Wednesday, June 29, 2016

40-Hour Teacher Workweek?

Is that really a thing??

I'm a skeptic.  About a lot of things.  But especially this!

Next year will be my eleventh year teaching.  I have never gone a school year where I actually only worked 40 hours per week.  I've always worked at least 50 hours a week, but usually it was closer to 65.  But this crazy lady (Angela Watson) says I can get everything done in 40 hours.  Definitely a skeptic!

But I came across this offer in an email from Laura Candler.  (Do you follow her?  She does some pretty amazing things!)  She sent me a link (because yes, we're like best friends and she sends stuff only to me, not to everyone that registers for her website Ha!).  The link was for a private Facebook group, Teachers Working Smarter.  You can join that group.  I did.  It's full of people who have either taken Angela Watson's 40 Hour Teacher Workweek course or people who are questioning its worth.

I'm not going to bore you with copied/pasted posts about how people feel about the class.  I will, however, provide you a link to the website so you can check it out for yourself!  Just click [here].  It will take you to The Cornerstone, and should be a direct link to the 40-Hour Teacher Workweek course.

I debated on registering for this course for a few days.  I finally bit the bullet and registered because 1) what harm could it do?  Worst case, I get a few extra resources that are useful throughout the year (because it's a year-long course).  Not to mention 2) I have been trying so hard over the last year to leave work at work, and I'm struggling.  I need to learn how to do it somehow, or I risk never having a personal life.  I can't ruin that again.

So, I don't get paid for sharing this with you.  I just wanted to toss an idea out there for anyone questioning how to find the balance between work life and home life.  I can't say this course is gold, but I'm willing to find out!  Let me know if you signed up!  We can be study buddies!  (Or accountability partners, anyway. Haha!)

Monday, June 27, 2016

Monday Made-It

Hey, guys!  I'm jumping in with 4th Grade Frolics today for the Monday Made-It.

It's still only June, though, so I'm not full-on into "Back-to-School" mode.  I just can't do it yet.  I've still got summer plans on the brain!  With that said, I have only one contribution this time.  I think it's brilliant, though!

For years, I have absolutely loathed the fact that students want to push their notes and permission forms at me before they even say good morning loved that students remembered to bring their papers back signed.  I know they want the praise for remembering to bring their forms back to school, but I just haven't found my own groove yet as to what to do with them.  Honestly, I have always collected them as they handed the papers to me, set them down somewhere that I *just knew* I would remember, then got busy starting the day and forgot where they were.  (I hope I'm not the only one! Ha!)

Then I saw this Facebook post in passing about a "challenge" beginning July 1st.  Here's the post I saw:

You can join the challenge, too, by clicking on the image above!

All I saw in that was the solution to my daily problems, and I *just knew* I needed a Dropbox!  So that's what I did.  (Not to mention, it gave me a reason to use my new printer since I just signed up for that Instant Ink program.)

Anyway.  I digress.  So I got a bin from the Dollar Zone (nothing like a Dollar Tree, and practically nothing is only $1... just so you know), and here it is... My Dropbox!

The chalkboard background came from Erin Thomson's Primary Printables, the little character was drawn by Melonheadz Illustrating, and the fonts were a combination of KG Fonts and something on my MacBook.

The label is pretty straightforward.  It just says "DROPBOX Please put any notes, messages, or papers you need to give me inside this box."  I attached it to the bin with contact paper.

That's it!


And now to go check out some other teachers' Monday Made-Its and then log off to go read for the night.

What about you?  Are you working on anything?

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Personal Development at Its Finest

Have you ever sat down with a book and, every time you turned the page, thought the author was writing about you? Or better yet, speaking directly to you?

That's what happened with 5 Love Languages:  Singles Edition.  (Don't judge me for my choice of reading material... At least I'm working on stuff. Haha!)

Something that I knew I needed to work on personally... Love.  I didn't know what it was, I didn't know how to do it, and I didn't know how to receive it.  To be honest, I still don't.  As you can probably guess, this became a serious problem in my life.

