The new school year is just around the corner, and like many teachers out there, I’m getting my new classroom together and struggling to cover all the supplies I need.
So I am going to ask for help from all you lovely tumblr folks out there. If for some reason you’re rolling in the dough, or just can’t figure out how to spend your money, I know 36 students would be very grateful for your generosity!
If you’re curious or would like to help out, check out my Amazon Wish List. You can “sort by priority,” and see what I really need, or you can sort by price (which is super helpful as well).
And if you are able to order, please let me know who you are in the “note” section of the order so I can properly thank you!!
Whether you’re a supporter of Walmart or not, I thought I would share this link for those of you teachers looking to save a few bucks. And let’s be honest, Walmart really does have great back to school items!
This summer has flown by, and I realize I haven’t shared much of my adventures here. So we’ll start with this last weekend…Ever been to Hearst Castle? I’d never been before, and honestly didn’t know much about it, but I was completely blown away!
These pictures are just from the estate grounds as well as the underground Roman Pool. Don’t mind all the feet pictures, I was just obsessed with all the intricate tile work!
Just so you know, I love marble.
The Neptune Pool was empty due to a leak.
The Roman Pool is underneath the tennis courts!
The castle itself and the entire grounds are full of priceless antiques and history. Visiting this California State Park would make an AMAZING field trip! If you ever get an opportunity to go, you should definitely check this place out.
Before the explanation part of this post, I need to say this so it will be in posts that are shortened by a reblog: More than anything I ask that you reblog this post so that kind millionaires more people will see it and more support can be given. All the Amazon wishlists and blogs are linked below the read more link!
As the new school year approaches, we are obviously in denial teachers are mentally figuring out what materials we need for the school year, what will be provided by the school or families, and what we will buy with our own money as we shop sales (if it is in our budget). Several members of our #education community on tumblr dealt with unexpected family deaths, weather disasters, or more happy (but expensive) life achievements like getting married or having a baby. Our pockets have been hit hard, and I think you’d be surprised how much of our own money we spend on classrooms each year.
Many of us teach in areas where our students’ families cannot help with school supplies. In fact, as I began working on this project, every teacher I contacted to include that came from a more affluent community declined being included so that classrooms in greater need could be helped. I am in awe of the teachers in this community. After the jump is a list of teachers and their classroom wish lists for the upcoming year. If you are able to, please consider supporting a teacher via their wishlist. If you’d rather make a donation to their supply fund or send a gift card, I’m sure you could contact them and they wouldn’t turn you down.
So after the jump are the blogs and corresponding wishlists from Tumblr’s teachers — most of the educators on this list I have personally interacted with and know them to be dedicated to their students.
I love reading about your adventures in teaching! I recently read that you were teaching juniors in high school. Did you see a lot of juniors stressing over the college application process?
I did teach one period of juniors this last year as well as my first two years teaching. I can’t say they seemed stressed over college apps, much to my [this sounds bad, but] disappointment. I used to be a college recruiter prior to teaching, and junior year is probably the most important year in preparing for college. It’s the year that students should be visiting colleges and picking their top schools to apply for. By the time students are seniors, they should have their school decision made (or top few schools) and then spend this year looking for scholarships. No, it’s not law, but it would make things MUCH easier for students in the long run if they focused more like this than putting things off till last semester of senior year.
I wish my past juniors would have taken things more seriously and stressed a bit more about their college careers. But then again, maybe they were on top of things and I just wasn’t aware of that only seeing them for one Spanish class each day.
Our teacher which art in school. Hallowed is thy desk. Thy schooldom come, our work be done at home as it is at school. Give us this day our daily homework, and forgive us our lost assignments as we forgive your glitched iPad. Lead us not into cheating, but deliver us from Pre-Algebra. For thine is the classroom, and the grading, and the breaks, forever and ever. Amen.
Hey Miss At! I've been a long time follower and admirer of your blog. I'm about to graduate with a degree in Middle School Ed. and I saw the advice you gave another aspiring teacher. You suggested volunteering in classrooms. I thought that was a great idea and want to give it a try. I have time elapsed between graduating and graduate school. What's the best way to get a spot? Should I go to a teacher, the principal/faculty, or the school district to find a volunteer spot? Thanks :)
I wouldn’t say there’s a certain way to get a “spot,” though there may be schools out there with some sort of program like this. I would think the best way is to contact a teacher or school you know. See if they have some suggestions of getting your foot in the door, or specific classrooms to help out in.
