Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Roadmap to Leadership

A long time ago before I became a blogger, I thought it would be pretty awesome to go into leadership.  I had always loved big projects, the adrenaline that kicks in when I am playing sports or in charge of attempting to move a mountain, and the idea of changing the world.  Isn't that every teacher's dream?  To make a difference.  Fortunately, I've had the opportunity to work with some amazing leaders.  I've had the opportunities to do all of those things I dreamed of doing and learned how to take charge and use my leadership skills.  Fast forward to now and I still feel the same way about leadership, but I have a slightly different thought process now.  I don't have to move into leadership to be a leader.  I can be a leader from my classroom.

That leads me to this post.  If I'm like that, then I'm thinking that some of you are the same way.  So, I decided to make a post full of freebies I found online and books that I've read that have changed how I think and teach in my classroom.

I'm not a principal, but I spotted these freebies on TPT.  Obviously, this is a new seller, but definitely worth checking out.  I emailed her to ask her if she's going to be adding more items and she said she's getting ready to add a Back to School Scavenger Hunt.  Who doesn't want to have that at their meeting?  Definitely worth checking out and sharing with your principal. Oh, and she even made the first two downloads editable.  Don't forget to leave her awesome feedback and tell her I sent  you her way :)

Have you seen this leader yet?  Her blog is amazing!  She has tons of tips and tricks that you can use for your whole school, not just your classroom.  Here's a freebie I spotted on her site.  If you click on it, it will take you to her page where you can download it.

Now that I've introduced you to two new leaders, I created something else on Pinterest.  I made a Leadership Pinterest board.  I loaded it up with some of the neat ideas I saw, books to read, etc.  If you are like me, it is summer, so you may not quite be ready to think about school.  Click the image below and you can go follow the board.  I'll be sure to pin these items there and anything else I may find.

Here's the last thing I have to recommend.  Have you heard of Ron Clark?  Well, he's the co-founder of RCA in Atlanta.  I haven't been to visit his school, but it's on my professional bucket list.  Anyway, his new book came out around a week ago.  It's called "Move Your Bus".  I haven't finished reading it yet, but it is such a little powerhouse book.  It definitely helps you understand the people that are around you in your school building better.  Best of all, it's a quick read and I personally love how he always tells stories through his writing.  The picture below links to Amazon so you can grab it.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

I'm linking into Miss DeCarbo's Wordless Wednesday.  Oh, and just so y'all know - Miss DeCarbo is the real deal!  She answered hundreds of questions for me leading up to my SDE presentation and even came to my session to support me.  I went to one of her sessions on Thursday and friends, I have to tell you, if you live near her - go!!!!  I could listen to her all day.  Her heart might be made of gold. She's just that awesome!!!!

Oops!!!  That's a lot of words.  Alright, let me shorten this up.  I picked this picture because people always ask me about my keyboard.  I got the stickers from STICKERDOODLEJ on ETSY.  I've had this specific set for over a year and they are still in perfect shape.

What is something that you've bought that makes you smile?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Vegas on My Mind

Well, if you follow my Facebook page, Instagram, are related to me, or happened to come see me present last week, then you know that I've been in Vegas.

Seriously, sorry for the lapse in blogging, but losing three hours of sleep does not help a blogger create awesome blog posts.  Every night, I went to bed at midnight Vegas time (3:00 a.m. Georgia time) and woke up before 8:00 Georgia time.  Yep, you guessed it - that's 5:00 Vegas time.

Anyway, enough about my sleep deprivation and utter exhaustion.  After several days, I seem to be adjusting back to summer life although I swear I still hear ringing in my ears from the slot machines and the all night chaos that you experience in Vegas.