Gary Chapman is the author of 5 Love Languages, a book that I remember my aunt reading while we were sitting on the beach at Cape Cod one summer many years ago.  Or maybe she wasn't actually reading it on the beach, but she was talking about it.  I don't know... We're talking maybe 15-20 years ago. I can't remember what I ate for breakfast most days!  But I remember her telling my sister, my mother, and me about the book.  Honestly, at the time, I was just like "eh; whatever" because I was young and didn't need to read a book about continuing to love your spouse.  I wasn't getting married any time soon.  (And I didn't realize at all how right I was... I've still never been married, and I'm 32 years old! Haha!!)

Anyway.  In my adult life now, part of my personal problems that were falling apart (or that fell apart) had to do with my personal relationships.  Not just with my ex-boyfriend, either.  Relationships with friends and family have also suffered.  I figured it was time to do something... to learn something... to try to make a change.  I planned to buy 5 Love Languages.  Looked it up on Amazon. Put it in my cart.  Saw the "other customers also purchased...." titles, and there it was... The Singles Edition.  Perfect!  I don't need to know how to keep a marriage alive.  I don't even have a boyfriend anymore!  The Single Edition was just what I needed!  So I deleted the other one and bought this one (as well as a few other books).

I will tell you this.  Gary Chapman is a genius!  There is so much truth in this book.  So many "ah-ha!" moments.  So many "I should practice that" ideas.  At first, I was a little embarrassed that I was even buying such a book.  I didn't even want to purchase in at Barnes & Noble because I didn't want anyone to know I was going to read it.  Amazon would send it to me in a sealed box, and no one else would see inside.  But guys.  Seriously.  This was a great book!  Not only did it deal with personal romantic relationships and discuss how to improve them; it also talked about the underlying causes of most people's struggles.  It focused on improving relationships with your family and friends.  Improving relationships with coworkers.  Improving your relationship with yourself.  I'm really glad I purchased this book, and I plan to definitely use the strategies suggested!  I started today by simply picking up the phone and calling my mother.  Easy stuff, I tell ya!  Not to mention, I learned my own primary love language as well as that of my dogs!  (Maximus is definitely physical touch, and Isis is more of a quality time kind of girl.)

I realize I'm rambling at this point, so I will leave you with this.  If you are looking for someone to help you with serious reflecting on your personal relationships, Gary Chapman is your guy!  I've even wish listed a few more of his books (and no, none on marriage).

If you do choose to read this book, I will warn you.  Gary Chapman is a Christian relationship counselor.  He references God and the Bible throughout this book.  I was worried about that at first because I honestly hate when people preach at me.  Tell me whatever I'm doing is wrong, and I'm going to Hell because of it.  But this author isn't that way at all.  While he makes reference to the Bible and God, he doesn't do it in such a way that will take over his true message, and he doesn't do it in every section of the book.  Even if you aren't into that kind of thing, this is still a great eye-opener if you can be open-minded.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Every Journey Begins with A Single Step

Sometimes, we make poor choices.  Trust me.  I know.  I was busy doing it for a long time!

For those that keep up with me regularly, you know I've had a rough second semester at school.  First Grade is usually a circus, but these monkeys were definitely a group of happy little challenges this time!  It was hard!  I had a hard time getting myself ahead at school, and it took a toll on my personal life.  Then, after the first half of the second semester, everything fell apart.  That last quarter was awful (for my personal life, not my classroom)!  And that's when I just stayed down.

Well, I finally decided to take life by the horns and go with it.  I am not doing anything related to my classroom this summer.  Mostly because I have no idea what I'm going to be teaching next year I need to spend some time focusing on me.  And that's just what I have been doing.

The first day of summer vacation was awful, I have to admit.  When I realized that I didn't bring any work home and my life was pretty much empty with all that happened, I was so bored.  And boredom lead to free time.  And free time lead to depression.

So I decided to just start getting in touch with some friends.  I had plenty of great conversations via Facebook, texting, phone calls... It wasn't the same as actually spending time with friends, though.  Unfortunately, I wasn't really feeling up to that.  I was miserable, and I didn't know how to stop!

When my friend invited me to check out her Sneak Peak into Team Beachbody, I agreed... but only because I was bored and it would give me something to do.  And when I agreed to become a coach, it was again mostly because I was bored and it would give me something to do.  Ha!  (There were some other reasons, like the income possibilities, the accountability, and the discounts on stuff I was already using!  But the fact that I'd have something to do was the winner.)

