Help Out a Classroom in Need! :)

I know it’s hard to think of, especially for my friends who just got out of school up in the Northern states, but it’s nearly back to school time! Florida starts August 10th! If anyone wants to help out my classroom, I’d truly appreciate it.

I teach 3rd grade at a Title 1 school in Florida which gets 30% less funding than the public schools. 100% of our students are eligible for free lunch which means they are at or below poverty level, so I’m trying to provide them with the an amazing education experience. Any and all help is appreciated. Thank you all. I try to increase their access to diverse books, give my students comfort and a release for their fidgets, as well as continue to educate myself. I appreciate any and all help 😘❤️ Thank you all!

Click here to check out our class wish list.
I currently have many of the Who Was series on there as well as a decent selection of diverse books. I also am trying to help my students focus more and I’m starting to turn my classroom into a flexible seating room so that they can study where they feel most comfortable.

 

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We Did It!!!

I just had to give an update.

My Title I school that’s been a D for the past three years jumped to a B! Two letter grades! We did it! We worked our tails off this year. I cannot explain to you all how ridiculously proud I am of my school, my coworkers, my leadership team, and, most importantly, my students. They worked harder than they ever have. Everyone said that we couldn’t do it. They doubted us, mocked us, laughed at us, stuck their noses up at us…and look what we did. We proved them all wrong! I love my babies to the moon and back!

There’s time to celebrate for sure. We earned it.

We can’t let it get to our heads though. We need to keep up the momentum and keep proving them all wrong! I’m starting from week one this year. There’s no down time.
We’ll continue to work hard and persevere.

#proudteachermoment

 

 

Energy?

How do I get through my day?
As a teacher, I need an endless supply of energy at all times. I am always on the go.

There are a few ways that I get through my day.
One way is actually through Avon’s new wellness line. No matter what I drink in the morning (whether it be coffee or tea or some other concoction), I always take my Espira Women’s Daily Essentials. They have been amazing. The days that I forget to take them, I can definitely feel it. They are all natural multivitamins with 20+ essential vitamins and minerals plus phytonutrients, include a full spectrum omega-3 capsule to support cardiovascular health, and have plant-based antioxidant protection from 50+ fruits and vegetables to target eye, heart and immune health. I feel more alert and focused throughout my day. What’s great about them is that you can pick different vitamins based on you, your age, and your gender.
The second thing that I sometimes take from Avon is the Espira Natural Energy which is a wonderful help when I’m feeling energy deprived. The energy is long-lasting (which I need since I’m at school nearly twelve hours a day) and from clinically studied ingredients within green tea and whole coffee fruit extracts. I haven’t experienced any jitters with it either, so that is always a plus.

Speaking of green tea, I have another method to keeping my energy up throughout the day. I’ve been trying to become more healthy, so I’ve developed a breakfast concoction to start my day. It involves a mug (or a glass), a 1/2 – 1 whole teaspoon of this matcha (organic and has a smooth flavor even if you just have it alone), 1/2 teaspoon of this turmeric (again, organic and there’s enough of it so that I can use it in other recipes), a dash of cinnamon, a dash of ginger (not too much unless you want it to have a spicy kick), and a half of a scoop of vanilla protein powder. Add water (or any variety of milk), mix it all up (an electric milk frother like this works better than a normal spoon) and enjoy! The taste is surprisingly good (some of you may opt to leave out the ginger as it can have an overpowering taste), and the energy last most of the day. Green tea matcha has an energy that lasts longer than coffee bean energy, and what’s even better is that I don’t crash after it. If you’re opting not to put in the protein powder, I would definitely eat something with it such as a banana or breakfast bar. Drinking matcha on an empty stomach often results in an upset stomach.

Of course, my other way of getting energy is through coffee. I’d have to say that my favorite coffee is Kahlua coffee (non-alcoholic – save that for another time). The flavor is amazing flavor and is extremely aromatic.

Sleep is also another great source of energy. My problem is that either I can’t fall asleep or I don’t have enough time to sleep. One thing that helps me out is also from Avon’s wellness line. Espira Restful Sleep is a natural, non-habit-forming supplement contain which a proprietary combination of melatonin and botanicals such as hops, chamomile and passion flower to relax your mind, while magnesium promotes muscle relaxation for your body. It helps me relax and sleep well through the night. The great thing about it is that I also don’t feel groggy in the morning when I take it which happens when I take anything else.

