Saturday, July 27, 2013

Indiana Goes Back to School Blog Hop

Thanks Hilary for the shout out and sending readers my way!  I'm excited to see what you've created!

It's that time of year again!  BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!!! YAY!!!

Now I know some of you teachers are still enjoying your summer vacation, but the busy bloggers in Indiana have been preparing their arsenal of tricks for the beginning of school.  One of my awesome blogging buddies had the brilliant idea to have a blog hop between us and boom  the Indiana Back to school blog hop was born.

My contribution is a song lyric sheet I plan on using in my classroom.  My new school is with high expecations for EVERY student.  No matter where they come from all kids in this school system are expected to go to college.  It starts at the youngest grades and continues to high school.  Because of this I was inspired to use Will.I.Am's What I Am song in the classroom to build classroom community.  If you've never seen the video with Sesame Street characters check it out here and afterward, check out my freebie here!

Alright!  Check out the rest of the Indiana bloggers throughout this blog hop.  Personally I can't wait to see what Nicole has in store for us as we all return back to school.  Check out her freebie as the caption for our button.  HAPPY BACK TO SCHOOL!!!

All Things Apple In 2nd

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Indiana Blogger Meet Up

I'm very much behind my fellow Indiana bloggers with the post... so I'll put down my delicious Panera salad to tell all about the amazing women I had the pleasure of meeting recently.
Thanks again to Graphics by Kady Did Doodles 
On July 11, I spent 3 hours eating delicious Mexican food and gabbing with wonderful women.  Before I even walked into the building I was getting out of my car and was told by a man leaving the restaurant, "You must be one of the teachers meeting up here."  I guess I exude teaching like a pheromone.  I walked in and found the fabulous ladies who planned the whole event.   Heather from Teaching Through Turbulence and Cierra from Adventures of Room 129 were amazing at planning the get together.  We had personalized name tags and even a picture frame with in an inspiring quote. They even thought of a "Dirty Santa Teacher" gift giving game.  Everyone brought a school supply or TPT product to be gifted, traded, and stolen. 

This beautiful collage was created by Jenny at LuckeyFrog's Lilypad
It still amazes me that a group of 14 other bloggers from ALL over Indiana and some surrounding states all were chatting away like friends within a few minutes of meeting.  The afternoon I only took a few pictures to document the fun... but boy did we ever have a great time.  I'm still a bit star struck by meeting some of the people I have been following and now being able to say I actually have meet them.  Check out these awesome ladies on their own blogs through the linky.  I'll be reading their blogs and keeping in contact until our next meet up, which if you ask me can't come soon enough.

PS:  I just am working on transferring my blog to Blog Lovin... so <a href="">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Grr!!! Don't you hate it get annoyed when you have a post almost completely finished and ready to post when all of the sudden it disappears... yeah me too.  Let's try this again.

I love Farley  and her awesome linky party.  I know I'm super late in posting this...  but I have no internet in my new apartment.  So here's the run down.

Listening:  All of you T. Swift haters out there can put your haterade down right now.  I've been a loyal fan of her music since I was a high school senior.  And proud of it.  :)

Loving:  Sipping on my Skinny Iced White Chocolate Mocha is my summer version of my favorite winter drink.  And I can use the internet at Starbucks for as long as I want.

Thinking:  The exhausted woman in me is saying, "Go back home and curl up with a book and nap your Saturday away."  The proactive teacher in me is saying, "GET OFF YOUR REAR!"  Oh internal conflict. Thankfully this post is on my to-do list so both sides are appeased.

Wanting:  I just moved into my BRAND NEW Indy apartment.  I've got the furniture in for the most part.  Unfortunately it's still pretty barren and boring.  Pinterest has been my best friend for a little over 2 weeks.  Too bad my pocketbook is that of a teacher and not an interior designer. There will be future posts about the progress.  I promise.

Needing:  Longer weekends.  Need I say more? 

