Saturday, August 11, 2012

I am a teacher

I know I’ve casually mentioned it a time or two, so you may already know this, but I am a teacher. 


Technically I’m supposed to be doing International Public Relations because that’s what I studied in college.  During my senior year at Texas A&M (WHOOP!!!), and with graduation fast approaching, my friend Rosie and I went to an International Job Fair at Texas State University.  While walking around, we were immediately pounced upon by a lady who overheard us speaking to each other in Spanish.  I say “pounced” because literally that’s how it happened! LOL!! 

The “pouncer” turned out to be the (at that time) Director of Bilingual Education for my district.  Ooops!  She had a principal interview me on the spot and then literally called me every other day for a week until I finally agreed to come to Houston to tour/interview at a school that she had in mind for me.  She insisted I had the perfect personality to be a teacher at the intermediate level (5th/6th grades) and that she had the perfect principal/school for me.  I finally caved and came; I figured if all else failed, I could teach for a year and make some decent money while I looked for my “real job” at an International PR firm.

I still laugh EVERY TIME I remember having said this!  A “real job?”  How pompous of me!!  There is no job that is more REAL than teaching!!


I ended up ABSOLUTELY LOVING IT that first year and went back and did an Alternative Certification Program to get certified.  I started teaching, right out of college at age 22…and here I am, about to start my 12th year and I enjoy it more and more every year.  I have no desire to be a counselor, no desire to be an administrator.  No offense to those that have climbed that ladder; I rejoice in their ambition and success!  It’s just that I finally, really, really know my place.  My place is in the classroom.  Teaching and scaring and molding the children that will one day be the adults that control our future.   

My mother insists that she always knew I would teach.  I don’t know how; I guess it’s a case of “mother-knows-best” because pretty much my entire life I said I was going to be one of three things:

1)   a Respiratory Therapist – I decided this came when I was diagnosed with Asthma as a child

2)   an author - I’ve always been a book nerd and used to want to write one too!

3)   a lawyer – this one lasted the longest, even through college, where I majored in Communications and International Studies because I thought I might eventually do International Law.  Matter of fact, I occasionally still entertain thoughts of going back to law school…shhh…don’t tell anyone! #itsaBIGsecret

I guess the BIG man upstairs, my momma, and the "pouncer" Ed knew what they were talking about after all!

I am a 5th grade Reading/Language Arts/ Social Studies teacher, and have had the privilege of teaching in the same school district, under the same principal for eleven years.  Yep, that’s right, that would the fabulous lady that I talked about here.  And while I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed my summer break, I must admit I am kind of ready to go back!

This week was the first time we could get into our classrooms so I took advantage of it and went up on Wednesday and Thursday to get some work done.  This year I’ll have a new classroom, a new partner (well kind of, we taught together as part of a three way seven years ago), and will be going fully Bilingual after five years as being part of a Monolingual/Bilingual split.  Plus…and this is the saddest part of the whole thing…I will no longer be partners with Linda, my wonderful partner of four years!!!!  *moment of silence as I mourn* #veklempt

The good thing is that Linda’s classroom will still be diagonal from mine and that we are all still in the same “pod” and on the same team so I’ll still get to work closely with her.  Here’s what our pod will look like:

my new partner
her new partner
(and my old room)

Luckily, I was only moving next door, so it wasn’t too bad!  It was waaaaay better than last year, when I had to move across the entire school and out of the classroom that I had been in for seven years.

I was able to get my library, small group and desk area set up and did a whole lot of organizing, arranging, and cleaning.  What I am most proud of, though, is the fact that I purged.  “Purged” as in I went through and cleaned out every single file in my file cabinet, threw away stuff that I hadn’t touched in years away, and REALLY, for the first time in a long time EVER, made myself get rid of stuff that I knew I was not going to use and no longer needed.  It felt so good doing that; actually “good” does not even begin to describe it!  I’m glad I went up early and did this because I was able to take my time without any distractions (I love to stop and talk to my friends), which is exactly what I needed to be able to do the job properly.

Here are a few pics of what my new classroom looks like now.

Small Group area.

Library area.

Back cabinets, and some of the student's desks, already in groups.

My desk/computer/projector area, up in the front of the room by the board.


The hardest part is done, thankfully, and I’ll focus on the actual decorating when we officially go back on the 20th.   I’ll have it all nice and purty by the time the children come back on the 27th. 

I’ve been perusing several teacher boards and blogs that I found through Pinterest, and pinning lots of stuff to my “Getting’ My TEACH On” board in preparation for going back to school. 


There are some seriously talented teachers out there with some BEAUTIFUL classroom themes!!  I’ve never been one to have an actual theme; well, except for two years ago when everything was – are you ready for this??? – food related.  I made posters that said things like:

“Reading – it’s food for thought” (for my reading anchor chart wall)

“Digital Bytes” (for my computer area), and

“Dig in to a good book” (for my library area)

How funny (but not at all surprising) that my food obsession spills over into my classroom too! 

Anyway, this year I’ll still use those posters but I won’t have an actual theme, I don’t think.  I usually just try to make my classroom warm and inviting, colorful, and pretty.  Pretty, of course, because I refuse to live/teach/be mean (mean? me??? never!!) in a classroom that is not PRETTY! ;-)  Sometimes you just #gottadowhatyougottado! LOL

I promise the AFTER pictures will be more exciting than the before pictures are.  J

PS – I think I’ve pretty much decided that when school starts again, Tuesday’s will be dedicated to “Teacher Tuesday’s.”  I’ll talk about teacher stuff and/or random tangents where I’ll tell you funny stuff going on at school.  For my fellow teachers that already know and can attest to this, and for those of you who don’t quite know it yet, you’ll see that:

1)     there is NEVER a dull moment in the classroom, which makes for really great dinner-table conversations, and

2)     kids say the darndest things, especially 5th and 6th graders because they are at that age!


Hope you’ll stay tuned! J

1 comment:

  1. Oh you KNOW I'll stay tuned!!!!! Always such good reading when you write:)......PLEASE start working on the book ALREADY!!!:))