Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Day!

Today was the first day of school. And no one died! And I didn't yell! And only two kiddos cried! And only a little :) So there's that... and I'm exhausted. But I loved every second. So that's great! I'm not sure what else to really say except for that 25 students is a lot of students. Hopefully I will continue to whip them into Miss Specht's high expectations and we won't have any major problems this year. Okay, I know it's the first day and problems are inevitable, but a teacher lady can dream! I know you're dying to see the final project, so here's all my room pictures. I challenge you to count all of the owls! 
Check out my cool welcome sticker! Thanks fiancé :) 

 Eventually this will be a student of the week board... just not yet. 

Objective board, behavior chart (complete with owl magnets) and classroom jobs... 

Second grade rules and Miss Specht's desk... which is actually organized! Pretty cool! 

 The science bulletin board, reading nook, sight words/writing board, and the BIG books.

 The AR board, computers, library, and birthday chart...

Calendar, schedule, smart board...

Podium (for hiding my notes), vocab chart... 

Math corner, mailboxes, and indoor recess extras...

 Cabinets... boring!

My view from the front as a real teacher lady. I promise, despite my enthusiasm of classroom decor, I am actually teaching! There are lesson plans! :) Thanks for teaching me that BCU. 

 Finally, the excited teacher on the first day. Woo! only 178 days left!

Until next time...
Peace, love, and 25 little cherubs, 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"The Story"

Hello Blog readers!
I have to admit. I was wrong. I was very wrong. Last time I wrote, I confessed to grown-uphood. I thought after moving, setting up my classroom and all of that, it was official. And it was… until Friday night, when things got even more official. I’m engaged! That’s about as grown up as I can imagine being. One week ago, I worked at the park, lived at home, had a boyfriend and aspiring plans. And 7 days later, bam. I live in an apartment with my Roomie, it is (finally) furnished, my classroom is practically ready to go for the year, and a have a beautiful glittery rock on my finger thanks to my Fiancé. Boyfriend gets a new nick name! And in about a year, I will get a new last name… WOOO!

Alright, so since I know (well I’m assuming) you’re all dying to know…here’s “the story.”

First let’s rewind.. “back to yesteryear” (parent trap reference anyone!?) yesteryear as in June. One day Boyfriend and I were out shopping all day. On our way home I made some smart comment like, “geesh, I’m surprised you didn’t drag me to a jewelry store while we were out today.” He shut me up real fast by pulling up to a store. Dang it. (For those of you who know me, it’s not always easy to shut me up.) So we went in and Boyfriend looked around while I talked to the sales clerk because I was too stinking nervous to even look at rings. However, I couldn’t stall forever and we ended up looking at a very shiny, beautiful case of rings. There was one in particular that caught my eye. To my delight, Boyfriend pointed to that exact ring and asked if I liked it…. Uhhhm. YES! Anyway, that was the end of ring shopping.

Fast-forward to a couple of weeks ago. Boyfriend and I spent the day together and were heading out to pick up some dinner when I jokingly said something like, “I bet that really makes you wanna marry me, huh?” And he said, “Maybe I do. Maybe I already bought you a ring.” WAIT, WHAT? I think my jaw dropped. I laughed and said, “yeah right. You can’t be serious.” To which he replied, “maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.” Smooth moves huh? ;) So I was left to wonder… is he serious? I wasn’t sure, but I had a pretty good feeling he was serious. Partially because he is an awful liar and I didn’t think he was lying. And partially because he (later that night) said, “yeah, just don’t look through my room because if you find something it’s your own fault.” Yeah, okay got it.

So as the weeks went on, I had some fun playing with this whole “maybe I have a ring” thing. I asked him who knew about it, what color it was, what it looked like etc... To which his answers were Travis (the sales clerk), silver not gold, and sparkly. It was kind of a fun game for me because I had no way of knowing whether or not he was serious! At one point he also told me that he hadn’t asked my parents for permission yet (which was REALLY important to me). So I was sure I had some more time to play around with this whole engagement idea.

Fast-forward again to Friday. Boyfriend was in our hometown working with is family during the day while I was at a teacher lady conference. I went to his apartment later that night and asked how his day was. After telling me about working at home, he said “I talked to your parents today.” So I causally asked, “how was that?”  To which he said, “No… I talked to your parents today.” Oh. Okay. Apparently my dad was excited to have a son and my mom cried (typical). Boyfriend also said, “I told them I really didn’t have a date to ask you planned… but I just really want to show you. I wanna ask you. Do you want to get engaged tonight?”

