Thursday, 26 May 2016

Honest Advice for Teachers

This is an open letter to those teachers who, like myself, have been teaching for a while and can see the end of their career coming.

Dear Teachers, 

I am here to share with you my insight after teaching for 22 years.  Perhaps you feel the same way as I do or perhaps you have a ways to go in your career.  Either way, I hope you gain something from this letter and leave a little more inspired and comfortable in your own teaching. 

teacher quotes

You have been teaching long enough to see trends come and go and then come back again. What is new to some you recognize as a re-packaging of something that was "new" earlier in your career. This is your opportunity to step up and share your knowledge and let people learn from your experiences. Resist the temptation to point out that this trend, whatever it may be, is old news.  Take the lead.

teacher quotes

You have been teaching long enough to also know that you don't need to jump on the bandwagon of every new thing that comes down the line.  You have experience on your side and "know" what works for kids.  If there is a choice, pick and choose what you know will work best for kids and quietly leave it at that.

teacher quotes

You have been teaching long enough to know there will also be others in your building ready to give you advice.   Perhaps it is the new teacher who is fresh from Teacher's College and wants to bring you up to speed on the "newest trends".  It might be the teacher down the hall who feels like they are an expert and feels the strong urge to let everyone know that.  Don't let this phase you.  You have been around for a while and know what you are doing.  Don't second guess yourself.  You are successful, you have made it this far in your career.   Don't let others make you believe otherwise.

teacher quotes

You have been teaching long enough to know that you can't do it all and hopefully have reached the stage in your career to accept that as the reality of teaching and LET IT GO!  You will see many teachers in your building totally overwhelmed by the need to be all things and do all things.  Reach out to them and speak from experience.  My advice is to focus on what you can do and do it really well while working on growing in other curriculum areas.  I for one feel like I am a very strong literacy teacher but know that I still have room for growth in science and social studies.  We continue to grow as educators throughout our entire career.  Embrace your strengths.

You have been teaching long enough that you can see that retirement date in the not so distant future. For me it is under 10 years now.  I have 22 years of teaching under my belt.  I believe that is quite an accomplishment.  As each new year dawns I hope you feel the same excitement of setting up your room and preparing for a new group of students.  I hope you continue to love coming to work each day and teaching and learning with your students.  You are at a point in your career when you can see the end but you are enjoying the ride until you get there.  Embrace the journey!

Click on any of the links below to visit the blog post about each of these other teachers. Chances are you'll be in one of these shoes sooner than you realize!
~An Open Letter to a New Teacher
~An Open Letter to the Teacher in the Prime of her Career
~An Open Letter to a Teacher in a Rut
~Open Letter to the Retired Teacher

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

How to Make a DIY Schedule Board for your Classroom

Staying organized is a must in the classroom.  I like to be able to see what is happening for the week at a glance.  Sometimes my plans are buried under all the "stuff" that accumulates on my desk (OK, most of the time, if I am being honest) and I have to dig around to check my schedule for upcoming items.  This DIY schedule solves the problem of my messy desk!   

What you will need: 

~Dollar Store frame
~Scrapbook papers
~Letter stickers or vinyl and a Silhouette cutting machine

I found this picture frame at my local Dollar Store for $3.00.  I wanted the inserts to match the colours in my room so I headed to Michaels to find matching scrapbook paper.  My final step was to cut out the vinyl letters for each of the days of the week using my Silhouette Cameo.  For under $5.00 I created a functional and attractive schedule board.  

Now each week I use a dry erase marker to jot down important events.  I also have a code for my duties.  That is what the R and L indicates.  We are on a rotating day system as well, so I can glance at my schedule to remind myself what "day" it is.  

Pin this picture to help you remember and consider making yourself one over the summer!  Check out some other great teacher tips over at Mrs. Beattie's Classroom.  I am linking up with her this week and sharing this little project.  

Monday, 2 May 2016

Clear out your Wishlist! A TpT Teacher Appreciation Linky

Have you heard the news?  Teachers Pay Teachers has just announced a teacher appreciation sale and it starts tomorrow!  The sale runs on May 3rd - 4th and you get 28% off of everything!  Remember to enter the code: CELEBRATE. (don't be like me and forget...I have done this for real and kicked myself, hard)

I am going back through my wishlist and moving things over to my cart to be ready for the sale.

I am linking up with Jen from Teaching in the Tongass and sharing with you the top 3 most wishlisted items in my store.

My Most Wishlisted item: 

comprehension questions to ask when teaching reading comprehension

This is one of my very favorite products and a best seller in my store.  It includes questions for 8 different comprehension areas and has a guide for teachers on each page of what to look for within your student answers. That is what sets this product apart from other similar comprehension question sets.

comprehension questions to ask students when teaching reading comprehension

sample reading comprehension questions with teacher look fors

I have blogged about this and other tools that are perfect for guided reading.  Click on the image below to check out the post.  

a blog post with suggestions for must have tools to teach Guided Reading

Next Up:

A take home reading log resource package to support students and parents at home when reading

My Take Home Reading Log pack contains everything your students need, as well as, helpful information for parents that is written in an easy-to-understand manner.  It references strategies kids use at school and provides parents with samples of comprehension questions to ask their child so that they can also monitor comprehension when reading at home.  Pick it up now, prep it and have it ready for your students in the Fall.  

A take home reading log resource package to support students and parents at home when reading


Design a cereal box media literacy project

This product recently got an update thanks to some helpful feedback from a buyer.  It has always included everything you need to design and plan a cereal box that will help you meet your Media Literacy expectations.  It also addresses Healthy Eating curricular expectations too.  Now you can also use it in conjunction with your Probability unit in Math.  There is a whole new section on creating a game board for the back of the cereal box.  Don't you love it when you can get multiple assessment pieces from one project - it certainly makes our lives a lot easier.  

Design a cereal box media literacy project

create a game board as part of a Design a Cereal Box Media literacy project.

I have blogged about this resource {HERE} if you would like to find out more about it.  

Thank you so much for stopping by.  I hope you take advantage of this sale to stock up on some resources that will help you end the year on a high note and start next year on the right foot.  

Until next time,