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.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Summation: A Celebration

Student teaching is over. Let me repeat that. Student teaching is over. Wow. I made it! And I did well! I can't believe how quickly the semester flew by… And that I only have one left. Life, you little sneak. There you go again blowing my mind and making me grow up...

Anyway, the last day of school went well. Like I said before, I was seriously tired (too much late night celebrating on Tuesday) all day, but the kids were great. They are sweethearts who showered me with a celebration of cookies and juice boxes. They also gave me well wishes and cute cards and gifts. They enjoyed their book marks which were coupled with sour gummy worms (book worm, gummy worms… catch my drift?). By far, the best gift of all was from my rockstar teacher. She assembled (with the help of the kids) a photo album complete with class pictures, action shots of me teaching, notes and illustrations from each student. It was so sweet. I think we are all going to miss each other very much…. even though I plan on going in sometime this week. Why, you may ask? To (finally) receive, read, and return letters to our elusive Nevada pen pals. Cripes. I'm glad we are getting all the writing and USPS (and secretary) details worked out before trying to be real pen pals next year! (That means YOU Miss v!)

Now that student teaching is over, I am taking some time to relax. I thoroughly enjoyed the company of each of my (crazy) extended family members over Thanksgiving break :). I LOVE having everyone together… even if we take up a row and a half at the movies or basketball games or wherever we decide to go. I also got to spend time with Boyfriend's family. It was nice to see them all… they even joked that I was "grandfathered in" and thus they were not trying to impress me anymore. I think that's a good thing!

Now it's on to relaxing via hanging out on campus for the next 2 weeks. The only obligation I have is daily track practice. In theory, it sounds amazing… I will let you know how long it takes before I get BORED. Hopefully I can find somewhere to work (and get paid… darn student teaching!).

Speaking of "letting you know"… The time has come to decided what to do with All Things That Glitter. I created this blog for the sole purposes of entertaining and keeping family and friends up to date on the daily life of my student teacher self. However, since I'm no longer a student teacher, I'm a little torn on what to do! I'm not going to have things to write about every day. Let's face it, I'm back to being a boring college student. I can't just pull in adorable 7 year old writing if I'm out of things to say anymore! But I do think that I'm going to keep the blog. I will update it occasionally. So hopefully ya'll will stay tuned for more updates.

Until then… here's some photos of real life: Jayna Lu edition.

 Da boys.

 I meant what I said about taking up entire rows!

 The two newest (and cutest!) little sweethearts. 

 Getting him to hold still for this one was a challenge :) 

 Frozen! Maybe not outside, but definitely in theaters!

Always remember to take silly pictures too. This one is definitely accurate :)

Thanks again (and as always) for reading.

Peace, love, and a questionable blogging future, 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Heard and Seen

Today was kind of madness for things heard and seen around school today. Here’s a glimpse.

In journaling…
“If I were a pilgrim I would watch the gras. And I would have a hat. I would have a cote. I would have a bered. I ould have a fire. I would have a fire for food.”

“If I were a pilgrim I would feed the sheep. I would ride on a ship. I would take care of the other pilgrim’s. I would hut for turkey’s. I would go to bed. I would build a house. I would go to school too.”

From the mouth of my rockstar teacher…
“The natives are getting restless.” (about the kids)
“Looks like we have another casualty.” (she’s so sarcastic and witty!)

From a book one of my students made for me…
We Love God

(pg 1) We love God because God loves us and we love him very much. We love him because he is our gather we can’t see him but he can see us doing whats right or wrong.
(pg2) God is up high and were down below. Some people do bad deeds. Some people do good deeds. Some people do both deeds. Everyday people can be mean or nice or both some times.
(pg 3) God is our father because he created us. We are God’s childern. God sends angles to watch over us every day and night. God made us with love in us.

The End Love

From the back of the classroom…
I also think that some of my kids ate jumping beans for breakfast! They are skip-hopping all over the place this morning… although I asked and they said that they had rice crispies. Same thing?

At recess…
“You’re pretty!”
“Twenty-one! You’re twenty-one!”
“Miss Specht, I love you.” (Followed by a hug and a wink. Those darn kindergarteners will be the death of me I swear!)

Holy wow. Speaking of the death of me, I’m feeling a little like death on my last day. I even had this blog written and just hadn’t posted it (as of last night). Oops! Operation stay awake is a goooo!

Until tomorrow (or today?)
Peace, love and a tired last day,


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It’s Like Christmas!

… But really it’s not. It’s just the end of the semester! I have been planning and plotting and attempting (unsuccessfully) to make gifts for the kids, teachers, and staff at my school. Here’s what I’ve done so far…

For teachers and staff I conjured up this little note and left donuts and keurig coffee packets in the lounge!

Pretty crafty (and YES I actually wrote it! No internet help needed!)

And here was the (2 hour long) process of making bookmarks for my kids. I will be laminating them tomorrow!

The final products! Each one includes a personal note on the back :) (Student teacher of the year? Maybe.)

Still to go is the gift for my cooperating teacher… There will definitely be a heartfelt thank you included. Maybe a flower arrangement? I don’t know!!

Finally, I had my last student teacher meeting today with my rockstar teacher and my professor. After lots of discussion of strengths, weaknesses, and areas of growth, in was unanimously decided that I had earned an A for the semester! Yippee!!! The hard work has paid off! Two more days and then I will have about a month to celebrate and one more semester of real classes. Holy wow.

Time flies when you’re having fun. Speaking of, it’s late o’clock! Goodnight blog world!

Until tomorrow…
Peace, love, and late night crafting,