Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Summer Goals

Today I am linking up with Deanna at Mrs. Jump's Class for her "Ten Things I want to do this Summer" linky. I have been planning to make a Summer bucket list for our family so this kind of ties in with that!!
1. Enjoy a beautiful week at the beach with family! Cannot wait!!
2. Organize my home office. We just had cabinets installed last week and are waiting on the countertop. ALL of our office materials have been stored in boxes since we moved 5 months ago. We have a LOT of organizing to do!
3. Get caught up on my son's Shutterfly book. Every year, I make  Shutterfly book of my son's year. So, we have one from birth to 1st birthday - and so on. We just celebrated his 4th birthday so I need to finish up his third year book.
4. Finish projects at home: Retaining wall, laundry room shelf, play set, finish decorating guest bedroom, etc.
5. Continue my job search....I have faith that God will put me right where he wants me if I am to return to the classroom this fall!
6. IF I get a job, a big task this summer would be to work in my new classroom!
7. Continue my goal of eating healthier and losing weight. I am currently on Weight Watchers and have lost 18 pounds.
8. Enjoy an anniversary trip with my husband! We will be married 5 years in July so we are taking a trip together. Believe it or not, it will be only the second "date" in 4 years! We've only been on 1 date since having our son 4 years ago. Between his work schedule and us not living near family - we just don't have a lot of time/flexibility to go out just the two of us. I am so looking forward to our trip, but will miss our son like crazy!
9. Visit the Georgia Aquarium with my mom. We went a few weeks ago and it was so nice! I am planning another visit with my mom this summer.
10. Spend quality time together - playing outside, taking walks together, doing crafts, going to a strawberry farm, etc!
I hope you all are having a great start to your summer!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Five for Friday

Happy Friday, y'all! I'm seeing on blogs and Instagram how so many of you are winding down the school year! Hang in there - summer is near!
I haven't participated in Five for Friay for a while - mainly because after moving mid-year I haven't had a lot to share, but today I wanted to join in on the fun!
One - This past week my son and I had a lot of fun doing a nature scavenger hunt! You can read more about it HERE. My previous school had a great Nature Trail that this would have been perfect for.
Two - I have kept maps from two zoo's that we have visited and the aquarium and laminated them this week. My son LOVES to look at these maps (he is such a teacher's kid!). I was thinking this would be a good idea to use in the classroom as well! I'll be saving more when we go places that has a map. 
Three - Yesterday I hand delivered resumes, letters of interest, and letters of recommendation to six schools. If you read my blog regularly, you will know that I didn't think I would be able to teach this coming year, but we have found a great Preschool for my son to go to and it allows working parents to drop their child off a little early and stay a little late so I actually could get a job this year and then next year, he could come with me! So - that's why I got out and hand delivered my stuff! One school said they have three openings - a 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 5th grade. Online you select three preferences and I had selected 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. They told me to pick what I would rather teach between 2nd and 3rd and put that as my #1 option. So, I went to my Instagram buddies with this question....
I would be happy with either! I've had in my mind for a while that I think 2nd grade would be great - but I am happy with either! I put 2nd grade as my first choice and 3rd grade as my second choice. The job posting actually closes TODAY so I am hoping to hear something soon. I'd love to score an interview at any of the schools I went to today! What do you think - 2nd or 3rd? Or another grade?
Four - I wish I had pictures for this - but we are getting so many house projects done while I am off of work and I am loving it! My husband stained and painted a shelf to go in the laundry room, but we have to finish it with molding. We had cabinets installed in our office this week, but are waiting on the countertops to be installed. We are having a fence installed in our backyard (Hallelujah - 2 dogs without a fence has been awful!) today and tomorrow. We are having a retaining wall built next weekend to level out a place for my son's new play set - which is at the place we ordered and ready to be delivered! We have a basketball goal ordered. SO much going on! Hoping we can finish lots of these projects and more this summer!
Five - I hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day! We will be celebrating my son's 4th birthday with a fun safari party! I may share the details of it next week....we are so excited!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Nature Scavenger Hunt

This past week we went on a fun nature scavenger hunt! I knew my son would love it - he loves to be outside and loves the woods. I found this free printable from Five Little Chef's.
We own woods right behind our house so that was the perfect setting for our scavenger hunt. 
I was thinking about how you could adapt this activity for the classroom - once a teacher, always a teacher. In my previous school, we had an amazing Nature Trail that would be great for an activity like this.
We found lots of items on our list - something rough (plant) and something smooth (rock).
We found different types of leaves, a Y-shaped and odd shaped twigs, and pinecones.
We also found something yucky....two ticks on my son at the end of the night. Eeeekkkk!
We had fun doing our nature scavenger hunt!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Books, books, and more books!

