education · elementary education · pregnancy · school · teacher · teaching

First Trimester and First Semester

First Trimester and First Semester

I found out I was pregnant on the first day of school this year. My mood had been slightly off, I was constantly hot, I was crying more than usual during commercials, and, my goodness, was I tired. I mean dead tired. I would pass out on the couch at 1 pm tired after doing not much at all. I was also about a week late, so that morning as I was preparing for school, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to wait until the weekend of even the end of the day; I had to test then. Normally, those little test strips take about five minutes to formulate a response, but it barely took thirty seconds for that second line to appear. I took another one after that just in case, and another one, and then just one more for good measure. I tried to contain my excitement and just go about my normal morning activities. I didn’t even tell my husband because I wanted to surprise him later that day when he got home from work. I went straight to Amazon and found some knock-off baby Chucks, a Guess What?  onesie, and  a We’re Pregnant book to surprise him when he came home that night. I was just glad that it was the first week of school which meant that the after school program that I normally work until six hadn’t started yet. If it had started there would be no way for me to prep his surprise. I also ordered my first set of prenatals. I had already been taking other supplements, but I wanted to be sure that all my bases were covered and that my little bean was getting what they needed to be getting. The first day of school is normally a whirlwind of a day to begin with and with this brand-new information I could barely get through the day. As soon as I got home, I grabbed the packages by my front door (can’t tell you how much I love Amazon’s Same-Day shipping) and prepped his surprise box. When he came home that day he just kept talking and it me a few minutes to get in a word to let him know that he got a little present today. I tried recording his reaction, but I somehow didn’t press the right button on my phone (I’m still upset about it). It took him a minute but his reaction was so sweet and he just kept repeating, “Really?” over and over in a high pitched voice. He even got all teary eyed. I think even now he’s still in a state of shock, but he’s still excited.

The next few weeks at school were interesting to say the least. My doctor’s appointment wasn’t until a few weeks later because I had to wait until I was around eight weeks. I just kept taking more tests to reassure myself (I can’t tell you how may test strips I went through…) and kept trying not to stress myself out at school – which, if you’re a teacher, you know is near impossible to do. It was a new school year, I was in a new grade level, with all new team members, and a new principal. The only things that weren’t new were my students since I had previously had them in third grade, which I think greatly helped out. The schedules were constantly changing, and we didn’t have a second of down time ether. During our planning periods, instead of getting to plan or prep for the day or week, we had meetings upon meetings upon meetings. Never ending meetings. All of this while keeping this new and exciting, yet still scary, secret. I’m a first-time mom, so of course I’m constantly worrying about everything in this pregnancy. I wouldn’t even let my husband tell his parents until after the first doctor’s appointment, and same thing went for me telling my best friend and my family. I wanted to make sure that it was real and that the little bean was actually in there and that all was good and healthy.

Luckily, I didn’t have too much morning sickness. I only ever got sick if I drank too quickly or too much on an empty stomach or if I left my toothbrush in my mouth too long or tried to brush my tongue (sorry kiddos, you’ll just have to deal with your teacher having stinky breath for a while; that’s why we have mouth wash and mints, right?) I was worried the kids would notice when I switched out my coffee for tea, and then for water, but luckily they’re too busy with their own fifth grade drama. They’re usually the first to notice or suggest things though. When I was working with them over the summer, a few of the girls were asking me when I was going to have a baby and that I should have a baby soon. I think they helped with the luck of this process, but they still have no idea. Each time I’ve gone to the doctor, I I get nervous they’ll start getting suspicious because I’m that teacher who is normally always at school. I mean always. Last year, I even had perfect attendance. I thought they’d start asking questions on this third visit, but they stopped when I told them that I just had to get my flu shot.

I honestly cannot wait to tell them. I know that they’ll be excited and I’ll finally be able to explain to them why I’ve just been extra grumpy this year. I haven’t put up with any drama since the year started. In a way, the surge of hormones has definitely helped with my classroom management this year which I know I needed to work on.

For my baby’s sake, I refuse to stress myself out over all the petty little things that happen at work and over all the constant changes. I just need to ride it out this year and make it until mid-April when my very own little munchkin will arrive. For now, I’ll prepare my fifth grade not-munchkins anymore for their state exams and middle school.

I’ll be back in a few more weeks with a second trimester bump-date to keep you all informed!    

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education · elementary education · school · teacher · Uncategorized

To Holiday or Not to Holiday?

Hi all!

Happy Veterans’ Day to all who’ve served!

That being said, I’m one of the lucky teachers who has off today, but know not all teachers do. It’s interesting to see the what’s considered a school holiday or not when you move from state to state, county to county, or even country to country, and also what has changed over the years.