Whoa. After a little more talking and only a slight amount of nervous panicking, he got down on one knee and asked me right there in his apartment. It was just the two of us, and it was perfect :) Annnnd it was the same ring that we had looked at together in June. Here’s a picture!

 Our last picture as "boyfriend and girlfriend" :) 
 Right after he proposed! Well, soon after lol. I'm so glad I took this one!

 Classic selfie. I swear the ring is on my left hand, the picture is just flipped... 

So there’s the story in all it’s semi-romantic glory! Boyfriend has become Fiancé and we are having the best time telling all our family and friends. I have never felt and loved and blessed as I have in this past week!

We are very happy. I am getting used to wearing this beautiful ring. It’s sparkly just like he promised and I am constantly staring at it (very hazardous while driving). I would LOVE to show it off to you readers and will gladly recount “the story” in all it’s vivid details ;)

That’s all the blogging I have time for now, but watch out for updates next week on the status of my classroom! It’s almost time! Kids start on the 19th!!

Wait, before I forget... Grandma, this one is for you! Apartment pics!

aaaaaand I can't manage to get pictures of the kitchen or living room uploaded right now, but you will all just have to trust me that they are fantastic.

Okay, after an incredibly long first day of staff meetings it is finally off to sleeps for me!

Until next time...
Peace, love, and a shiny new life,

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Hi there! It's me again, Jayna. I understand if you have trouble recognizing me though... I am in the middle of grown-uphood. AKA making big girl decisions everyday. AKA buying a new bedroom set, moving into a new apartment, navigating my way around two new towns, decorating my apartment and classroom, and organizing materials for curriculum. SAY WHHHAAT?! Yup, that's me. Being all adult and such. And let me tell you, it's exhausting. 

So I know some of you (Grandma) are dying for pictures of the apartment! I promise they are coming! My furniture is being delivered on Saturday, so I'm waiting to post until then. Otherwise you would just get a picture of my bags all over the room and a messy futon mattress coving the middle of the floor. Trust me, it will be worth the wait! Until then, here are some pictures of my classroom! It's not quite done yet... but it's getting closer and closer everyday. Which is good because I only have 12 days left! 

 The show and tell board reads "Whoo's in our class?" Next to that is my objectives board, a space for classroom helpers, and finally my second grade classroom rules board :) 

 This is where all the magic happens. Just kidding, but I think that my desk area is looking pretty good. The curtains are a homey touch and I LOVE the file organizers!

 Pictured here is the reading nook, science bulletin board, sight words board, AR goals board and my favorite... the Owl Alphabet. Boyfriend surprised me by ordering this one online. It's perfect!

 This is the corner where I wanted (but alas,) did not build a tree. It's just not looking like I will have time. Maybe next year. However... my books did get all organized for the AR system and look great!! (Again, Boyfriend was a HUGE help on this project!)

Here are a couple close ups of my book bins! I'm so happy with how they turned out!

 Okay, so I realize that this picture looks super awkward. haha. This is the front of my room. The podium was thrust into the room right before the picture was taken. It will get some decoration tomorrow! Above the board are colored twinkle lights and little firefly bugs. Still to be finished is the blank area on the left for a schedule, the pocket chart, and some added student decorations once school starts! 

 This corner/side of my room still needs a little love too! The mail boxes are ugly, so they are being covered with paper and labeled tomorrow. The bins still need to be organized. I'm not sure what else will be added to this corner yet! 

 Yikes! Blank space! The cabinets are another place that I plan to display student work! Or maybe I will find more cool posters on Teachers Pay Teachers.... Time will tell :) 

So there's my room so far! The fruit of my hard work. Okay, I have to admit... It's not just me. I would literally still be sitting in my room cutting, stapling, and probably crying if it wasn't for all the help that Boyfriend has given me this past week. Seriously, he's the greatest. He keeps my head on straight and is an professional laminator by this point. I also need to give a big shout-out to my fellow 2nd grade teachers. They put up with my incessant questions, give me advice, and (most of all) assure me that everything is going to be okay! I'm loving all of the staff and teachers so far :) I will have to come up with some great nicknames for the next post.... 

But for now, it's off to do some more cutting and labeling. Until next time...

