Welcome to My Blog!

Being a teacher is full of ups, downs, and in betweens. I love the look on a students face when they learn how to read. I love when students can solve problems on their own. I absolutely love when students feel proud of their work, and want to share it with the class. This blog is going to be full of moments in the classroom, pictures, and sometimes videos. Take everything with a grain of salt, as it is my opinion & reflections.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Welcome to High School

My world has officially changed as I know it. I went through a whirlwind of fun this summer with the Teacher of the Year state finalist process. I am now happily working at an amazing high school full of the most special students. I have had a memorable first couple of days.

Monday: We went over rules and procedures. We introduced ourselves and talked about some interesting topics to begin with. We discussed preconceived notions and how to handle those. It was an enlightening conversation.

Tuesday: We kicked it back, elementary style. I had the students practice the procedures a few times, and set up the purpose of the class. I explained the rigor of the course and the expectation.

Wednesday: My favorite. Today we discussed authority, and I sought their opinion on what they wish teachers knew. It was so incredibly powerful to hear what these amazing students wish teachers knew.

Then we discussed photo analysis. We discussed preconceived assumptions of people, and how everyone has a story worth hearing. We discussed Human of New York archives, and tried to discuss what types of questions the creator of Humans of New York asked to elicit those types of passionate responses.

I love this school, and I cannot wait to see what this year holds.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Bittersweet Ending

Wow... This last day was absolutely bittersweet. We show up everyday to teach, as that is our job. The rare and beautiful thing about my fifth graders is they actually taught me this year. They taught me empathy, forgiveness, to embrace change with excitement and grace, and most of all- when something doesn't go according to the plan- enjoy the adventure. It was an emotional send off to say the least...but I truly cannot wait to see the amazing things life has in store for my forever fifth grade students.  #classof2022

Monday, May 11, 2015

A Beyond Exciting Day!

To say that it has officially sunk in would be a stretch. I have to start off my expressing my deepest gratitude for the many kind words and messages I have received- they mean so so much to me. The words, phone calls, messages, and cards I've received have made this even more incredible and memorable.

We live in a world that undervalues education and the professionals that dedicate their lives to it. I am beyond honored to have been noticed. As educators, we show up in our classrooms, symbolically 'close our doors' to the uncontrollable factors, barriers, and roadblocks, and we stand.

We stand for the student that cannot stand for himself. We stand for the student who can't be measured by a test. We stand for the student who didn't eat breakfast and needs a little support. We stand for the labeled student who needs to be reminded that they aren't defined by a label. We stand for the student that has lost more than they have had, and needs more nurturing than others. We stand for the parents, who did all they could to check their child's folder, and understand that sometimes it is our job to do the rest. Most of all, we stand for the future. I am honored, I am humbled, and I am so thankful to be in this profession with so many other educators that take a daily stand for their students. Thank you for doing what you do, near and far, and inspiring me to be the best I can be everyday.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Skype Day 3 /Reflections from a 5th Grader

Ireland (again)
The students in this class danced for us. They asked to say the Pledge of Allegiance, and we asked them to sing to us in Irish. It was a great Skype.  

South Africa
This skype was pretty amazing. It was a math teacher that performed one of the most amazing math trick ever. we take a four digit number, reverse the digits, subtract, and tell them all but one of the digits in the answer, and he would tell us which number we left out. A very amazing skype indeed.

Representative Smith
This was a pretty exciting skype. We got to meet a white house representative! I don't think very many people realized they were skyping part of the government. Nonetheless, I (and some others) were super excited to know someone who represents Florida in the white house. The skype, as a whole, was pretty phenomenal. The only thing is, the conversation had room for improvement.

Annie Fox "tween expert"
Walking into this skype, i was nervous. The setup was, there was a box of anonymous questions and random people would ask them. I was scared I would be called and get an embarrassing one. But, it was actually a pretty well rounded skype in the end.


No one could contain their excitement this time. The thought of talking to someone in the arctic is extraordinary, let alone actually doing it. We are all extremely grateful for skypeathon, because it gives us a chance to meet people like Jamie (that’s his name).

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Skype Day 2/Reflections from a 5th Grader

Pizza Chef
The third Skype of the second day, we're going in two feet at a time at this point. Like yesterday, everyone is excited for the most hyped Skype of the day. (it seems liked the most hyped skypes are at 9:30... *cough* *cough* swampy marsh)

Evaluation time! No wonder the skype was the most hyped! The chef made different styles of pizza and pasta, he was amazingly fluent with his movement and speech(except for when the cam froze, and we had to call back). His accent was so authentic, and everyone's faces lit up with amazement when he started creating his pie. In the end, the skype was definitely deserving of the most anticipated award.

UTC FWC (Mr. Bill)
This skype seemed at first like a less exciting one, but, it was actually a very fun skype. Mr. Bill (I just realized he's a financial helper, and his name is mr. BILL. Get it? Bill, as in, dollar bill. Coincidences are cool) spoke to us about financial aid, and even had a... not really lecture, that would imply it was boring... a... Yes, a presentation. That's what i was looking for. overall, the skype was very well executed and ended on a good note.

The skype this time was very smooth, the conversation was direct, and the questions were smooth (until someone *cough* *cough* me, asked if they eat blood sausage/pudding).
The skype in the end was well executed, and enjoyable.

