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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Back to School Goals 2013 :)

I am linking up with my blogging buddy, Jess, at I {Heart} Recess for her Goals Linky!  
It is always good therapy to set goals and then put them in writing.  
Somehow it makes me more confident that I can accomplish them!  
Personal:  I have been taking kickboxing for a couple years now (love it!) and started karate this past spring too.  My instructor said I should take my yellow belt test in August and I am really nervous! I don't really know exactly what to expect and my friends that have taken one said it is awful.  I was told last week that even though I "know" what I need to for the test, I WILL make a mistake because I will be so exhausted. :(  I guess I can make five mistakes before I fail the test.  Wish me luck!

Organization:  I started organizing my file cabinets this summer and still need to get to organizing my shelves.  There are SO many "teacher resource" books that I need to toss that I have been hanging onto for so long!  I hope I am in the "tossing mood" the day I tackle that job!  Have you experienced tossing moods versus hoarding moods?  I swear it is related to hormones or something!) 

Planning:  I began using Daily 5 (modified for Daily 4) last year and to implement the CAFE the same year was too overwhelming.  Now, I am planning on implementing CAFE this year too and am excited for everything it has to offer!

Professional:  There are so many changes occurring in education and our district.  Last year was particularly rough.  Our APPR binder required 24 "artifacts" following the Danielson rubric for teachers but it just wasn't any "artifacts" that fit each domain.  We had to use two of the three recommended artifacts set by our district.  Seriously, who writes up their entire unit plans for a binder anymore?  It was a ton of busy work in the same year that we were implementing the Common Core that our tests were aligned with in NY last year (with no new materials!).  So, I need to do a better job at just staying positive, take it day by day, and b.r.e.a.t.h.e.

Students:  Be present.   What teacher isn't in a time crunch everyday to fit it all in?  When you have 20+ students who just idolize you and want your undivided attention, it is difficult to divide your time.  However, there are certain "down times" in the day that I try to give them their time to just talk to me and tell their silly stories (they have SO many!).  I tell them some of my silly stories too:)  When I remind myself to do this, I really do a better job at attending to my students and their little everyday moments.  Before I know it, my year with them will be over and I will be shedding tears as I send them on to the next grade. :(

Down time can be during snack time, in the morning when they first get there, at the end of the day getting ready to go home, getting ready for lunch, etc.  If I have "that student" who likes to have my attention ALL the time and doesn't give others a chance, I put a limit on their time.  For example, I might say, "You can have my attention for a personal comment 2x a day."  It shows that I still want to hear what they have to say but they need to share time with others.

Motto:  Just Do What You Do Best.  An anonymous colleague placed this laminated phrase in my mailbox about ten years ago.  It was illustrated with a picture of a girl gardening and I still have it hanging on my file cabinet.  I don't know who gave it to me all those years ago but I remember that I was really overwhelmed at the time.  I was taking graduate classes, buying a home, my puppy died (she was our baby!), and I was crazy busy coaching cheerleading all year.  It really puts things into perspective for me when I stop and think, "Just Do What You Do Best."  No one can ask any more of you.  

The wonderful Melissa at Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late is having an amazing giveaway that you don't want to miss!  Check it out!!

Don't forget that Tried It Tuesday is back in full swing 
next week with a new link up every Tuesday!  

What is 'Tried It Tuesday'?
1.  Write a post about any"thing" you have...TRIED!
2.  Describe what worked and maybe what didn't work.
3.  Keep it simple and focus on one general topic. 
You can link another idea next week:)
4.  Link your post to my blog post
Thanks friends!!  I can't wait to see what you have all been up to!


  1. B.R.E.A.T.H.E. is just right when dealing with the binders and artifacts. We do Danielson too. One day at a time...one day at a time.
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Good luck on your yellow belt! What a great accomplishment!
    Grade 4 Buzz

  3. Wow that artifacts binder sounds rough. :/
    Love your goals though and good luck on your yellow belt! That's awesome!

  4. Good luck on your test!! I was thinking of Be Present for my student goal - I love what you wrote. It is easy to get caught up with all the jobs and planning and assessing but the relationships are so important. I am fantastic at tossing, when in doubt throw it out!!

  5. Holly,
    I heard of a little friend that I am inheriting this year that might like to 'chat', a lot! I am going to use your advice for the 2x a day for personal comments thing. Hopefully my sanity will be intact after the first week.

    ScrappyGuy Designs

  6. Good luck with your yellow belt and remember to breathe! :) You WILL do it!

    Read With Me ABC

  7. Ditto on the organization. I emptied out my file cabinet (onto my desk of course with the PLAN to sort it all), created a file folder for each CCSS, which can be seen on my blog, and hung those where all my stacks of papers once stood unorganized within my file cabinet drawers. I hope I can get that of my list of 100 to-do list items before the year begins

  8. My iPad always cuts off my comments IF it even lets me post...

    1. Imitate again...grrr...as I was saying. I continue looking for support and motivation in the blogs, our FB community, Pinterest. I'm glad I'm not alone...I don't know how I made it this long without blogs.


  9. “Hoarding mood” and “Tossing mood” definitely have a big role to play with file organization. Hoarding mood is what makes all the files and everything else pile up and collect in our folders, binders, cabinets, and boxes. Tossing mood, however, will certainly make these spaces ease up. Just be careful of the files you toss though. Better make sure you have backup of each before clearing them out.
    Ruby @ Williams Data Management