I’m sure this will sound so cliche…but I wanted to be a teacher since I was four. I’m was one of those many little girls who set up her “classroom,” with all her stuffed animals seated be height, and sticker charts for each. Sure, when I was 13 I wanted to be a singer (though that is not what I would call a skill of mine…), and at 16 I thought being an interior designer would be great, but deep down I always wanted to teach.
And now as my fourth year of teaching comes to an end, I am still really happy with my career choice! Not the most exciting story, I’m sure, but thanks for asking @katastropheking!
how did you meet your husband through tumblr? Sorry if you have answered this before
Well, seeings how today I can say that Joserisms and I have been married for 11 whole months, I thought this would be a good question to answer.
It was right before the start of my second year teaching, and I’d gotten a tumblr message from a guy who was about to start his first year of teaching. I don’t remember exactly what he asked, or exactly how I answered, but I sent him a message not thinking a whole lot about it. It wasn’t until I posted pictures of my classroom and heard from him again that I started to wonder who this guy was.
You see, I try to keep my blog pretty private. I don’t post my whole name, I don’t write about the location of my school, its name, or the names/faces of students. So I was really quite shocked when this guy asked me specifically if I taught at a particular school. To be honest, I kind of freaked out. I thought I would have to delete my entire blog, warn my school, etc. (cause let’s be real…there are some real creepers on here). Before I did all that, I thought I would at least finish reading his message. Turns out he recognized the books I was using as ones he was familiar with. You see, the schools I’ve worked at are private and associated with a specific religion. There are a lot of these schools around the world, but not enough to where everyone knows about this religion. BUT when you come across someone who is this religion or is aware of it, it can be a big deal. So anyways, it turned out he and I share the same beliefs, had mutual friends, and went to sister colleges (oh, it also turned out that I hadn’t turned off my “tweeted from” location on twitter, so that’s how he really figured it out).
It’s kind of funny looking back because when Joserisms and I first started talking, I told my sister, “Just because we’re both single and the same religion doesn’t mean we’ll get married and have babies!”Anyways…
After emailing, and texting for awhile, we progressed to phone calls. I realized that he was a really funny guy who had his head on straight, and he was someone I looked forward to hearing from everyday. Our busy teaching schedules FINALLY allowed us to meet. We decided to meet at the Disney Museum in San Francisco because hey, if you’re meeting someone from the internet, what safer place than the Disney Museum?
I was incredibly nervous, and found myself hiding behind my coffee and whistling throughout the entire museum (I whistle when I’m nervous). We hadn’t labeled this a date, so at that point I didn’t dare hold his hand. I mean, maybe he thought I was super weird? After the museum we decided head to Berkeley to check out the show Mortified. Unfortunately, after we both drove over there, we found out it was sold out. So we wandered around and found a great Thai food place. Things felt so natural, and I was already smitten. I’m not sure why this sticks with me so much, but I thought he was super great after the following happened…
Our food came out, and he said, “Oh, you know what I want? Some hot sauce.” He turned to ask our waitress for some, and there she was, holding the hot sauce. His face got so excited, and he quickly put it all over his food. He then looked up, looked over at the waitress, then back to me, and said, “You know what I reeeeally want? A PONY.”
Our waitress seemed to miss the memo, but I thought it was hilarious! After a few more hours of talking, my encouragement for him to hold my hand, he walked me to my car and kissed me on the cheek. Instead of being a normal person, I immediately asked, “Is that it?!”
Then he really kissed me, and if felt like my knees were butter, fireworks were in the sky, and this Mozart was playing in the background.
The rest is history I suppose. He is the perfect person for me, and I love him with all my heart!
Yes, a lot of the time we use “resolution.” Like asking the students how they plan to resolve the problem, etc. It can sound a bit nicer…but sometimes the word punishment comes in really handy with some students. Some take that word more seriously.
I introduce this management plan the first few days of school. I explain our procedures and rules, and how those things would look if students are at level D and C behavior. I think it would be easy to implement with your classroom rules. I use my rules and procedures to show my expectations as a teacher, and the behavior plan gives a better idea of how to act in order to achieve these expectations.