Tip/Hint:  Blogging is a thing that can be overwhelming especially as a beginner.  I have just come to the conclusion that if I write truthfully about what's happening then I will stop comparing myself to other teachers... I will still beg, borrow, but never steal ideas from other teachers. 

Alright! I'm off to do productive things today.  Wish me luck.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Here's What You Missed

I'm back from an extended hiatus from blogging.  Why was I such a terrible blogger?  Probably because I have been living out a suitcase for 4 weeks. But there have been a lot of changes in my life since then.  Buckle up blogger buddies...  Here's been my journey back home so far!

1.  This week is my 4th week for my summer day camp job.  Hooray!  I get to work with kiddos all year long and workout for free because the place I work at allows staff free membership during their employment.  Here's a picture from a lunch outing with another counselor that resulted in a cupcake bakery find. 
Can't you just imagine the taste of that cupcake?

2.  I went to visit my aunt in Chicago this Wednesday.  We bonded over my favorite breakfast restaurant Le Peep foods, talked about life,  and did a bit of apartment furniture window shopping.

Gotta love this woman!

3. I got a new car recently.  Yeah I'm so excited.  This is my first and only car I've ever owned myself. Say hello to my Silver Senorita!
Getting the keys!!
4. I am officially a teacher in Indiana.  Yes ma'am and sir!  I got a job in Indianapolis.  I will not lie to anyone it was scary moving back with no job possibilities, but it worked out in the end.  As of right now I am supposed to be teaching 3rd grade.  Which, in my opinion is the best grade EVER!

This is what I looked like on the Orientation Day.
5.  I am moving in my very own Indiana apartment.  More pictures to come.  :)

After 4 weeks of searching, prayer, and hard work... now I'm ready to start my new life in Indiana! 

As you can tell from this post this is a summer of lots of craziness, so the next time I'll be posting on here I will be writing about the Indiana Blogger Meet Up.  SoOoOo excited about meeting up with the other teachers from my home state of Indiana.  Be on the look out for more details.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone

I've been back in Indiana about 8 days.  Count 'em EIGHT days!!! I know I can't believe it either.  I'll use this post as a way of letting future rural teachers know the ups and downs of being a "world traveling" teacher.

Letting Go
When you spend 2 years of your life putting roots down it's hard when you have to make the move back home.  I didn't expect my leaving to make such a fuss, but there were several tears and not from my students but from adults and teens in my village.  My last few days were spent getting rid of junk and cleaning.  Lots of helpers walked away with free stuff because let's be frank here... I am not spending almost $20 to send home EVERYTHING in my house.  The night before I left I was invited to the dance sponsored by the village.  I have never had so much fun dancing like a fool with 3 year olds to 60 year olds.  The day I was leaving I had two little girls walk me from my house to the airstrip and gave me presents to remember them by.  I am tearing up just thinking about those girls right now. 

I will not forget my experience in the village because it has definitely had an impact on who I am today.  I will not forget the kids I worked with or the families that opened their arms to me.  I can't forget the tears and hugs I gave away during those last few days.  Will I ever return?  Never say never!

Flight Back Home
Alright so my trips take 24+ hrs to get from my village all the way to Indianapolis.  God must have been watching out for me because I was picked up on my last bush flight by a caravan, which is like the limos of planes and ran into other teachers leaving their villages at the same time.  When I got into Anchorage I managed to find a comfy spot to do a bit of reading and relaxing during a 10hr layover.  About 4 hrs in I got a call from a colleague asking if I wanted to do dinner in the city.  And finally when I got on my overnight flight, I had a row to myself.  (I repeat:  A ROW TO MYSELF) Yours truly managed to get an uninterrupted 6 hours of sleep on a plane!! 

Have I mentioned before I am blessed with a pretty rocking boyfriend?  He showed up at the airport an hour early with my favorite color of roses... kissed me in front of complete strangers and managed to plan surprise party with his family.  I walked into his house after being a complete pill complaining that it wasn't fair we weren't going to my favorite restaurant (arrival tradition) and saw his sweet family all yelling surprise and a huge banner with balloons, cake, and presents.  Yeah I'm pretty sure he loves me.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

End of the Year Reflections

This is a perfect post to do on my last day of teaching here in the bush!  Thanks Miss Lifesaver for creating a chance to link up with other bloggers.  I might be a little obsessed with blogging after this year's blogger experiences!  I'm totally okay with that.