Before I tell you about my experience, I have to tell y'all my Georgia friends are simply the best.  If I learned anything over the last few weeks it's that they won't let me fail.  They let me practice on them, helped me put stuff together, sent me tons of encouraging text messages, gave me cards, and I even got flowers from one of my friends within thirty minutes of being in Vegas.  Sometimes I have no idea why I'm well loved, but I hope it's because I love them well because they deserve it.  I know it takes a village to raise kids, but I have a feeling it took a village to get me to Vegas, too.  Actually, I know it did.
Now, if you were there Thank you SO much for coming!!!!  I so enjoyed showing y'all some of my favorite ideas and how I pull off centers in my classroom.  Y'all were such a sweet group of listeners and made it so easy to make eye contact.  I loved seeing your eyes light up, your smiles, and you taking photos of everything.  It meant the world to me.  Now, I'm going to admit something a little funny.  I was slightly nervous at the beginning as in I went through the first three slides in less than two minutes.  Oops!  Well, when I mentioned my dog, I said her name was Paisley.  Funny enough, I did the same thing in my practice round.  Um... hate to tell you, but my dog is actually Bella.  Paisley is my dog that died a few years ago.  I didn't think it was the right time to try to explain that, so I kept rolling.  My friend and I were talking a few nights later and she said, "Do you realize that you called Bella, Paisley?"  Yep!  I did.

Once I got past the first couple of minutes, I think I found myself.  I have to say, presenting was a total adrenaline rush for me.  I loved every second of it.  I also really enjoyed putting together the presentation.  It really got me excited about going back to school.

I promised the awesome teachers in my session that I would load some of the things I mentioned on here as freebies, so here you go.  Just click on the images below to grab them.  If you were in my session and there is something missing, let me know and I'll pop it on here.

My presentation was on Wednesday morning.  I spent the rest of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday popping in and out of sessions, meet ups with my blogging pals most of whom I had been dying to meet for several years, more sessions, and in typical Faith fashion decided to disappear for a few hours and go exploring.

Friends, if you ever visit Vegas, then you have to go exploring, so definitely plan an extra day just for that.  I didn't, so I ended up choosing exploring over a class or two.  May not have been the best choice, but no regrets.  We ended up going to Fremont Street, the Pawn Stars (television show) store, the Stratosphere, the Bellagio Gardens and fountain show, the mini Eiffel Tower, the mini New York, and tons of other places.  The views were incredible.  Oh, and we definitely LOVED our hotel.  We
stayed at The Venetian and it was gorgeous.  Make sure if you go that you take lots of $1 and $5 bills.  You tip everywhere.  I think we even tipped at times when maybe you didn't have to tip.

It definitely was an incredible trip and although at times overwhelming and exhausting, I already can't wait to go back next year.  I actually think round two will be even better because I'll know what to expect and I'll get to see so many of my blogging pals again.

Have an incredible week!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Currently

The Currently is up for July.  Can you believe we are already in July?  I love teaching, but I feel like my summer is flying by pretty quickly.

 Here's my Currently for July.

I've been spending the last week or two getting all of my Vegas stuff together and trying to get things printed and updated.  My hubby is off.  Love him, but hard to find time when I'm pulled between Vegas and him, so we are "watching" a movie... really, he's watching, I'm listening and at some point I'll try to really watch it instead of listening.  I don't even know what we are watching... oops!

I love summer.  I love sleeping, the longer days, the beach, reading random books, and just everything that comes with summer.  I wish it would just last a little longer.

All I'm thinking about right now is Vegas.  I am so excited!  I can't wait to hang out with the friends that I've talked to dozens of times on the phone and just everything that comes with Vegas.  I also love using Vegas as the excuse to get new things like a bag or two and clothing.  Oh, and the best part is I get to take one of my sweet friends with me.  Adventures are 100% more fun when you have an incredible friend coming along with you.

If you've bought any of my beginning of the year teacher packets, calendar math, or printables, please know that I am working on getting the dates updated and some of the little things adjusted.  Hang tight!  It's coming!  I just need to get through my Vegas presentation at the I Teach 1st! conference first.

I love the beach.  It's my happy place.  My poor family heard at least 100 times that I wanted to be on the beach or at the pool, but don't ask me to go look at a historical fort when I'm at the beach.  I love history, but I love it more in September - April.  After that, I just want some sun, sand, and waves.

I think something that is a strength is I'm an encourager.  If you are down, stressed, or have too much on your plate, I'm your girl.  I love writing notes/texts/emails to people that matter to me.  Plus, I love helping, so if your plate is loaded down, then I will do anything I can to help make it easier.  Definitely not trying to sound arrogant.  I just think we only have so many minutes to live, so it's important to not miss a second.

