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!    

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.

 

Avon · beauty · teaching

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!

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.

education · elementary education · school · teacher · teaching

FSA Prep – 3rd Grade

I know we don’t even want to think about it, but the beginning of the school year is right around the corner. As a teacher, I start August 3rd and my kids return August 10th. Like it or not, it’s time to prepare for the inevitable…

This past school year, 3rd graders took the FSA at the end of March and the beginning of April. We started practicing in January when we got back from winter break, but judging from scores and knowing the kids that are in our school, I believe we need to start practicing much earlier. I won’t lie and everyone knows that I am not a fan of this test nor any other standardized test, but they have to take it anyway.

I used these books last year to help the kids prep for the test. The format was good and easy to go through. I would usually give a Reading passage as morning work, and then during ELA we’d work on reading through the questions, going over testing strategies, etc. The same goes for during our math block. We would do fact review first and, of course, review some other concepts, then jump into answering these practice questions. We’d break apart how and what is being asked (because we all know testing language does not make sense) and then we’d try to solve the questions. While solving the question we would either review old concepts or delve straight into new topics. I would sometimes slip a few of these pages into their homework packets as well.

Like I said, I’m not a fan of testing but it has to be done here. My fellow Florida teachers know as well that 3rd grade is a critical year as it’s the first year that they take these tests and if they do not pass them, they are typically held back unless they fall into certain categories. Being that we are a Title 1 school and we’re not scoring well, it’s time we pick up the pace even more. We’ll need to try new things for sure, and one of those things will to be start practicing from the beginning of the year.

I would check the links below and definitely add them to your library. They wonderful resources to have when you start preparing for testing season. They also have them for other grades as well.
FLORIDA TEST PREP English Language Arts Reading Workbook Grade 3: Preparation for the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA)

FLORIDA TEST PREP FSA Practice Test Book English Language Arts Grade 3: Covers Reading, Language, and Listening

FLORIDA TEST PREP FSA Practice Test Book Mathematics Grade 3: Includes Two Full-Length Practice Tests

Comment if you have any questions! I’d love to hear back from some other FL teachers!