Without further adiue:

  1. What was the biggest professional challenge you faced this year?
    My biggest professional challenge was implementing my own version of writer's workshop.  As a second year teacher, with LOTS of room to do my own thing in the classroom, this was an amazing opportunity.  It was also a very difficult experience because I don't have much experience with the Writer's Workshop model.  And... to top everything off... I work with students who have had K-2 experience reading and writing in the Native Alaskan language of Yup'ik.  On the bright side my kids and I have grown exponentially this year from this.  They are all able to write a paragraph that makes sense and is on topic!  Yay!
  2. What was the biggest personal challenge you faced this year?
    Wow.  This has been quite a year of growth personally for me.  I guess the biggest challenge for me would have to be making the choice to move back to Indiana.  There have been lots of health issues my dad has been facing in the past 2 years, my little sister is expecting her first child, and I just found out my sister-in-law is battling breast cancer.  Not to mention handling a long distance relationship for 2 years has been another reason for coming home.  I can't wait to finally be there for my friends and family again.
  3. How do you think you've grown from your experiences?
    I think I'm a smarter, more mature, and interesting person because of all that has happened to me this year.  Getting to teach in rural Alaska has changed my life in more ways than I can explain.  I am no the same perosn that I was last year or when I started this job in Alaska.  I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about what's in store for me.  (Where will I be living?  What job will I hopefully get? Etc.) But, I have faith that my God can move mountains and has great things planned for my future.

Monday, May 20, 2013

You Are the Dancing Queen...

It's been a beyond crazy past week here for me with Prom, Graduation, and end of the school year fun times.  If I were to tell you everything this post would be a million miles long.  I won't bore you to tears, so I'll just post pictures and a quick blurb about each of them.

In our village the school hosts a prom for the 7th-12th grade students as well as the community.  Yours truly becomes a dancing fiend  chaperone for the night as well as the decorator extraordinaire! This years theme was Rouge Dream... very girlie with pinks and purples.  The kids did a great job getting the gym ready and making it look like a different place.  The night of prom I hosted a girls afternoon and ended up curling not only my own hair, but 7 other teens!  My oh my did my fingers hurt by the end of the night.  Once everyone was ready and the music began there was lots of dancing and giggling that filled the night.  I am sure going to miss going to prom every year when I move.

Look at my kiddos!  I was seriously blessed with this class this year.  Our behavior went from second grade all the way to soon to be fourth grade material.  Many of us were struggling readers and are now able to decode and comprehend with ease.  Most importantly we love to learn and know how a community of people work together to make things better for everyone.  At our Friday assembly I had passed out two kinds of awards to reward my classes efforts.   The first was student chosen (These came from Primary Paradise TPT  HERE) and the second was picked by me.  (I got them from Mrs. Parnell's TPT store HERE )  Both of these were perfect for what I wanted to say to each child.  Also, my entire class  placed on the AR reading race against the 4/5 grade class we have been competing with, so everyone got a ribbon, certificate, and pencil.  To top everything off I had several kids that acheived honor roll and perfect attenance which means they were put in a drawing to win cool prizes.  And low and behold one of my kids won both a perfect attendance AND honor roll prize.  WOOT WOOT!


Friday was also graduation day for our three seniors at the school.  This year I was close to the two girls because I was lucky enough to be their FEA (Future Educators of Alaska) Adviser. I even was able to take the one in  pink to Anchorage for the first time in her life for a pre-teaching conference.  I think that made this year's graduation all the more special.  I clapped and hollered when I heard their accomplishments named, cried with pride, and celebrated their movement to the next step of their life.

Alright back to the grindstone.  Two more days until school is out and only 6 until I get home to Indiana!