Feel free to check out some or all of the products I mentioned and ask me some questions as well.

I hope you all are enjoying your summer!

My Little Side-Gig

Here’s a little bit of shameless self promotion.

As many of you know or have guessed, I am a teacher. Naturally, that means I have a side-gig as well as my teaching job. My side-gig is Avon. My family has been selling Avon for many, many, many years. My grandmother started decades ago and pretty much everyone in the family followed suit. I had to put my Avon on hold when I went overseas, but I’m back now and settled so I’m starting it up again.

If you’d like to support me you can check out these links.

My Facebook Business Page where you can see the latest deals and sales (like / follow the page to stay up-to-date).

My Avon E-Store where you can order directly from me. Make sure you see my name  (Angela) when you click / are shopping with me. I you’re a first time online customer, reach out to me and I’ll send you 10% discount on your first order!

If you’re interested in becoming a Beauty Boss yourself click here!

 A few of my favorites:

supreme nourishment
Avon’s Supreme Nourishment Triple Phase Body Oil

 I love this body oil! It keeps me moisturized and have an amazing scent. Every time I wear it I get compliments. It combines Vitamin E and Argan, Babassu, Macadamia Nut, and Sunflower Seed oils.

nutraeffects-sub-brand-headers-balance
nutraeffects Balance Collection

I have naturally oily skin, so I’ve always had issues finding a perfect moisturizer or a moisturizer that didn’t make me break out. The Balance collection works wonderfully! There’s a night cream and day cream both of which are very light but because of the chia seed it packs a powerful moisturizing punch. Plus, the day cream has an added SPF 15 protector in it! The nutraeffects line in general is wonderful and has choices for everyone’s skin type and preference.

Avon’s Bold shades have great stay power. I’m very picky when it comes to lipsticks because I hate having to reapply. The Bold line stays on fairly well. It needs a little touch up after you eat, but other than that it holds up fairly well. The Matte collection is just as good as well.

bold
Avon True Color Bold Lipstick in Ruby Shock

I’ll post more reviews as test more products!

Journeying to the States: I-130 Stage

 

The first step in coming the US is proving your relationship. Start gathering evidence as soon as you can. Don’t throw away tickets with your names on them. Go back into your hotel reservations, etc. Take as many pictures as you can. Document everything. Save old chats and Skype history.

Form I-130 is filling out basic information about you and your spouse. You’ll need your Social Security number or your A number (in order to bring your spouse to the United States you must be a U.S. citizen or green card holder), your address history for the last five years, your employment history and addresses etc, as well as your spouse’s, and so on. The updated I-130 now has biographic information on it as well (hair color / race / eye color. When I filled out the forms and submitted them I had to fill out forms G 325A for my spouse and myself, but now you fill out for I-130A instead.

Also, try to get your name/ your spouse’s name changed as soon as possible so that you can provide the updated ID, passport, and Social Security.

Here are the updated links to the current forms that you’ll need to fill out:

I-130 Form and Instructions: Petition for Alien Relative
I-130A: Supplemental Spouse Information used instead of G 325A

If you’re having trouble filling out the forms, do not neglect the instructions that are given with them. I know that it’s extra reading, but what’s ten extra minutes of reading compared to a few extra months of waiting because of a silly mistake?

When submitting evidence, be sure to include a cover page detailing everything that you’ve included in the packet.  See the following images. I’ve added some notes on the side.

Cover letter pic 1

Cover letter pic 2

Cover letter pic 3

My summary of our story included how and where we met, places we’ve been to, important dates, our jobs and education, etc. Everyone’s story is unique. Try to keep it to one typed page. I also stated that I moved back to the states and have already secured a job etc even though that information isn’t necessary until NVC gets involved. You want USCIS to know that there is a steady income over a certain amount so that they know the immigrant will not be a burden on the US. This information usually isn’t required until the NVC stage which typically won’t be until at least six months later (earlier if you’re super lucky or had an expedite approved) or much later (like in our case – nearly ten months and we didn’t even have any missing documents). Unless specifically stated, do not include originals of documents. Copies are fine.