Sure thing! Students have chosen different things from exercises (sit-ups, push-ups, running, etc.), to staying in during breaks, self-detention, and community service. Some students will try what I would consider inappropriate self-punishments, or things that can’t be monitored, such as not using Facebook for a week, eating dessert with dinner, or whatnot. It’s just something I talk to the students about if they think that this resolution will really stop them from the undesirable behavior, or if it’s just something easy to write down on the behavior. For the most part the students are really honest with themselves and me.
I've been involved in education for years. I have volunteered for hundreds of hours in middle school and high school as a TA, I taught preschool, and I have been working as a TA for the past couple of years. I just recently graduated with my BA and have about 1.5 years until I will start looking for a teaching job. ( going for my MA). I get nervous just thinking about it. Were you ever this nervous? >.<
I always get nervous! I think being nervous keeps you on your toes and encourages you to be your best. If you’re not nervous, then I don’t think you’re challenging yourself enough.
You’ve already put in so much work and so much heart, I wouldn’t let the fear of butterflies keep you down! Sounds like you’ve got things figured out and are doing whatever you can to be a great teacher to your future students.
Best of luck! Let me know how your journey continues :]
You see, it’s not that I don’t like the school or my students. In fact I love my class! They are a handful, but they are also a ton of fun. I’ve enjoyed working in private schools for the past four years. I feel I have the opportunity to really get to know my students and bond with them. I have really small class sizes, I see them constantly after they move on to the next grade, I see them in church, and I go on amazing trips with my classes…but something these past two years just hasn’t felt right. I’m not going to go into the details, but it’s gotten to the point where I’ve been questioning whether or not I really want to be a teacher anymore. If I’m not able to feel like myself and be the best teacher that I can be, then I need to make a school change because not teaching is out of the question. So for both personal and professional reasons, I am moving on.
I am lucky to live in one of the top school districts in the state. I am also lucky that this year was the first year in twenty that they had a job fair for their “big” hiring for this upcoming school year. After several rounds of interviews, and out of over 400 candidates, I was one of 22 to be offered a contract before placement (meaning the district hired me knowing they wanted me to work for them, but before individual schools even posted their openings…if that makes sense).
This pen from the superintendent of the school district makes it all official… Though I’m REALLY sad to say I’ll no longer be teaching those crazy junior high kids, I am excited to say that I have been placed at a new school where I’ll be teaching 4th grade this upcoming school year!
Yay for new adventures and the opportunity to continue to learn and grow into the best teacher I can be!
I know everyone is saying it today, but I am so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing mother! I am grateful for her care, concern, and love she shows. She supports me in every decision I make, whether it’s the wisest or not. She continues to take care of me, despite me being “grown up.” I’m sure she would still style my hair if I asked her to! I love you, mom! Thanks for being so wonderful.
This Mother’s Day is also my first official one with two moms! I hear so many horror stories about terrifying mother-in-laws. Thank goodness I don’t have any of those tales to tell. My mami-in-law is the sweetest woman! She’s accepted me with open arms and treats me like I’ve always been a daughter.
Can I ask you what is your classroom management plan?
I’ve adapted my classroom management plan from Dr. Marvin Marshall. It’s all about intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation. There are four levels of behavior that are posted in the classroom for students to easily reference.
Here’s basically how it’s set up…
you do good because you want to, not because you could get something out of it (i.e. do well because you want to be the best you can be)
you do good because you are being rewarded in some ways (i.e. do well in school because you have to get good grades, not get in trouble, etc.)
being in others’ personal space, bossing, bullying and/or bothering others
out of control, noisy, unsafe
Sorry this picture isn’t better quality. It’s the only one I can seem to find right now.
The students’ goal is to be at level D or C, and they need to figure out what they should do to reach those levels. I like this plan because it’s super easy to redirect the class or individual students. If the class is getting a little rowdy, I just ask them what level they are at, and then ask them to change their behavior.
If an individual student continues level B or A behavior after being asked twice to change, they are given a “My Behavior Plan.” I’ll either place this on his/her desk while I’m teaching as to not interrupt the lesson, or ask to see the student after class. This half sheet of paper has a few questions for the students to answer.
