of her classes again until I enter the Master's program. She told me that I should really think carefully about what I would like to pursue in terms of my Master's degree and that I should look into Educational Leadership. This thought has honestly crossed my mind for a brief second but now that she has mentioned it, I have really started thinking about it. First things first is this job search to get my own classroom :)

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Reading a lot of these different teacher made blogs has gotten me so inspired. I cannot wait until I have my own class to blog about so I can share all my wonderful lesson plans and stories. I have so many ideas that are floating around in my head so I guess I may as well blog about them. Next week is my university's Spring Break so I will use that time to get some of my thoughts together. Meanwhile, it's back to subbing and writing research papers for school.


The Teacher Recruitment Fair went very well. 10 interviews in one day. Whew. I'm determined to get a job for the 2011-12 school year. Hopefully I won't have to relocate too far because I still have this one class that I'm not 100% sure about getting into this summer. If I cannot get into that class this summer then I'll have to take it in the Fall and it would be impossible for me to make it to class on time if I am more than an hour away. Otherwise I would be alright with packing up and moving 2-3 hours away for a job. I am single with no attachments and my main focus right now is on my career. (Although I do have a special someone but visits can always be arranged ) Here's to praying that it all works out.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Quote to Live by...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

~Marianne Williamson

Teacher Recruitment Day Spring 2011

Today is the big day. I have polished off my resume and personalized my cover letters. I have pressed my suit and shined my heels. Now I am ready to let my personality shine. I was born to do this and today is the first step in obtaining a position for the 2011-2012 school year. Optimism is in the air and the time is right now. I have signed up for 8 different interviews with various school districts within an hour's distance from where I currently reside. I may be willing to move later but for now I am limited in how far I can go because of my graduate studies. Giving it all to the man above and stepping out on faith.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A New Day

I woke up telling myself that today would be different. I say it with conviction in my heart and it worked. Having a mentor in any profession goes a long way. Having a mentor in the teaching profession has really helped me. When there are times that I seem misguided or questions that I cannot seem to answer alone, my mentor comes in very handy. Today I shared a story with my mentor. I am a substitute teacher and everyday I encounter different situations that add new tools to my toolbox. I am currently getting certified to teach Special Education grades 1-12 but I have always been leaning towards teaching the lower grades (PreK-2). Because of this preference I accept jobs that are in this range. When I arrived at the elementary school this morning, I was informed that I would be needed to sub for a fifth grade class instead. I usually prepare myself and my bag of tricks for the grade that I will be subbing in that day. I was supposed to sub in a 1st grade class so the tricks and activities that I had packed would not help any in a fifth grade class. I was a bit apprehensive about the new assignment because I was suddenly thrust into the room with minutes to spare before the students arrived. My day went off very well and I was surprised by how well I did with the little that I was given. The students responded to me very well and they even asked if I would be back to sub for them. I shared this story with a lot of added details, with my mentor this evening and she told me that she was not surprised by this outcome. She said that I should look into teaching the upper elementary grades because I have a talent for earning the trust of these kids. Now I am wondering if this is true and how I feel about this. It feels great when someone has faith in you and your abilities and it makes me want to work harder than ever. I will start to take on substitute jobs for these middle grades and see what happens...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Was Born To Do This

Today seems like the perfect time to post. Yesterday I was granted an interview with a school system and I am on my way to interview number 2. I am really excited and hoping to land a job in this district. Even though I will have to commute an hour for my classes, I am really praying for this job. I am preparing my portfolio and hoping to make a great impression. I can do this. I was born to do this...
"Don't limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mind lets you. What you believe, you can achieve." Mary Kay Ash