Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Little Dinguses

I'm not going to lie, last week was awful. As the first full week of school, we had more behavior issues than I care to think about. I really needed that 3 day weekend and I think that the kids did too. Because we came back today and it was awesome. No kidding, I was like super impressed (for the most part) with my 7 and 8 year old's abilities to follow rules, procedures, and directions. There was productive quiet like I've only dreamed of and times where they could talk, ask questions, and be silly too. Now I'm not holding my breath for another near perfect day tomorrow, but it is SO NICE to know that it actually can happen.

On that note, here are some hilariously funny excerpts from their journals last week (that I was just too busy/mad to type our last week)...

The journal prompt was, "write about what it would be like if you did not have a nose."

"I couldent snort and I would look difrint."

"I cudind bret."

"I will be unhpey if i have a nose i will tak fune."

"You could not see it. You could not wear gassis. You could not smell."

" You could not smell anething. I would miss the smell of pie"

"If i did not have a nose I would get a new nose. And i would mk shr it is prfekt."

"If I didnt have a nose I wouldn't be avle to smell or to talk regler like eneone and it would be sad real sad I would get picked on by my brother and my brother and my other brother and by my friend's and probly evryone else but that wont stop me from geting fiends!" <-- I think we have another Rambler folks!

"I woled screm like AHHHHH! in Pain. And that whold feel weird."

"I cud not smel the smok"

"If I did not noes I could not sniff enevything and that be bad because i could not sniff candy."

"If you diden't have a nose then some parts of your boty wudent exist. and you wudent smell."

"If I did not have a nose. I wood die."

And for the encore... Would you kiss a frog? Tell why or why not.

"if i was a priness and a prince turned into a frog i wuald kiss him  then he wauld turn back in to a prince."

"I would not kiss a frog beacse I can't find frog's And they are small and I do'nt whant to."

"No I would not kiss a frog becuese it wouldn't even in to a prince not even a frog prince. and there slimy and grows and wet probly. and they go on lily pades in ponds, and in lakes and there are grows things in there. so no! cuase there very very grows!"

Here's to another (short) week with my 25 little cherubs. Wish me luck!

Until next time...
Peace, love, and frog lips,
Jayna

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Worst Day Ever

Today was the first worst day ever. After a rough afternoon of behavior correcting and parent contacts yesterday, I was greeted at school with news of an angry parent phone call. Without going into too much detail, one of my students was too afraid to tell me she had an emergency bathroom situation and her mother was upset. So then I was upset. ALLLLLL day long. Which really sucks. It's hard to be a good teacher when you feel like you can't do anything right.

Deep sigh.

Thank God tomorrow is Friday. And thank GOD for a three day weekend. Miss Specht needs a break. A time out. What have you, I'm ready.

Until later...
Peace, love, and feeling uggghhhha;lse f[aijd;v;g,
Jayna

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The First Week

It's official! It's been one week! Does that mean I'm a real certified experienced teacher lady? I think it does! So that's kind of cool... :)

It's been a whirlwind of a week setting the second grade rules and routines, laying down the law, starting curriculum, and (of course) beginning of the year testing. Things are going pretty well... despite the fact that I have 25 students all to myself all day long and that I feel as though I'm constantly running around with my head half attached. (Hence why the blog has been so quiet!) While I hear that it's normal, I still feel incredibly stressed out. Sometimes I'm even stressed about things that I don't know about. One easy solution so far has been to let things go 80% over my head. That sounds bad, huh? But the truth is that (for all you new/aspiring teachers out there) a lot of what they tell you (and what I stress about) does NOT and cannot be done asap (which is the way I like to do things). Also, there are just too many things and not enough hours in the day to get them done. At some point, you have to A. ask for help and then B. just stop. Both of those things are easier said than done... but I am trying :) 

Alright, enough of bearing my soul... Let's lighten things up with some things said and heard around the classroom!

Me: "Class?"
Class: "yes?"
Me: "Class, class?"
Class: "Yes, yes?"
So simple and so stinking cute. And effective as an attention getter!

"Miss Specht, she said that I'm not funny and that makes me sad because I like to be funny."

Written in a journal... "My famliy is funy. They are jenerus." 

"In Mr. L's class, he lets us watch videos during snack time" "In first grade, Mr. L has us sanitize before we go to lunch." "Mr. L got a class pet." To which I respond, "Well I'm Miss Specht and this is second grade." 

Finally, one of my students has a parent who teaches 5th grade in the school. His dad, let's call him Mr. C had been asking me about our online reading testing because he wants his son to start reading and working at home. This morning he told me about the conversation that he had with his son about his online reading test. 
Mr C, "So son, how did your reading test go?"
Son/My Student, "Uhh I don't think it went very well."
Mr. C, "why not?"
Son/My Student, "Because I had to guess on a lot of my answers."
Mr. C, "Why did you guess on your answers?"
Son/My Student "Well it was either that or poop my pants!"
(My student had asked to go to the bathroom about 5 minutes in to the test, but it is timed so I couldn't let him leave!)
Mr. C, "Still you shouldn't have just guessed!"
Mrs. C, "Maybe you should have done a little of both!"

That's all for school news so far. How about some personal news?

The date is set! July 18th, 2015 I will officially give my heart, hand, and everything else to my wonderful fiancé :) Some details are planned... but who are we kidding, I haven't had much time for that!

Before I wrap it up for this post, I need to give a few shout outs! 

First, to my fiancé, for all of your help. For coming to my classroom, encouraging me through tough days, doing all of the things that I forget to do and for loving me long time. You da best. 

To my parents, because I am nothing without you two.

To my fellow teachers who are helpful in more ways than I can possibly describe. I look forward to seeking your expertise and sharing your friendship for many years :) 

Finally, to all of you readers and supporters. Thank you for asking me about school and life. Thank you for staying updated and for just being you.

Until next time...
Peace, love, and 2nd grade,
Jayna



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, 
Jayna 

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,
Jayna

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Grown-uphood

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,
Jayna



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, 
Jayna