1. What level of behavior was I? What was I doing?
2. How did my actions affect the class?
3. How did my actions affect myself?
4. What will I do next time?
5. What is my self punishment?
Yes. The students need to punish themselves. My belief is that I didn’t do anything wrong. If I punish the students for their bad behavior, they are going to be mad at me when I didn’t make the poor choices in class. If they have to punish themselves, it seems to make their unacceptable behavior more real to them, and they are more likely to remember not to do it again.
This plan has worked really well for me for the past 4 years, and I’ve used it from 4th grade all the way to 12th grade. I think it can easily be adapted to various grade levels. One thing I suggest, especially for younger grades, is coming up with a list of acceptable self-punishments with your class at the beginning of the year. This at least gives them a starting point, and you won’t get the, “Can my self-punishment be to not have a cookie for dessert tonight?”
Thanks for the great question! Hopefully you or someone else will find it at least a little bit helpful :]
We’re back from our class trip! It was fun, relaxing, educational, and most importantly…safe. We hiked, dissected squid, snorkeled, kayaked, hiked, and went tide pooling. I know I’m blessed as a teacher to have an opportunity to take my students on a trip like this.
There are also a few amusing quotes I’ll be sharing later on. Hope your teacher appreciation week is going well out there!
Hey just read your advice post and I was wondering if there is a specific teacher education course you have to finish in order to teach in the US. I know in Canada that you need a teachable degree and a BEd, plus approval from the Teacher's College. I'm asking because I am probably moving to California in the near future and need to review my options haha and online info seems very conflicting and confusing.
YES!! CALIFORNIA!!! It’s the best state…though I may be a little biased.
In order to teach at the public schools in CA, you need to have your CA teaching credential. In general, you get the CA certified credential when going through the teaching credential program in college or university. Obviously not every teaching in this [lovely] state got their teaching credential through a California school, so there are ways to get one without starting your teaching credential over…however, I am just very unfamiliar with the steps involved.
My best advice would be to contact the education department at the local university where you are planning on moving, and tell them your situation. It may end up being that different schools have different requirements in getting the credential, though the CA credential will allow you to work anywhere in the state.
Sorry I don’t have better advice for you. Maybe there’s another California teacher on here that moved to the state and had to go through this process that has some good advice???
Let me know what you end up doing, shitmystudentssayesl. I love reading your posts. They are flipping hilarious!
I'm a pre service teacher from Australia who is currently looking at the effectiveness of teaching. Can I ask what it is you do to make your teaching methods effective and have you noticed whether it benefits student learning? What are some things you don't recommend doing in a classroom?
One thing… assessment, assessment, ASSESSMENT!
I think many people who don’t know about teaching think of assessments just being tests or quizzes. For me, informal assessment is when I learn most about how my students are doing, what we need to focus more on/move on from, and how I can improve as a teacher.
These are some of the things I do on a daily basis in my classroom…
student white boards
The list could go on. As a teacher, you’re assessing and checking your students constantly. It becomes second nature. Sometimes I don’t even realize that’s what I’m actually doing.
Thanks for the question! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, lusthasnoomercy!
I just got my first teaching job! What do you do to get ready for the first day of school?
Well first of all, CONGRATULATIONS!! Yay! Good for you :]
I don’t think it matters what grade you are teaching, whether elementary, middles school or high school, when you have a strong management plan, simple and clear rules, and easy to follow procedures, you’re going to do well. I think those three things are the foundation of a smooth running classroom. If the students are given clear expectations, the academics are able to be focused on and fostered.
After that’s all down pat, (and those things do have slight changes every year) creating a tentative plan for the school year; when the curriculum and standards should be covered, any schedule change days that you know about ahead of time, setting up a good communication plan with parents, etc. After all the “important stuff” is done, THEN the fun stuff…making that classroom yours! I love creating a warm classroom feel through arranging and decorating my classroom.
Planning for the first day of school (and especially your first year), is really overwhelming. You’ll never feel like you’re completely ready, but the important thing is that you’re putting forth your best effort and doing everything you can to help your students be more successful than they already are.
Thanks for the question! Best of luck and let us all know how everything goes. Congrats again!