Another one of my favorite blogs Clutter Free Classroom is hosting a linky party to share your new year resolutions for your classroom. I so enjoyed browsing other's resolutions and coming up with some of my own! It is a great activity to get yourself mentally prepared for the upcoming school year.
As a brand new teacher and a brand new mom, my resolutions are really geared to getting me through this first year!
1. Start organized and stay organized! I am potentially the most unorganized person in the world; but dream of being so. I always begin with the best of intentions, but end up failing when it gets hectic. I truly believe that part of me surviving this year depends on me staying on top of organization both at school and at home. I am already taking steps in this direction by getting the classroom and Rylan's nursery in order.
2. Manage my time. This goal will probably be determined by how well I achieve my first goal. As an almost mom, I already feel incredible guilt about spending time away from my little man. I will be going back to school only 11 short days after having Rylan (that is if he comes on the day of my induction.) That is one of the reasons I am working so hard to be as prepared as possible. I want to be the best mom and teacher I can possibly be.
3. Watch my classroom spending habit. As a college student and student teacher, I spent an exorbitant amount of money during my internships. At one point I was spending upwards of $50 a week on my school store as part of my behavior system. I often felt guilt and the need to provide for my low SES students. (My school has 98% of our students on free or reduced lunch). Part of my learning experience was learning that my time and love means more to my students than the material things I can give them. I plan on setting a certain amount of money per pay period aside for classroom expenses, and NOT going over that amount. I also plan to sign up for Donor's Choose and try to get my classroom adopted by a local business. One foreseen expense is going to be paper. Unfortunately I only get one case of paper a year and am expected to make a LOT of copies in the form of test prep for the FCAT...
4. Try my best NOT to get scared of the FCAT. Florida is ALL about the high stakes testing; and 3rd grade is one of the most affected grades. If my students don't pass the FCAT, they don't pass 3rd grade. This is a LOT of pressure on myself, my students, and my administration. Our curriculum is designed by our curriculum coaches in the county. Everything we teach is decided by someone else. This year our school has adopted a schedule for each grade. On this schedule, we are told what to teach, when to teach it, and how to teach it. When I first saw this schedule I wanted to cry. There is NO room for creativity or deviation from the schedule. So...my goal is to do my best not to get scared. Yes I have to use this specific textbook at this specific time...but who says I can't use white boards to answer the questions? Who says I can't use foldables or manipulatives while I use our "strand attack" materials? No one...yet.
5. Handle all things with prayer and a smile. This may be the hardest for me. With less than 6 days until I meet my little man, I am already having anxiety attacks about leaving him. I am scared that I will spend my days counting down the hours until I can hold him again and hurt my students by being ineffective. I am also worried about being the "new kid." Yes, I interned at this school last year for a semester, but being an intern and being a fellow employee are two different things. As of July 1, Florida no longer offers tenure to their teachers...those who have it, have it. One of the positions filled at my school was to cover a teacher on maternity leave and was listed as "temporary." However, the girl hired for that position will NOT be temporary (I went to school with her...she is amazing). A total of 4 people from my program were hired at my school. That means at the end of this year, one of us must go so the tenured teacher can come back. I am the only 3rd grade hire (the grade so harshly judged by the FCAT). With 19 days before school starts, I am already concerned about my position for next year. So...I will handle this the only way possible- with prayer. God never promised life would be easy, but He does promise that His plans are to prosper us and give us a hope.