Sunday, March 27, 2016

I Took the TpT Plunge!

I'm still in the shallow end...

OK, I'm basically just standing on the VERY FIRST step into the pool. My ankles are barely covered. Hey, at least I'm in the water!

I've been using TpT (Teachers Pay Teachers) for years now. I think I discovered it through Pinterest, and let's just say, I never looked back! It saves so much time!

I typically stick to freebies, but once and a while I will pay for an item (but usually not anything over $3). I am always in awe of all of these teachers who dedicate their own time outside of the classroom to create these adorable and practical activities!

I've recently done a quasi-reboot of my blog. I finally set up a Twitter and Instagram account for City Teacher/Country Teacher. It has been amazing connecting with other educators! One of my favorite things is watching live Periscopes where I can ask veteran TpTers questions about how they create and market their products. I am learning a lot, and I hope to apply some of those tips soon as I begin adding things to my new TpT store!  Right now I am keeping it simple and playing around a little bit with pretty standard activities I had made in years past. It might take me a while to add to my store as I figure out what programs work best to create those fancy, clip-art cute products!

I have been blogging for almost three years now, and it has definitely been a learning process. Obviously, I did not (and do not) expect that I will become a sensation overnight just because I added more social media options! Although it would be nice to one day have....

Any TpTers (new and old), I'd love your advice and encouragement! I am so happy to have recently discovered a new community of fellow teachers who just want the best for their students!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Teacher Totes

I am always interested to see what other teachers carry as a work bag. They are like magic portals into the world of educators!

When I first began teaching in NYC, I thought it was more important to be fashionable than comfortable. Little did I realize that schlepping work back and forth on the subway in my fancy designer bag would end in serious shoulder pain! Sometimes it is so painful I can't even pull a shirt over my head :( 

I realized the importance of making sure that I am carrying the right bag that will fit all of my teacher tools and not leave me permanently lopsided! Backpacks and cross-body bags are definitely the most friendly. When I have a lot of stuff to carry (data binders, TE's, etc.), I use my favorite Cath Kidston backpack that I bought in Notting Hill during a summer trip to London. I try to remember to keep it in my car in case I have to bring anything extra home from school that won't fit into my regular bag. 

Right now, when I don't have a lot of stuff to carry to/from school, I am partial to my Longchamp tote. It is foldable, water-resistant, and roomy. I got mine monogrammed for a little something extra, since it is a pretty basic bag. 

Something that I have started doing recently that has been a lifesaver for me since I do switch work bags every now and again is to store the important, smaller things in little pouches that I can transfer from one bag to another. I have one pouch that has advil, lip balm (Burt's Bees, natch. I'm obsessed with the new coconut-pear flavor), band-aids, and gum. Another pouch has a back-up iphone battery, extra ear-buds (you never know when you might need to wait somewhere and could be listening to an audiobook or podcast), and some pens/pencils. I like using LeSportsac pouches, because like the Longchamp, they are durable and water-resistant. 

Obviously, I am always on the lookout for the next best teacher tote! Here are a few options I have rounded up!

A punchy print on a cute cross-body from Better Life Bags!

The gold polka dots on this Herschel backpack brings in some fun!

This Ella Tote from Tory Burch for all you teacher fashionistas! 

What are your picks for the best teacher bags? I'm in the market for a new one for the fall...

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kindergarten Cop


Update: I am now teaching Kindergarten! Andddd I also have new sympathy for Detective John Kimball...and that dude didn't even have a teaching degree! Props, Ah-nald.

Actually, I have been teaching Kindergarten since November, but it's been kind of a transition so I haven't blogged about it yet.

Remember how I struggled at my tutoring job and resigned to pursue private tutoring? Well, it turns out that one of the parents of a tutoring student had a contact with a small private school in the area looking for a permanent replacement Kindergarten teacher. I went in for an interview, and next thing I know, I am teaching half day Kinder three days a week! The best part is, my new school is very understanding of my commitment to the two full days I teach at the project based charter school, and have organized a plan for the days I am not available. I plan the lessons and activities, and the reading specialist executes them for me.

Teaching Kindergarten has definitely been a huge shift for me. Most of my teaching experience is with second through fourth grade. I am adjusting to the needs of such little learners-- and here are a few of my favorites!

1.  Uncontrollable bodily functions-

2.  ZERO regard for personal space -

3.  Short attention spans-

4.  Trying to figure out what "fair" is-

Sometimes, I get really frustrated, but those little munchkins are just so cute and lovable. By the end of the day, all is forgiven. Ah, the perks of being small and adorable! I truly am excited to be in my new position and gain experience in a different grade level. If any teachers are reading and have tips for teaching Kindergarten--pass 'em along, please!
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