Peace, love, and creative madness,

Monday, June 23, 2014

Slowly But Surely

Hello again!
This whole summer blogging thing is really throwing me off. I don't know if I apologize for not writing often enough or if I should shout SURPRISE! because you really never know when the next one's coming... smile and wave, my faithful readers ;)

Today is already June 22nd. JUNE 22. WHOA! Where has all the time gone? Holy moly I can hardly believe it. I feel like the school year is sneaking up on me... but luckily, slowly but surely, I am getting ready. One of the first steps I've taken in getting ready is revisiting my classroom! Eeek!! Last week my Momma, baby dingus sissy, and I drove up to tackle the classroom. After a quick stop for some supplies we entered my (clean! Thanks janitor guys!) classroom and began where I left off... cleaning out/organizing all the cool crap, I mean supplies that a previous teacher left for me. :) My Momma, a former teacher, was really struggling with my decisions to throw things away. "Jayna, really?! You can't throw away all these pipe cleaners and cotton balls! What if you need them?! These beads... uh. You're killing me. I can't believe you're doing this." Okay, so she did talk me into keeping a few things, but those things are now organized and stashed away in the cupboard, ready for the year.

Next, we got to do the fun part! Bulletin boards! I know it's early, but we went out and bought some fabric to start decorating for my owl/nature themed room (yes it's been decided!). I found the CUTEST owl fabric to cover one of my boards. And although I was seriously tempted to cover my room is pinks and purples (it is MY room after all...) I remembered that I will have quite a few little boys in my classroom and decided to go for a bright blue and some green instead. I took some pictures, so I suppose I could let you see for yourselves! Here's the 360* view...

 A beautifully (staged) picture of my baby sissy and Boyfriend who also came up to help arrange the room :) This is the back of the classroom!

 I rearranged (and by that I mean Boyfriend did) the back corner of the classroom to give my desk(s) some space! I still need to find some cute curtains for my windows. Suggestions welcome!

 This picture shows the side of my room... not exactly arranged the way I want yet. I'm thinking about designing a tree in that corner behind the TV as one of my next projects. Fingers crossed that hanging things from the ceiling doesn't break fire code!

 The front of the classroom. Ahhh... needs some work still :) 

This corner holds cubbies and all of our designated math manipulatives. Also, notice the science Foss materials on top of the shelves. You heard it here folks, Miss Specht is a science teacher. 

Finally, the last picture! Those cupboards are much more empty than they were when I first moved in, but there is still good stuff in there. I'm fortunate to have so much storage space. Guess that means I'll have to get more "teacher things" to fill it up with :) 

I know it's still going to take a lot of work, but I am already feeling so much better about my room. (I'm such a worrier.) I'm just happy to know that it's going to get done, and then I can focus on curriculum (that's important, right?) ;). 

Until I get to the curriculum part, I plan to busy myself with classroom projects such as
  • designing a reading space
  • making little seats for that space
  • a tree!
  • spray painting my inherited classroom supplies to match
  • acquiring small things like lamps and rugs to make my room more "homey"
  • organizing my books (I've inherited a gazillion)
  • deciding where/what to put on my bulletin boards
  • scouring the internet for (free) owl/nature resources

There is lots to do, and seemingly lots of time to do it! But I know that the rest of the summer will go by fast. Although work keeps me busy, I also feel like it sucks all my time. Especially Fridays and Saturdays. While everyone else is all "Yeeee! Weekend!!"I'm like "Welcome to the park, let me grab my day hiking fanny pack and lead you down a trail, on an adventure, where we can discuss nature and every cool fact I've learned over the past 4 summers here." I do love my job :) I'm also excited to start at school... as a real life teacher lady. But first, I've got some fun things to do!
  • Joe Nichols concert
  • sand volleyball tournament
  • Colorado road trip
  • Family vacation to WI

More updates on all that fun stuff later :) That's all for now!