Who would have thought that this group would give me enough personal strength to get out of that hole I dug myself into?!?  Not only am I feeling better because I have something to occupy my mind, but I'm also feeling better because I have something to occupy my body!  I'm getting back into the routines I had before I lost myself.  Back into the healthy habits I used to be a [self-proclaimed] master of!  Back to being me!

And all it took was one silly little Sneak Peek followed by a Challenge Group.

And while I'm at it, I am slowly but surely rebuilding my confidence in myself and what I am capable of.  I'll be honest, I don't feel good when I don't look good.  (And I mean when I think I don't look good.)  I just finished a 3-day [sort of] cleanse like a boss, and I'm ready to go all in with clean eating and tone up what got fluffy! Haha!

I started the three-day program on Monday this week and finished it Wednesday.  The "after" photo was Thursday morning before I took the dogs to their 8am vet appointment.  And for the record, vet at 8:00 in the morning during the summer?  Stupidest thing I've done all summer so far! Haha!

Check that out!  I'm definitely impressed with myself for this one!  The motivation of my coach, the support of my team and challengers, the encouragement from my friends and family... That tummy is getting flatter, and I'm rocking that bikini this summer with confidence!

As for the rest of the things... I've got plenty left to work on, but I'm focusing on getting myself back together from the inside out.  First, this 3-day program.  I'm almost finished 5 Love Languages, I started another round of my workout program, I've gotten a solid start to clean eating, and I still have so much more to do!  I really am glad I decided to work on myself this summer.  I'm also glad this group of people on my Beachbody team sort of just fell into my lap.

What are you doing to better yourself this summer?

P.S.  If you're interested in how you can start your own journey, feel free to comment below, leave me your email address, send me an email, or friend me on Facebook!  (If you go the route of Facebook, make sure you message me, too.)

P.P.S. (Yeah, I went there.)  If you know of any great blogs or Facebook groups for 3rd, 4th, and/or 5th grade, send links my way!  I'll be teaching one of those... or a combination of two of them. Really.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

New Look, New Name, New... Me?

Guys.  I don't know about you, but I am beat today!  I had so much energy yesterday, and today? Nothing! Haha!  Oh well.  So it goes, I guess.

For those of you that have been keeping up with my blog during the summer months, sorry I'm always MIA during the school year.  You know how it goes.  Crazy starts happening, and things have to get back-burnered.  Unfortunately, I back-burnered a ton of the wrong things this school year in addition to the blog.  Womp, womp, womp.

So in an effort to be a better person, I'm making a lot of changes in my life this summer.  And I've got plenty of time to do it now. Haha!

Thanks to City Girl in Third, I have a new look on my blog.  The Cutest Blog on the Block is the place to go for all things hook-up-my-blog related!  (Also, if you're in the market for some digital scrapbooking, MyMemories is a great marketplace!)

With all of that said, I decided to change my blog name as well.  Make Time for Glitter came about in a conversation with a friend about how we never have enough time, but I was bound and determined to make time for fun!  Yeah.  Right.  Wishful thinking. Haha!  So it didn't fit, and the name is being retired.  The other day, I was flipping through the channels and saw "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" on the guide list... Now THAT was more my life!  Hectic, all over the place, stressful, confusing, crazy... So, thanks to a show that I don't watch, the blog has a new name. :)  Besides, who doesn't like a little alliteration? ;)

As with other changes, well... I've been through a lot already this year, and we're only halfway through 2016!  Between personal problems and professional obstacles, I was pretty lost for a long time.  I'm working my way out of it all, though.  I found something that I truly enjoy - helping people - and am making a second career of it.  I'm pretty excited about it, and it definitely helps to have something to focus on.

And while we're talking about what I've been up to.. You guys know I like books.  Random books.  Here are a couple that I'm reading now:


I know, I know... It's a weird combination.  One is definitely professional development, and the other I'm thinking I can count as personal development.  Boy, do I need some personal developing!  I have a few more on my reading list.  I'll fill you in as I go. :)

A few that I've read so far this summer:


The Book Whisperer was a very insightful book!  I definitely recommend it, especially for teachers of older kids.  The Lightning Thief... Well, if I'm going back to Intermediate, I'd better get back to reading those books.  And Go Pro was a gift from my coach in regards to that second career choice.  Definitely worth it, and I decided to gift it to my coaches as well!

Happy Summer Solstice, all!!
From the Land of the Midnight Sun!