I remember when I was in school we’d all grumble and moan when we’d have to come in for school on MLK Jr day or Veteran’s Day or any of those holidays especially when we knew other schools around us had the day off. Instead of making it a normal school day though, my school would take the day to educate us about what the holiday means and why we have it. We would have assemblies, people would come in and talk, and, then, once we returned to the classroom, we would either work on an activity related to the day, write a reflective essay, or have discussions about what we learned. The teachers (or rather the admin) knew better than to try to get us back on task and do regular school work because nothing would get done (I can’t say that it’s the same any more because we’re not allowed to waste a minute of standard based instruction). Even though we’d have school on those days, I’m from an area where we would get the first day of hunting season off!

Looking back, I do feel that it was beneficial. Nowadays, it’s so hard to teach about anything extra or that’s not on the curriculum because there is no time. Every standard has a certain amount of days allotted to it and we have to stick to it. If we feel that the kids understand the standard, we might be able to move on ahead of time but that might just give us extra time to teach a standard that they will struggle with or it might, just might, make up for time when a team member is absent and we have to split the classes up because there are no substitutes, so our regular instruction is yet again interrupted. Very rarely have I had time to ever teach about any holidays (or very rarely are we even permitted to do to restrictions in this day and age).  Many holidays come and go without anyone even mentioning them. Why? Again, if it doesn’t align to the standards, there’s no time. They say that we’re not teaching to the test, yet we’re still evaluated based off of how the kids do, and our curricula and day to day teachings are based off of what is on the test and only what is on the test… so, there’s that too. But that’s a whole other blog post.

Working at a Title 1 school, I know that holidays can be somewhat of a problem for the parents as well. Not all companies and jobs have today off, so that leaves the parents with the question of who will watch my kids because most cannot afford to take off or to pay someone to watch them. More often than not, I find out that the kids stay home alone. For the older grades that’s fine, until you also realize that they have a few younger siblings, so who’s left to play mom or dad for the day? The older siblings of course. Babies taking care of babies.

As a teacher who is stressed and completely exhausted (not to mention currently 18 weeks pregnant), I definitely welcome these three day weekends. I get done what I need to get done on the weekend, like cleaning, lesson planning, grading, laundry, and shopping, and normally I don’t get a minute to actually relax. Three day weekends on the other hand actually give me that extra time I need to just zone out and chill or do some things that I want to do. Recently, I’ve started to sew again, and I blame that on my maternal nesting instincts kicking in. It’s self care time. I also try to promote my side Avon hustle (click to join my team or click to see all the new and amazing products we have )!  I don’t look forward to the rest of the week though because every single time we come back from a three day weekend, the students act as if they don’t remember any of the school rules and it completely throws them off. For now though, I’ll try not to focus on that and enjoy my day off.

What do you think? How should schools (as well as other companies) handle these holidays? Should we still have them off? Should we use them as an extra educational day specifically devoted to that day? Should there be more daycare options available to parents those days? I’d love to hear some input and other thoughts!

education · elementary education · esl · school · teacher · teaching

It’s that time again!

Good evening all!

I can’t believe that school is starting already! I go back on Monday the 5th for returning teacher training, but I’ll probably be at school this week to try and set up my classroom.

This year, I’m changing it up. Instead of teaching 3rd grade again, I’ll be teaching 5th grade math and science! I’m excited because that means that I will be looping with my kids from the other year.

I and my students would greatly appreciate any and all help that you can give. Even a share would help! I’m trying to get items for my students that will help them throughout the year in school and out. Remember, I teach at a 100% free and reduced Title 1 school. I’d love to stock them up on snacks, essential hygiene products, as we as materials that will help them learn and focus in the classroom.

Click here to help out! And don’t forget to share! Thank you!

education · elementary education · esl · school · teacher · teaching · Uncategorized

Flex for Success!

Hello again! I’ve set up a DonorsChoose, and I would appreciate any and all donations! If you can’t donate, a simple share would be great! Thank you in advance!

My Students

My students are enthusiastic, highly motivated, and competitive. They love to dance, play, and are always on the move. As much I push them to be the best that they can be, they end up pushing me even harder. I teach 3rd grade at a Title I, high poverty / low income school. No matter what hardships they’re facing, they never give up and always encourage one another. If ever they’re feeling down, for whatever reason, they always try to lift each other’s spirits and won’t stop til they get each other smiling.

My Project

My students are tired of sitting in normal student desks. They constantly fidget because they don’t get nearly enough time outside or time to run around. Many of my students like to sit on the floor and I’id like to make it a bit more comfortable for them to do so. Having the low round table will help my students with group work and group reading in a spot where they like to be. Some of my students have experienced wobble chairs in other classrooms, and, I must say those chairs do wonders! The students stay focused and get their energy out! I have quite the energetic bunch.

Check it out, donate anything that you can (if you can), and please share! I and my students appreciate all and any help! Plus, add the promo code RIPPLE at checkout and your donations will be doubled up to $50 for the next 7 days!

If you want to take a look at our classroom wish list as well, here’s the link.

file

THANK YOU 🙂

education · elementary education · esl · immigration · teacher · teaching · Uncategorized

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.

 

education · elementary education · school · teacher · Uncategorized

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

 

 

education · elementary education · Istanbul · teacher · teaching

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.