Until next time...
Peace, love, and big plans, 

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Summer Lovin'

I know that my blog is mostly dedicated to teaching. As my future (exactly 2 more months from today!) profession, it seems like a pretty solid choice to write about. Kids are crazy, silly, and often annoying, and education in itself can be backwards, ridiculous, and stressful... but I love it. I'm so excited to love what I do and embrace the challenges, struggles, and rewards everyday. But that's in August. So until then, I'm living that summer dream, meaning... 
  • I work two part time jobs. One answering phones (bleck) and one planning and presenting outdoor educational programs like hikes and crafts and nature games (LOVE!)
  • I work out 5 days a week
  • I live at home
  • I spend most of my free time hanging out with my 14 year old sister. She's awesome. 
  • and mostly I'm just bored.
So I spend a lot of time thinking about the future. As of today, my future roommate and I have secured an apartment! Insert happy dance here!!! With that worry off of my shoulders, it's on to the next thing... getting settled in my classroom. I know I'm not the only person to go through this process... but, like, how do you do this whole classroom thing? Like cleaning out the rest of my room? Or arranging it? Or deciding on a theme? Or figuring out what I'm going to need in the room? Orrrr I don't know, just the whole thing? I'm not saying that I'm worried. But I'm a little worried. 

You're probably thinking, "have some faith Jayna!" Yeah, I know that it will all work out. But I'm just a worrier. However, since I can't do anything about all of those unknowns right now I'm trying to focus on things that I can do. Like settle on a theme. Maybe it's the part time job speaking... but I think that an owl/nature theme would be really cool. Plus think of all the awesome puns. 
  • Owl love 2nd grade
  • Look whooo's been reading.
  • Math is a hoot!
  • Pygmy a good book! (That's a Pygmy owl. They are stinking teeny and adorable.)
C'mon people, the possibilities are endless! I also think I would really like to have a nature room because (in my opinion) nature is calming. With the craziness of school days, we're going to need as much "calm" as we can get. Obviously my room is still in the very early planing stages, so let me know what you think! I know you've all got great ideas :) 

Anyway, I know this has been a bit of a pointless blog. But honestly, I'm just looking for things to do. I really miss school. I really miss my college friends. Living at home again has been more of an adjustment than I thought. Although I'm worried about the unknowns in the future, I am also excited to start doing things soon. This in-between-transition-stage of life is hard. 

Until next time... 
Peace, love, and sock tan lines, 

Friday, May 30, 2014

A Brand New Day! (Which was actually yesterday... Oops!)

Hello again blog world! It's been so long since we've seen the light of day together! And I figured that today might be a good day to post beeeecaaauuuussseeeeeeeee.... I GOT MY NEW CLASSROOM TODAY!

Wait. What?

Let's back up a bit. Since I've last posted, lots of things have happened. Mainly, I GRADUATED!
 See? Got my Derploma! Just kidding :) 

But for real! It happened!!

Also, I GOT HIRED! At a school! For real life! In a second grade. So that means a couple of things... As of August:
1. I am moving.
2. I will be commuting!
3. I will have a new roommate :) A high school friend to add to my long list of awesome roommates!
4. I will be teaching second grade in one of four classes, at a school of about 550 next year. (Woofta, big girl job!!)

Now you're all caught up... Kinda. As much as I'm going to refresh ya'll on anyway.

Flash forward to today. I am here, at my school, in my classroom, on my computer, blogging. Pictures to follow... like right now! 


(Notice Boyfriend.. he came up to help me organize, clean, and move heavy stuffs. Also notice boyfriend's scrubs... he got hired for a real big boy hospital job! So proud!)

...side to side!
It looks nice, but people hear me out: That room is chalk full of STUFF. Another (very experienced) teacher's old stuff. Which is cool, but also kind of a pain because I have to go through and organize things, decide what I might use and what to throw away. The cabinets pictured below were literally PACKED with stuff. Most of which has been thrown out. Lots of which was cerca 1962-1989. (I tossed out an old tape player (we don't have tapes anymore) and an ancient record player. Children's nursery rhyme records included and all.) That's older than me, it had to go! Today was a good start, but my room is going to take a lot of TLC before I really feel comfortable with it... Like it's actually mine. All in time!

So there's the official update! Yippee! While I'm thinking about it, here's a quick synopsis of the past 6 months that we (the blog life) missed!

