Monday, September 7, 2015

Classroom Reveal!

After three weeks of hard work, I'm finally ready to reveal my very first classroom! The teacher that was in my classroom before retired after 30 years of teaching. While she left behind a lot of great resources for me, I walked into a completely bare classroom. As a first year teacher, you can imagine my immediate excitement, followed by a feeling of 'Oh no, where do I start?'

Here it is!!

This is the view when you first walk in the classroom from the hallway. I chose to set my desks up in this arrangement because I'm a walker while I teach! This allows me to walk and talk to my students, going by their desks and making sure they are on task. I only have 18 students this year, so this setup really works to keep my students close to the front of the room and the smart board.
A side view of the desk arrangement.
I have so many bulletin boards in my classroom! Like seriously, who else has a whole wall of bulletin boards? I'm one lucky teacher. I used all of this space to create bulletin boards for each subject. This picture shows the math, guided reading, and writing boards.

This picture also shows the writing board, along with the ELA board. The blue hanging charts will allow me to put the standards that we are learning in each subject. I already printed them and have them hanging and ready to go!
When I first started organizing my classroom, I had a normal teacher's desk. However, I am not the type of teacher to just sit at a desk, even during my down time. Plus, it was huge! It took up so much space. Some of the other teachers on my hallway use the cabinet and counter space beside the white board for their desk area, so I did the same. It is so much more practical to have my chair and computer right next to the white board.
This is the cubby area in my classroom. It is a separate area in my classroom for the student's cubbies and storage. Since I have such a small amount of students this year, I have so much room for all of my supplies. I had a lot of extra blue and purple bins so I used those to organize all of my math manipulatives. You can also see all of my binders and common core books!
This is how I chose to organize the common core ELA domains. Each bins consists of the domain book, resources, and any supplemental materials that I will use to teach that domain.
I call this the 'good morning - check in' spot of my classroom. This is where students will turn in their homework, take home folders, parent notes, etc. There is a sign on the side of the bookshelf that has a list of reminders for the morning routine.

This is my reading area. This carpet was originally at the front of my room under the smart board, but I would rather meet my students in an close knit area towards the back, away from the distraction of the smart board.

My beloved rocking chair! My mom found an old rocking chair at a flea market and we refinished it to match my classroom d├ęcor. I just love how it turned out. It's comfortable and perfect for those meetings at the rug.
My classroom library is organized by subject. I used the blue and purple bins to organize the books, which were graciously left in the classroom by the former teacher. The top row includes all non-fiction books, while the bottom row includes all fiction chapter books.

This is where we keep all of our extra materials in the classroom. Pencils, paper, glue, scissors, highlighters. You name it, there's a spot for it here.

This is a fun little idea that I wanted to incorporate into our morning routine. After students put their backpack away and turn in their homework, they get to answer the question of the day, which will be displayed on the smart board. They will have magnets with their names on them to choose their answer.

I am feeling great as we approach our first day tomorrow! I hope my students enjoy the bright classroom as much as I do. Oh, and those owls!

Monday, July 20, 2015

My Teaching Portfolio

I'm on the hunt for my first teaching job, EVER! Since I will be interviewing a lot (hopefully) in the next few weeks, I knew that I needed a way to present all that I have learned so far in my teaching career. I did a lot of research online, and it seems to be a good idea to create a teaching portfolio.

A teaching portfolio allows you to display all kinds of things related to your teaching career. It's also an easy way to reference certain things during an interview and it's great if you can actually show them what you are talking about!

For my own teaching portfolio, I wanted to incorporate my looooove for owls. So I designed my own cover page, table of contents, and title pages to match what I was looking for. Here's what it looks like:

Cover Page
I didn't put any owls on the cover page. I wanted the front of my teaching portfolio to be professional, with a touch of color. I feel like yellow represents confidence and happiness, both of which are essential to the interview process.
Table of Contents
I initially had twelve different pages, but I thought that was way too much. Plus, when I went shopping for tabs, there were only eight tabs in a pack of the kind I needed. I'm kind of OCD, so I wouldn't buy two packs and just use four out of the second pack. I just couldn't! So I decided to combine a few pages together to get it down to eight pages. Eight pages = eight tabs. Perfect. This page is also where my beautiful owls start to make an appearance.
For the eight pages, I color coded the owls with the corresponding color of the tab. Told you I was a little OCD. I bought the eight tabs in rainbow colors, so each of the title pages has one owl on it with the matching color.
Title Page
I wrote my philosophy of education while I was in graduate school. It's only a total of two pages, double-spaced. It pretty much goes over my journey to become a teacher, my motivation in becoming a teacher, and my teaching style.
Title Page
Since I am a first year teacher, my resume does not include much! It's one full page long. I included my education, both undergraduate and graduate, my certifications, student teaching experiences, teaching related experiences, and trainings that I have received. For my references, I included three recommendation letters that I received from my two cooperating teachers and my mentor teacher.
Title Page
Title Page
Title Page
Title Page
Title Page
Title Page
Adorable, right? In any other job field, the owls and colors would be inappropriate. But in teaching? It just shows them that you are creative and colorful, just as teachers should be!
I have my first interview tomorrow, but it's a phone interview so I won't be able to show the principal. But I will still have it right in front of me to reference during the interview. I'll let you know when I get the opportunity to show a principal, I'm sure they will be impressed!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I've finally decided to take on the role of 'teacher blogger'! I wanted to be able to share all of the amazing experiences that I am having as a new teacher, and what better way to do that than joining the blogging community?!?

My journey to become a teacher has been a long one, but well worth it. I have known that I would be a teacher from a very young age. I always envisioned myself having my own classroom and passing down my love for learning. I am nearing the end of my Master's degree and beginning to search for my first job as a certified teacher! It's an exciting adventure, but it's making me very anxious. I have high hopes that I will land something quickly. I believe that my passion, creativity, and hard working nature will shine during this journey.

I hope that this blog helps you through your teaching journey!