Monthly Archives: July 2014

Wordless Wednesday & Faking it Till You Feel it

Today, I’m linking up for Wordless Wednesday with Sugar and Spice!

WordlessWednesdayLinkyPic

…here it goes!!!

Wordless Wednesday Link-upiPhone bulletin board display for business tech classroom

*this is my FIRST bulletin board in my 7 years of teaching…eeekssss…I have LOTS more work to do, but our floors are being waxed and of course pre-planning isn’t about setting up your classroom, right? I thought this was cute for our Business Tech class which will have a social media theme!

What to do next? What do you think I should add???

Also, I’m guest blogging for a fellow-teacher who’s on a much needed vacay! Head over to the blog and see why there’s still nothing wrong with

Faking it Till You Feel it

Teach. Inspire. Change.



4 reasons to organize your life & $10 to help you start!

Up until recently, like 2 weeks ago, I was one of the mass who was attempting to “organize your life” digitally. That all ended when I got a new job and decided to really start this blog and needed to REALLY get stuff done. You may be wondering why I switched? Well, it wasn’t working. I would set an appointment, put it in my calendar, and then completely forget about it! I did this a couple times and just said…nope! This isn’t conducive to accomplishing any of the goals I’m trying to reach. I had to stop and think about it and decide what I needed to do in order to move forward.

Fast forward to a sunny afternoon perusing Pinterest and I ran across the most beautiful planners. Yep, I fell into the Erin Condren trap, ordered, and begin buying supplies the SAME day! It didn’t take much convincing since it’s pretty and I REALLY needed to get stuff done. When I ordered I even got my mom and one of my best friend’s to buy one too! I received her, my planner,  just the other day and boy oh boy is she pretty!!!!!!

 

I have a space to make my own and watch my dreams come to life. When it arrived I was soooo happy to finally have a place to SEE what I’ve been thinking and I can take back all the “cloud” space in my brain where these ideas and goals have been trapped. I finally have a place to dive in and write down my goals and here are the 4 reasons to organize your life and why this is so important to you.

4 reasons to organize your life & $10 to help you start!  #weloveec #erincondren

1. Visualize progress. Without your goals written down and a place to see them, such as a planner/agenda, you don’t know where you started and where you’re headed. As a kid you had a growth chart. At work we have tests to check our student’s academic progress, but what do you have? Create your own growth chart in the form of a planner or place to write your goals down. Don’t just let them float around in the “cloud”. Take time to write them down and say them aloud, you will see a difference, literally

organize your life

2. Pace yourself. Writing what you want to do is one way to see you can’t just go from 0-100 overnight! By taking the time to organize your life in a written manner, you will be able to figure out the steps needed to get there! You want to adhere to a strict breakdown of class time? Writing this down will make you back-track to the root of the problem and figure out what needs to be done and how long it will take to get there. Yes, this is agonizing, but it is SO necessary. Think of curriculum pacing, it’s a pain to do up front, but the fact you know where you’re headed and how long you should devote to each objective is an amazing bit of stress off your shoulder. Don’t wait, set the pace for yourself and write it down!

3. Plan for the future. Without you having the actual goal written down, it’s just not as likely to happen. I know it seems crazy, but once you write something down, there’s a certain form of energy or higher force, according to The Tools, called forward motion. I mentioned it in the last post that life is about movement. You can’t just expect things to happen, but once you get started you want to have a goal set that lets you know where to go next. In your agenda, find a place to jot down ideas. Carry a few post it notes with you and a pen and if something hits you, write it down! Ideas need goals so you can plan for the future.

goals in writing

4. The separation of school and life. Yep, you read that right, the separation of school and life. How many times have you completely forgotten what’s going on in the “real world” because of school? I know, you do it at some point EVERY year!!! This is where your agenda comes in handy. No matter what type of agenda you get, make sure you have separate places for school and home. This may mean two completely separate planners for some people, but for me it means separate columns. I am a Scandal fanatic (come on Sept 25) so I know I’ll grab a Scandal sticker to note that in my planner. Planning a grocery run, oh do I have the most adorable sticker for that. Football Saturday’s and Sunday’s yep, got a sticker for that too! With so many Etsy stores and creative people out there, I have absolutely no reason to NOT have all my little life happenings and important notes right in front of me.

Just like you, I am determined to start school with an amazing outlook and to make this a learning experience that is exciting for my students. However, you can’t forget about yourself. Take the time to invest in a planner YOU like. Make it be the place where YOU can see your dreams come to fruition. Here’s where I can help! I am giving you $10 off your first planner through Erin Condren. Yep, it’s an investment in YOU. Don’t hesitate, just do it and you’ll see how beginning to organize your life in a place you find inviting will make you a happy person! Already have your planner? Here’s a few places I’ve found to “pretty” her up and/or get even more organized!

Ms. Wenduhh     Hello Ashleyann   Obsessed with Cute  Jenny Lind   Samantha Lisic

How do you organize your life? Have any suggestions of things to add to my blog calendar or personal space?

Want to see more, let me know!



