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Why I'm Kinda Lovin my DESK Job! - Words I Never thought I'd Say

To be honest, I'm kinda scared to write this post.  I feel like I will be disowned as a teacher somehow but if there is anything I've learned in the education field - teaching never leaves you! I want to be honest because teachers are who I connect with - they're my people.  Well... I won't be in the classroom this year.  I'm working at a desk job....SAY WHAT?! You're probably thinking that's crazy...I would agree.  I want to explain and how I got here and how it's totally changing my outlook.
This school year I was suppose to move into a new position - teaching technology (which I would have loved!) but between different requirements and the workload I knew I could't take it on with my little (read 2 small boys) family.  I looked at other positions and now work for our state department of education.  Its a whole different world, but still connected to education.  Let's get into some reasons this has totally changed my outlook:

1) INDEPENDENCE - I can take breaks - people!! I can have lunch with adults and not have to also watch my class.  I can take a bathroom break ANYTIME.  I don't have 20+ sets of eyes and minds needing attention 7 hours of the day.  I love that I can commit to self care.  That is so hard to do while teaching.  I walk up to my floor (5 flights of stairs) and can bike at my desk with my awesome deskcycle and even walk around town on breaks which doesn't look weird because lots of people do it.  I've even lost 15lbs!  Sure I walked around my room teaching but I not near the amount I get here or I'm just way more aware now.  I don't hardly have to take time away at home to exercise which is so crucial for family time.  The tradeoff of no long breaks or summer might be tough but not spending all the extra time planning, grading, cutting, laminating...I'll give it up for a bit.

2) ADULTS - I work with adults in education.  Yes I will miss the kids tremendously but I'm still so connected to education and collaborating with adults on this side is pretty rewarding.  State depts always seem to get a bad wrap but seeing this side - the legislation, the obstacles, the triumph and battles fought here that students on a statewide level is pretty neat.  I get valued for my skillset not more or less just differently than before.  Most are past educators so we're really all connected.  Teachers are still teachers at heart and they are just the most amazing people.  Adults aren't all that bad - we do still get to decorate and plan fun events like Oreo tastings - I love that its not a "boring" workplace (so far!)

3) CONSISTENCY - I have set hours! No morning/after school IEP or faculty meetings.  I don't make sub plans when I'm at home or need to leave early to grab a sick kid (less guilt!) Sometimes monotony can be underrated especially with my Type A personality the dependability really helps mentally.  I know my jobs and can manage the stress from them and deadlines  -- which is not always the case with surprise assemblies, fire drills, sick students...

Thanks for letting me share this side.  Stick around I still have plenty of ideas to share as my teacher brain doesn't have a shutoff button.  I know this was the right step for my family and I'm definitely not closing the door to teaching.

Teachers are amazing AMAZING passionate selfless people and when I think of reasons I like my job they seem so selfish.  There is nothing - not one thing - that could compare to a hug from a student, a smile from a student, a note from a student and I will those moments so much.  I felt I had to write this since it has come up so much lately in my new job and from other educators.  I had to write this for me, make it ok with myself because I wasn't giving up on teaching (more of a sidestep) and don't want to be a fraud of sorts.

Don't worry my new office still has my pen caddy (which makes other jealous!) and they even passed around a Scholastic Order today.  Stay tuned for some exciting events these next couple months!

#Hashtag Emoji Awards

I'm so excited to use these new awards this year in my classroom!  They will work for ANY grade level and the kids love them because of how "trendy" they are!

With over 30+ templates there is something for each student in your class!  It even comes with a end of year fill in sheet complete with : 

  • fill in story
  • emoji circle
  • School preference 
  • Hashtags for your school year
  • Timehop of favorite memory

I print the memory page on the back of all my awards so the students have their awards and memories together + it is a great fill in activity for the end of the year!

Click any of the pictures to check out more details about these #hashtag Emoji Awards

Test Prep Campout - Classroom Transformation

The day finally came for our TEST prep campout and it could not have gone better! The tents were set up and it was time to review what we had learned from the year!

Below I'll go through some of the 8 stations!  I took grades on 5 of them and groups had bags they packed to take around and make sure they had all their supplies.  It lasted over 3 hours for us and took up most of our day.  While some groups finished, they were reading for our book clubs if they had any extra time.

To be honest, we didn't even do the camping exercises.  We just didn't have time.  We stopped after every station and did a song from MooseTube on GoNoodle for a fun camping brain break and it worked perfect.  Make it work for your classroom!

Students had to color the smores page by part of speech.  They ate some smores trail mix as well (teddy Grahams, chocolate chips, and marshmallows) This obviously was a favorite station!
Focusing and eating, what a combination!

They had to pack  a backpack with figurative language supplies and it spelled out a pun "Oh man, that camping trip was in tents." They thought that was hilarious and an easy way for me to check as well!

This station proved to be a little difficult but many groups worked hard and I was proud of them sticking with it.  Some supplies always came up as challenging so I helped with those.  You can see a student wearing my brownie vest as our VIP vest it rotated each station!

At the Catching Lightning Bugs station, they sorted elements of stories: 
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd person
  • vocab words/context clues eg. "has a word with definition directly after"
  • figurative language "contains a simile" "contains an idiom" 
  • genres 
  • and even more...
If sorted correctly the bugs had number patterns they recorded.  I highlighted the italic words to make it easier for them to find.  I thought this would be easier than it was!  I definitely will incorporate that more into future years.  Great compare and contrast skills!

 Fishing for Fragments - they had to throw back fragments, keep sentences, and pass run on sentences to the captain.  Using a raft, life jacket, and oars made it SO EASY AND FUN!

In the 2 tents, they did an analyzing poetry page and a listening center over a nonfiction camping story, "The Camping Trip That Changed America."  They had rigorous test like questions based on evidence over it as well.  

You can use these affiliate links if you want a raft or these really cool star lights as well that we used in the background and for reading under the stars later in day 

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