NFL Pro (Mike Gruttadouria)
This skype, for some reason, didn't seem like it would be as exciting as it was (considering we met a pro f-ball player). But in the end, it was actually pretty exciting. In the end, I think this skype takes the cake for the 3rd coolest skype today so far.

Lisa & Mike Cohen
This skype was AWESOME. You've heard of child authors, you've heard of authors who write for children, but this dynamic duo is a mother and her young son who... get this... WRITE BOOKS together. This was a very touching skype. they wrote two books and a cd for their dog who died from cancer, and that's how they got started on writing books. The skype was amazing, and now takes 3rd place in the epic skype counter.

Yellowstone National Park Ranger
This skype was very refreshing. After all the emotional and inspiring skypes, it was nice to listen to one that was more... down to earth. I actually wrote most of the questions this round, and, not to toot my own horn, but, they were pretty good questions (#humblebrag). She showed us landscapes from the park, and it was humbling to see how beautiful the park is.

Dakota Shipp Tricks in the Rodeo

This was the last skype of the second day. Boy, what a great way to end the day (hey that rhymed).

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Skype Day 1 & Reflections from a 5th Grader

We had an amazing day yesterday! This year, the I had the students lead the entire event- I simply facilitated. They did amazing. Day 1 was a success. We Skyped: a class in Iceland, a class in New Zealand, a past NFL Player, a Night Zoo Keeper Website Creator, a children's author, a class in Maryland, the Co-Creator of Phineas and Ferb, A Museum of Paleontology, a class in Serbia, Badlands National Park, and we had a face to face pep-talk with Noah​.  Day 2, starting at 8:00 AM!

(See Below for a run-down of the day from a student)
Today, everyone is so excited for the first day of the fourth annual skypeathon! This is the first skype of the day, exclusive to only those that come to school early. Such a horrific feat must mean the skype will be extraordinary. More to come when the skype starts.

Now that the skype has been orchestrated, everyone is excited for the next skype. The skype was... decent. The questions weren't the smoothest, but, it was the first skype of the day and the
five o'clock shadows apparently hadn't been shaved and the breakfast hadn't been eaten. It was still, even regarding the speedbumps, an intro to the best week of the year.

Swampy Marsh (Phineas and Ferb creator)
Now the nostalgia is kicking in. Everyone is dying to know the creator of their favorite childhood show. It's started to rain, and the tension could be cut with a knife. No one can wait for the skype to start. Swampy hasn't responded either time we called, and the situation is getting awkward... to say the least...

The skype never started at the scheduled time, and everyone was disappointed when we had to leave a video message with all the questions we planned to ask. A somber moment in the skyepathon this year. Hopefully he'll message us back or send us an apology... something to... soften the blow...

Kevin Kurtz (author)
An interesting and inspirational skype. This time the skype was perfectly executed, the questions were smooth, conversation was good, and everyone was quiet and respectful (considering the room was filled with 1st graders and kindergarteners, that's pretty impressive).
Overall, it was a pretty amazing skype. (I write these during the skype, and as i wrote this, the photographer, teddy, poked me in the eye with his camera flash, and i missed something funny, apparently)

Night Zookeeper
This skype was... strange. The man who runs the "Night Zoo" seems like he believes in the magical creatures... we all knew it was to keep an illusion, but it still seemed... almost surreal...
Anyway, enough about my blabbing and griping about mythical animals, but, the skype was well executed. I'm not exactly sure IF he really works in a real zoo, but, he seemed pretty into the illusion. He was talking about an invisible giraffe and a.. time traveling elephant... He read one of the students stories, and was very kind and excited to see us so interested.

Badlands NP
This skype was very educatinal in a fun way. The ranger seemed really down to earth and seemed pretty cool. He showed us a couple of fossils, and even one that was a murder case... That had been found by a 7 year old girl. Overall the skype seemed like one of the best ones yet.

mirjana milovie (serbian english teacher)
Overall, one of the more exciting skypes. Everyone (at least a few of us) were super excited speaking to people from a different culture learning about OUR culture. Some people *caugh* *caugh* (Freddie) didn't make conversation, but, it was still a nice round skype in the end. At least it was very exciting, and their English was surprisingly amazing.

Derek Moore (NFL/Motivational Speaker)
Such an inspiring and motivational skype (what's more, he's a motivational speaker). he spoke of his  experiences as an NFL player. The question askers were so fluent, and the conversation was, well, the fluent speaking really made up for it. It was probably THE MOST exciting skype of today. I would say second but, the original first didn't quite work out *cough* *cough* (Swampy Marsh... Still a cool guy though).

Museum of Paleontology
This skype was very exact. Everything was extremely strict. I actually got to ask a question this time, and, i was extremely nervous. We learned alot though, so it made up for it. The skype was probably the third most exciting skype of the day.

Swampy Marsh (AGAIN)
YES!!! Finally, EVERYONE is super excited about finally meeting Jeff Swampy Marsh.

The most hyped skype that now takes number one best. The skype was almost PERFECT. The questions were smooth, the conversation was good, and the entire skype was just phenomenal! 

Noah (our teachers brother)
This was a surprise, as Mrs. R's little brother Noah came to speak to us. I asked a question THIS time also. He talked to us about success, and I really think he made a difference.

New Zealand

The last Skype of the day, exclusive to those performing an even greater more horrific feat than coming to school early... staying late (dun dun dun). The Skype was well executed, everyone was fluent, conversation was back and forth, and everyone was excited to answer and ask questions. Definitely a great way to wrap up the first day of skypeathon #4