So, here are the rules to the Currently.  Make sure if you participate to follow the rules or else!  Just kidding, but seriously, do follow the rules because doesn't everyone want a couple of comments?

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Five for Friday

This week, I ended up with a few fun things to do.

I finally got a personalized Melonheadz.  I've been wanting one for months.  They are adorable.  So, here's mine.  She even worked in a few of my favorites like the Georgia flag and my cross necklace :)

I'm doing a book study with some teachers at school.  I have read the first five chapters of this book and it's incredible.  I think the main thing I've taken away from it is if you want your students to care about learning, you have to show them that you care about them first.  You also have to be passionate and care about teaching.  If you aren't showing interest in your lessons, then how can you expect your kids to show interest?  To get buy-in you have to buy-in to what you are teaching.

Tuesday night, I got to go to a Braves game with a group of my school friends.  Love these girls and their hearts!  Had an incredible time as always.  What's better than a Braves game and spending time outside of school with a few of your best friends?

Oh, and this bottom picture has two of my teammates, so when I talk about my teammates you will be able to put a face with them.  On the left is Alicia who is just incredible and so organized she makes me feel disorganized.  She's incredible at paperwork, especially those folders that we all love to hate.  On the right is Melissa.  Melissa is the balance for all of us crazies.  She is a cheerleader with a huge heart and I swear Alicia's twin sometimes.  She is also super organized and very creative.  My other teammate is Pamela, but she left us to go to the beach, so I'll introduce her another time.  I just had to shout her out because I know she will be reading this.  And yes, they are going to get me for this later :)

Wednesday was Super Mom to the rescue.  True story... I am horrible at figuring out dress shoes and jewelry. I've just figured out nice clothing in the last year, so guess shoes and jewelry are to be expected.  If it's left up to me, I would live in flip flops. Jewelry isn't quite as bad although my go to jewelry is my cross necklace, watch, and my Valentine earrings from my hubby.  So, I'm bringing in my mom who is incredible at matching everything and some how always finds me cute shoes that I wear every day until she finds me another pair of shoes.  After all, just don't think flip flops are going to cut it for 24/7 in Vegas.  So, when you see these, just know my mom chose them.

Alright, so since I've given you four fun facts, for the fifth one, I'll give you a favorite book.  I haven't read it in a year or two, but I loved the book Sycamore Row by John Grisham.  It's the sequel to A Time to Kill.

Happy Friday!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Made It

Last week, I completely forgot that Monday Made It existed.  Well, this week I managed to remember.  I saw a picture online a few weeks ago of chairs with a monogram.  I could not wait to make me some chairs.

First, I had to make a few decisions.  The first decision was I decided to make a 12 inch monogram. Bad mistake - I'd definitely make it around 8 or 9 inches next time.  I ended up having to use an Exacto knife to make it small enough to fit on the chair.  To get it in a circle form, I bought a file from ETSY.  If you need the file, you can click the image and it will take you to where I bought my file.

The next thing I had to figure out was how to add the vinyl to the chair.  Usually I use a heat press with my heat transfer vinyl, but I knew there was no way I was fitting a chair inside the heat press and the cloth on the chair is attached to the chair, so I also wasn't sliding the cloth off the chair.

Instead of using my heat press, I used an iron and an ironing board.  I put the chair on the ironing board and then ironed the monogram onto the chair.  Don't forget to put your teflon sheet over the monogram.  If you don't, the vinyl will melt.

Also, make sure that you apply a good bit of pressure with the iron.  I had to be very careful pulling the contact paper off of the vinyl.  In some places it didn't stick very well.  Once I pulled it up, I put the teflon sheet back over the monogram and ironed it again.
Here is the finished product.  The best part is they really only took around thirty minutes to do.
Have fun creating!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Summer Reading for Teachers

During the summer, I love trying to find some books to help motivate me and make me a better teacher.  All of these books are books that were recommended to me by other bloggers whether they said, "You have to read this!" or I spotted it in a photo on Instagram or their blog.

Some of them I started reading last summer.  I'm certain I won't finish all of these, but I always think it's better to have too many books than not enough.

If you are interested in any of these books, you can click on them and it will take you to Amazon.   Oh, and I'm not using an affiliate link.  Just wanted to save y'all some time.

Have fun reading!