First, THANK YOU all for your sweet comments on my last post about possibly staying home another year.
I have found several books lately that I wanted to show on my blog. I love sharing my fun finds! The first set of books were only $1 and were found at the Dollar Tree. Amanda at Teaching Maddeness actually posted them on her Instagram and I knew I had to look for them!
The next two sets of books came from our local library sale. I wasn't sure what to expect from the library sale, but there were TONS and TONS of books! The first picture are the books that my son picked out. 
The next group of books are books that I bought for a future classroom - and they range greatly in age level - but I could not pass them up! Most were only 25 cents and some were 50 cents! For all of these and the ones in the picture above, I paid $6.25!
Now no one tell my husband about all of the books I am buying for a classroom I don't even have! :)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Why I may not be back in the classroom next year...

Hello, friends! I have done a poor job keeping this blog updated lately. Since moving to Georgia and becoming a stay at home mom, I find that I have less and less to blog about.
I have submitted my teaching application in the county where we live, I have sent out resumes and letters of recommendation, and even gotten an interview. But, I wanted to write today about why I may not be going back to the classroom next year.
There are a few schools in the county that I've heard great things about - schools that I would love to work at. On Tuesday, I got a call for an interview at a different school in the county - one that I didn't know a lot about - and I interviewed there yesterday. I had a few reservations going in, but I went in nervous and excited.
The interview went well. I was interviewed by four individuals - the principal, the assistant principal, the speech pathologist, and a third grade teacher. The interview seemed to be going really well. I had prepared myself for the questions I might be asked and most of the questions I had in mind were asked. There were a few things that were mentioned that went along with my initial reservations so I had a lot twirling around in my mind. Still, I felt like I answered the questions really well. And then, it was my turn to ask questions. I asked a few related to instruction, technology, etc, and then I talked about Pre-K. 

See - I am in somewhat of an awkward spot this year. My son is almost four and will be going to Pre-K this Fall. I had him a spot at a place in our town that he was going two days a week now and would go fulltime this Fall for Pre-K. Except it did NOT work out. Like - no way we would continue to go there. He was not treated nicely or fairly by the other kids (three and four year olds, I might add - kids can be so mean) and the day he was punched in the head by two girls (and didn't hit back because they were girls) was the day that I said, "NO way in hell is he coming here another day" (Excuse my language, please). So when I pulled him out, I knew that he would have to go to the school I teach at - if I get a job. And if I don't get a job - we will need to have another back up plan. We have no family here so it's just us. My husband works 6 days a week and is out of town often, so a lot of the time, it's just me as the primary caretaker. I decided to bring this up at my interview because I knew we would have to be a package deal, if I even had a shot at teaching there. I gave a shorter version of this and I immediately could feel the interview going downhill fast.
I was told that their Pre-K is full and that since it is lottery funded, they have no choice in who gets in and that there was a waiting list, too. Which translated to - He can't come here based on that, which means you can't teach here, either. I wasn't surprised - all schools in the county have waiting lists and just as I told them, I knew that this would be a detriment to me this school year, but that I still felt like I needed to try this year and that I also had to make the right decision for my son, even if it came as a detriment to my teaching career for this next year.
After the quick discussion of the Pre-K situation, I was quickly told thank you for coming up and we appreciate the candor and you being up front about it. And then I let myself out of the room I was interviewed in, out the front office, and back to my car.
I left there feeling somewhat defeated, somewhat thankful, but knowing I had still made the right decision. I had initial reservations going in. I prayed to God that he would let me see what I needed to see while I was there. And I did. There were things during the interview that went along with my reservations. I felt like they stuck out to me because I had asked God to help me see what I needed to see and notice what I needed to notice. I also felt defeated because the principal said that every school in the county has a full Pre-K this year and has a waiting list, which means I have slim chance of teaching this year. As I told my husband all about my interview, I said to him, "I would have never been able to live with myself if I had kept our son at ______, knowing he was uncomfortable and feeling that he wasn't safe there - just so that I could have gotten a job this year. If I have to stay out another year so that he can go somewhere that is safe, somewhere that he is cared for, then I KNOW I made the right decision". 
So, that my friends, is why I may not be going back in the classroom.  I'm not giving up - I'm still going to hand out my resume and letters of recommendation and I would still interview, if given the opportunity. My son is third on the waiting list for the school we are zoned for and they do have openings. So, there could still be a chance, but I am fully prepared to stay at home another year if I need to.
Teachers will always be needed. There will be positions open the following year. In the meantime, we are going to tour a Preschool at the church we have been attending and decide if that route may be an option for my son this Fall.
Until later!