I've had quite the response with questions, so I'll break it up into a few posts. On Friday I'll tell you about my favorite organizing tools, since many people has asked that.
What is your favorite book?My favorite book is Stuart Little by E.B. White. I don't really read any organization/craft/diy books. I spend most of my time reading children's and teaching books. I have recently finished The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. It's amazing. I'd recommend it. (Can't wait for the movies!)
What are your hobbies (other than blogging and organization)?I'm addicted to Pinterest. Seriously, addicted. I'm a total tech-geek, so I spent a lot of time on my PC. I also love sale shopping, going out to eat and to the movies with my husband, and teaching. Even though teaching is my profession, I would also call it a hobby because I absolutely love it... which is why I spent too much time in my classroom before and after school. I really do enjoy staying home though and doing absolutely nothing with my husband.
Do you have plans for children?Yep! Maybe in 5 years from now? I'm 24, and would love to have them now, but financially we
Do you have plans for buying a home?Oh my goodness - I'd love to buy a home tomorrow, but again, financially we aren't able to. That is definitely on our list of things to buy ASAP so we can stop throwing our money away on renting. I can't even imagine the fun I could have decorating and organizing a home of my own. Oh - and I could PAINT! =]
What made you decide to go to the U of U?Well, Chris and I started dating when we were juniors in high school. That summer his dad and stepmom visited his aunt in Salt Lake City. They loved it out here and sent us out for a weeks vacation. While we were out here, they took us to the U. Chris and I both knew, even before we started dating, that we wanted to go away for college. I just wanted something different and always wanted Colorado for some reason and he wanted Oregon. So we liked the school and decided on the U. Regrets? Not really. Just the student loan debt we acquired. Should have gone to a community college first. Oops! =]
As of now, we plan on staying in Salt Lake. (Sorry, Mom!)
Do you theme your classroom?Not currently, and I don't know if I ever will. I know a lot of teachers who do, and they get so burnt out from it. If anything, my classroom is "themed" fun colors, kid-centered, and organized. (lol) I definitely will theme and integrate my curriculum once I get the hang of things in the future. For example, there are some great units on Teachers Pay Teachers where they them it The Wizard of Oz and then teach a bunch of literacy and math concepts within the themed unit. That sounds like fun.
If you could teach any grade, what would it be?I'd love to teach 3rd again, or 4th. Loved 3rd grade - didn't like teaching cursive. I loved the independence the kids had in the spring of 3rd grade, so I think I'd love 4th grade. Although 2nd grade is fun. =]
What is your perspective on classroom discipline?I use positive reinforcement constantly and encourage the kids to be responsible for themselves. I don't have any true classroom rules, just classroom expectations. When students aren't being responsible, they move down the behavior chart, but they can always move back up throughout the day. If they end the day on "teacher's choice", they fill out a behavior reflection. Repeat offenders have to take it home and have it signed, and if that happens, that's usually enough for them to not choose that behavior again.
As for the whole class, if they're just out of hand, I'll take time away from recess - with the opportunity for them to earn it back. When the whole class does something amazing, we pick a number for teamwork bingo. They're working towards 15 minutes of free time - which the activities will all be educational choices.
I also believe that the environment plays a huge role on how students will behave in the classroom. That's why I choose to make everything in my classroom super obvious and easy for the kids to "follow along" in, without making it too juvenile for their level. Being really organized helps as well.
Do you eat lunch in the cafeteria at your school or do you pack?I pack my lunch every day. I've never even considered eating lunch from the cafeteria. Not that I wouldn't, but I make my husband's lunch every morning, so I just pack mine as well. I just purchased the thermal tote from Thirty-One and absolutely love it. It does an amazing job at keeping my lunch cold with just one cold pack. I'll blog about it soon since it's a newly found fave.
What kinds of things do you like for teacher appreciation?Flat out honesty - no food, please. So many people give food - cookies, candy, etc. - and it just becomes too much. For example, just last week for Christmas - I received so many food items that, between my husband and I, we can't eat it all. I'm not a huge sweets person, so these things aren't something I'll indulge in. I love school supplies (pens, pencils, Post-It notes, etc.) because they won't go bad, and will get used up for sure at some point. Gift cards are nice, because they will also get used. Although, I must admit, I do still have about 3 gift cards from teacher appreciation week last year that I haven't used yet...just because I received so many. If I had to choose one "category" though, it would just be school supplies. Being a beginning teacher, it's something I totally need.
Tomorrow I'll answer questions related to my blog, organizing, home life, and any others I didn't answer today.
P.S. - If you want to ask a question, leave a comment below and I'll answer it tomorrow!