  • A fantastic Christmas Vacation.
  • A whole semester of taking boring college classes. People, I'm talking required 400 level and other 100 level classes that I conveniently "overlooked" for 3.5 years... Yuck.
  • A KC trip with Boyfriend to see a Jason Aldean concert. SO FUN!
  • A super awesome indoor track season in which I qualified for Nationals in the 400 and 600 m dashes. I went and competed in the 600, finishing 15th. 
  • A relaxing spring break trip to AZ with some lovely college ladies.
  • An Antioch retreat. (Go God! haha) 
  • Applying to and interviewing for numerous elementary positions, and accepting one :).
  • BCU Spring Formal! 
  • Outdoor track season... less successful than indoor, but I still achieved some personal records!
  • A trip to WI with Boyfriend. 
  • A Timeflies Tuesday concert with my middle Sissy.
  • Easter Break.
  • Boyfriend's graduation, my graduation, both our 22nd birthdays, many friend's and both of my sissy's birthdays, and two friend's weddings.
  • Senior week filled with life-long friends, cold drinks, good food, and most importantly, many priceless memories. 
Sheesh, I have been a little busy. Of course, the madness doesn't stop now... I am spending the summer working for my parents and at the State Park. Which basically means that I get to either answer phones and surf the net or play outside with campers all day. (And get paid for it.) It's awesome! Luckily (and kind of unluckily), for the first time in a long time I'm not a competitive athlete. That means I have nothing to train for, and really no game plan for workouts (and actual free time. Weird). It's probably a blessing in disguise because I've been nursing a foot injury since January, but I still HATE sitting around and not working out. Gah, I just feel so yucky. I'm trying to stay active by biking, hiking, and rollerblading... but there may also be some INSANITY in my near future. I will keep you updated. 

It's late o'clock now folks, so I'm off to bed. Thanks for reading and welcome back :) I'm so glad to be blogging again! 

Until next time... 
Peace, love, and summer lovin,

Friday, December 6, 2013

A Rough (And Chilly!) Life

Today was the first day of my week that I was actually doing (important) things. Tuesday was spent watching BCU national volleyball play and Wednesday was devoted to CLEANING the room. Student teaching combined with the xc, vb, and singing schedules of my roommates left our dorm room looking very sad (and dusty) indeed. It's all cleaned and even somewhat organized now. YAY!

Let me tell you. It's a rough life without student teaching… NOT :)

Anyway, today I got up and went to volunteer at the Christmas Party for People with Disabilities on campus. There were three groups and one large room full of guests for the luncheon party. Now people hear me out. I am definitely a people person. I love kids and people and social gatherings but I am (regrettably and honestly) quite uncomfortable socializing with people with disabilities. Here's my problem. I know that these people all need to be treated equally, but they also do need special attention and certain treatment. It's just hard for me (with little experience) to find that line. I don't want to treat anyone above or below what they can handle. It's a concern of mine when it comes to future students too. I'm attempting to be proactive about this known weakness by embracing it. My J-term class will be "Living and Working with Autism". I'm hoping to expose myself to (and hopefully become more comfortable with) interactions with such people so I can skillfully deal with any future situation I'm in.
Here's some photo evidence :)

It was a fun time. I was all about the caroling/sing-a-long. Too bad I had to leave before Santa visited! :) 

After helping with the party, I headed straight to the NAIA vb tournament! I was very excited to watch my team in (what for my classmates) was their very last game. So strange to think that it should have been mine too. I love those darn girls. I'm incredibly proud of each and every one of them and beyond blessed to have them as friends. I'm also pumped that they went out on BCU's first ever win in the national tournament. What a season, what a team. 

I also sat by some fellow college friends/super fans/masterminds. Never underestimate the power of a large whiteboard. Our own personal (and appropriate, we promise!) commentary made the game even more fun. 

After the game I headed back to school and then to track practice. Today was one of our track workout days. Each workout day is hard, but I am proud to say that I have been running very well.  I'm hitting my times, the coaches are impressed, and I'm feeling great. This is what I've been working so very hard (all summer and all pre-season) for. Only 5 weeks until our first meet. I'm JACKED. 

Finally, I wrapped up my evening in a neighboring town visiting one of my semi-domesticated teacher lady friends. We made chicken fajitas and rice, caught up on each other's lives, reminisced on our fun summer memories, talked about things to come, made puppy chow, watched dumb tv shows and had a fabulous time. Life is good. 

Also (surprisingly), I'm beginning to get in the Christmas mood. There are some times that are acceptable for Christmas music. But being three weeks out still, there's about a 70% chance that I will still change the station if Christmas music comes on. Ha :) As a special treat, here's the links to a few of my faves!

One of my favorite versions of a classic :) 
And another Glee version… Sorry, but I'm convinced that all Christmas music should be sung a cappella. It's so beautiful, so pure.
12 Days

Enjoy and keep warm! Until next time…
Peace, love, and arctic temperatures,

ps- BRR.