When I was including pictures in my Word document (later saved as a PDF and then printed in color, one sided), I made sure to add the date that they were taken (digital copies usually have the date encrypted in them), where they were taken, and who was in the picture. Pictures of your wedding and engagement are very good evidence. Especially if you have photos of you signing your marriage certificate / book. Pictures with your spouse and their family / your family etc are great. I probably went a bit overboard, but I included about thirty pages worth of pictures and explanations. I also included the link and screenshots of our wedding website, Facebook events that I had made for the wedding and bachelorette party etc. I included copies of airline tickets going to see him and even our university transcripts to prove that we were there at the same time. Anything that has both of your names on it especially a rental agreement or something of the sort is wonderful evidence. Do not include CDs or USBs etc. They will not look at them.

Photo evidence 1

Once I triple and quadruple checked all of the documents and signed the I-130 and other forms (make sure your documents are signed or your application will be rejected), it was finally ready to be sent off to the USCIS. Don’t forget the money order for the I-130 fee which is currently $535.
Here are the addresses to send your I-130.

Once you submit everything, you should get your first notice NOA1 which will be the receipt that they received your package and are reviewing it. Don’t lose this receipt number. You can use it to check the status of the application.

There are a few sites that are great for help and questions as well.

VisaJourney.com  is great for creating your timeline and tracking other timelines of those who may have similar cases to yours.

The Facebook group (you’ll need approval to join) “I-130 filers Immigration Visa Group.” is also great for asking and answering questions.

Search around on Facebook as well for groups that pertain to the country that your spouse is from because the information may be more beneficial to you.

Keep doing your research while you’re waiting for you approval. Start getting your documents ready for the NVC stage. I’ll write more about that later. The wait time is probably the most frustrating and painful time. We got our first receipt from USCIS September 8th, 2016 and didn’t get our approval until June 29th, 2017 – that was 295 days or 9 months 22 days.

Journeying to the States: Intro

 

My husband and I met nearly six years ago at college in New York. He was an exchange student and I was a junior trying to figure out if and how I could study abroad. When we started dating, we were both trying to figure out how it would work, I mean I didn’t even have my passport yet! What an ordeal it was for me to get that (that’s another story).

In short, he was just the push I needed to help me pursue my studies abroad. If you’ve been following me for the past few years now, you’ll know that I went to Pisciotta, Italy for a summer semester then visited Istanbul for the first time in the summer of 2012 to stay with my husband (then boyfriend) and his family. After my fall semester in Urbino, Italy we both met up again at our university in New York and graduated together that spring. We were stuck on how to continue seeing each other though. After all, transatlantic relationships and plane trips aren’t exactly cheap and easy.

Then I figured it out. While working a waitressing gig, I also took a TEFL course and powered through it in order to go back to Turkey with him that fall. I started teaching English to kindergartners and preschoolers in August of 2013 in Istanbul. My second year there, I moved to a different school and my husband and I moved in together in our own apartment. We adopted some kitties, got engaged, and then got married. It all just seems peachy-keen, right?

Wrong.

Here comes the hard part. We decided it’d be best for him to get his U.S. citizenship. Now, for anyone currently doing this or who has been through this process, you know this is no walk in the park. It’s a long and grueling, expensive, lonely, stressful, and damn near cruel process. The U.S. does not make it easy for people to immigrate here. In order for him to immigrate here legally, I have to prove domicile (a place to live), a steady job with a certain income, and our relationship. Seems easy enough you say? Just wait. Even once all the items are gathered and double, triple, and quadruple checked, it then takes months  and sometimes and years for everything to be checked over by the government and when you try to call to ask for a status update, no one has any sympathy. I will write about the process in steps to try and help others who are going through the same thing.

Baby Steps

 

This year, I have an interesting breakdown in my class. My kids are either Tier 1 (on level) or Tier 3 (below grade level). I don’t have any in between. A handful of my Tier 3 kids cannot read at all and have tested at kindergarten level (keep in mind that I am a third grade teacher).

I have one boy in particular who’s been to seven different schools, was retained in kindergarten, and nearly enough absences to add up to a whole school year. This boy cannot read and I’ll be working with him as much as I can.

The other day when I was working with him, I put him on the Kindle and he did a short lesson on Hooked On Phonics. At the end of the lesson, he was so excited to read to me! He read simple short a words like Jan ran can cat bat sat etc. I could hear in his voice and see in his face how proud of himself he was. He said that he loved that story and it’s the best. As a teacher, there’s no greater feeling than watching those struggling students finally making a break through. I definitely teared up…

I cannot wait to see what else he accomplishes this year. I’ll be there for him every step of the way.