Why Self Reflection is Failure’s Enemy

Why Self Reflection is Failure's Enemy

Self-reflection, here are some synonyms: self-contemplationself-examinationself-observation,self-questioningself-reflectionself-scrutinyself-searchingsoul-searching.

All of these words begin with the same thing, YOU. As we venture into our 180 day journey, it will be extremely important to remember who you’re going through this process for. Time and time again we get started with the school year and have lofty dreams and aspirations for our students, then we miss a goal we’ve previously set. You have many choices once you realize that you’ve “missed the mark”, but what will help you make a good decision?

Self-reflection during this process will help us be able to examine and re-examine the goals we set and the progress we make. As I mentioned before, setting the goal is easy, but what you do next is crucial. This process of self reflection will help you move through the following steps while progressing.

  1. Stop and think about it. Often times we get so caught up in our jobs that we forget about our life. We are human, we fail, we flourish, we make things happen. Trust me, whatever you didn’t get accomplished you can loop into the next goal and here’s your time to figure that out! Think of all the times you’ve been pressed to finish curriculum and you just don’t know how you’re going to manage…but you do! We figure out ways to review while introducing new information or introduce new information in a fun yet streamlined manner. This same strategy works for our lives, but we just have to stop and think about it.
  2. Move on. Ok, you’ve missed the mark. Own it. Was your goal too lofty? Is there a smaller more attainable goal that you can set as you move on to the next task? If so, move on! Don’t get caught up in failure. You were late to work, don’t harp on it! Move on and let’s set a goal that you’ll leave the house five minutes earlier the following day. Not only will this remove self-doubt, but it will also give you a goal to replace the “failure”.
  3. Don’t stop. Now you’ve thought about it, decided to move on, and you’re ready. Don’t stop! Don’t EVER stop! Stopping is like the wall inertia needs to stop an object in motion. You’re in motion and as long as you’re in motion, you’re going to continue until something stops it. Don’t let yourself be the reason you stop. Your principal criticized your lessons or classroom progress, don’t stop! Go back to step 1 & 2 and DON’T STOP!

As you move back into your daily routine and begin to map out goals for this year, don’t be afraid to set a lofty goal. Once you’ve begun the journey, failure doesn’t mean you haven’t been successful. Failure means that you’ve tried something, may not have been successful, but you now have the opportunity for self-reflection and to make it happen. Your progress is “an object in motion”, don’t let failure be the object that stops you use self-reflection to keep you moving!

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Setting goals inside and outside of the classroom

Setting goals, we’ve all heard about it. Set S.M.A.R.T. goals, set small goals so you can feel accomplished as you reach toward the larger goal, and of course we’ve all heard about setting a goal to complete a task with the idea that if you do it twenty-one days in a row it will become a habit. Well, I’m here to say that setting goals doesn’t work, unless YOU work! In the classroom we’re becoming so data driven and we number crunch, or maybe the computer does the crunching for you, but we’re forced to “interpret” and refocus accordingly. I have had the argument that goals for my students and my goals can be amazing tools, but what if only one of you is working?

I am one of those people that needs to SEE results, quickly or I get discouraged. Small goals, nope! Doesn’t fly here..I WANT IT ALL!!! However, I understand that what works for me doesn’t work for you. Once we understand that our “friends” methods for progress isn’t necessarily going to work for you, you’re half-way there! In the classroom we know that not one classroom is just like the next, which if you think about it is just like our lives. My problems aren’t your problems, my way of completing tasks may not be your ideal method, but what matters is that it gets done!

Here is how to start! Set the goals, write them down, make it a point to WORK toward them. Start with one goal, add another, then move on! In the classroom perhaps it’s your morning routine, write the goal down, come up with a method, execute and if it works BOOM you’re done! If not, look at what you’ve already accomplished and use that as a springboard to success for growth. Want to be more creative, organized, or even more active? Find a small way to BE creative, BE organized, BE active and continue setting goals to build on that small goal.

 

Setting goals is the easiest part of the process, but doing the work is what brings the progress.



How to find your happy

Over the summer I tend to hunker down and read all of the books I’ve wished I had time to read all school year. The first book on my list this summer just happened to be The Happiness Project.

happinessproject

 

I got half way through the book and it prompted me to think of all the surveys we take at school, the articles we read, and the “decompression sessions” I had during the school year. I just couldn’t figure out how I loved teaching SO much, but I just wasn’t happy. I wondered if Gretchen was on to something about how to find your happy. As I read Gretchen’s account of how she decided to try and make herself more happy, I realized that perhaps I needed to apply this method to my teacher “life”. I started writing it all down for myself, but then I wondered if there were other teacher’s who would like to go on this same journey with me! I mentioned to one teacher, then another, and I thought why not share this with the world! I am “new” to the blogging world, but I hope that you find the time to find your own happy during the course of the school year. I will introduce the steps we will use to find our happy using daily reminders, goal setting, and our teaching community. It will not be an easy process, but with the wonderful teacher leaders and collaborative efforts I am sure you will be successful.

I hope this blog helps you on you quest as we begin our journey to 180 Days to Happy!