Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Teachers love Oklahoma

By now I am sure you have all heard of the devastation that hit Oklahoma Monday night. It is times like this that I realize just how much I have to be thankful for. My home is safe and sound, as are the people who live in it. I went to school today, and got to see all my students, just like any other day. Sadly this is not the case for our friends in Oklahoma. Their lives have been turned upside down. Lives have been lost, homes have been lost, and their lives will never be the same. They need our help!

It is times like these that I feel so fortunate to be a teacher, and to be a part of the teacher-bloggers community. I have met so many amazing people from around the world through blogging, and I have to tell you I have always known it takes a special type of person to be a teacher, but I am always amazed at the generosity of my fellow teachers.

Twenty-four hours hadn't yet passed since the tornado hit, when a fellow teacher-blogger decided to turn off the news and do something to help. Within a few hours, and the helping hand of the teacher-blogger community, she had organized a fundraising campaign, with which all proceeds will go to the Red Cross in Oklahoma.

If you are one of those teachers who wants to help, but just doesn't know how...this is how!

Go over to The Teacher's Treasure Chest and make a donation, you will be happy you did!

For a $25.00 donation, you will receive over $200 worth of teaching products created by some of the top teacher-authors on TpT!

My thoughts go out to all those affected by the devastation in Oklahoma.
Please know that you are in our hearts.


Monday, 6 May 2013

It's Teacher Appreciation Week!

Be honest, how often have you felt truly appreciated? I have been teaching for 8 years now, and I can honestly say...teaching can be a pretty thankless job! Don't get me wrong, I love my job, but I can probably count on my hands the number of times I have been told, "Thank you" by one of my students. This likely has to do with the fact that I teach teenagers, so let's face it, the world revolves around them and sometimes we are just along for the ride.

Needless to say, no matter how it looks in the moment, we are all making a difference in our students' lives. For most of them we are the only consistency in their lives, and though they may not realise it today, tomorrow, or even a year from now we are making an impact! You are there to smile and say good morning, you are there to stay into lunch hour when they need some extra help, you are there to help celebrate their birthday, you are there to coach them after school, and you are there at home planning for them and hoping that they are safe and sound until you see them again tomorrow.

Sadly, the only people who truly understand what we do are other teachers. Until you have stood in front of a classroom, and allowed each student a place in your heart, will you truly understand what it means to be a teacher. I strongly believe that teaching is not a job, it isn't even a profession, it becomes your way of life.

Be honest...

You've had to bite your tongue from disciplining random children in public?

Your spouse has told you to stop using your teacher voice at home?

You collect random junk because you can find a use for it in your classroom?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you are a true teacher at heart!

I would like to leave you with a personal story. I had a student during my second year of teaching. He came from a good family, but was just an angry individual, who put minimal work into anything he did, and questioned everything I did. Needless to say...he drove me crazy! I pushed him to be the best he could be, and he pushed me right back! Fortunately mom was incredibly supportive and we were in constant communication. Despite his demeanor, I requested that he stay in my homeroom for grade 9, just so I could keep that connection with him. He went on to a different school for high school, but mom continues to email me to this day. When he graduated at the top of his class a couple years later, mom demanded that I come visit. They sat me down and told me that when they think back I was the one who turned their son around and got him on the right path. I figured my old student would be embarrassed about his mom inviting me over, but when I got up to leave he hugged me... and thanked me! WOW, it was five years in the making, but I got my thank you, and let me tell you it was worth it! Currently that student, who was barely passing his classes in junior high, is studying engineering at university!

This goes to show you, even when you have those days that make you feel like giving up, you are making a difference, and hopefully one day down the road a past student will come back to thank you!

So today, I would like to give a shout out to all the teachers out there, you are all amazing, and you are very much appreciated! Those countless hours you spend outside the classroom are appreciated, those amazing activities you create are appreciated, and everything you do for the betterment of your students is appreciated! Keep up the great work!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. TpT is throwing a 2 day sale. Save up to 28% on some amazing resources to help you do, what you do best...TEACH!

Graphic courtesy of Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah Designs

Sunday, 5 May 2013

A little about me...

So...I'm a little nervous about my leap into blogging! Honestly, the first thing that I said to myself was, "Do I really have anything that interesting to say, that people are going to want to read about it?"
So I am taking a leap of faith that someone out there, will be even slightly interested in what I have to say. If not, well I plan on talking about what I love - teaching math, so at least I know I will read it, and maybe my mom!

So I figured in my first post, I will start out easy and tell you a bit about myself.

I have been married to my high school sweet-heart for almost 8 years. He is also a teacher...he wasn't when I married him, but I guess I rubbed off on him. Let's face it, those first few summer holidays off on my own got a little boring!
I use to think my most important job was being a teacher, but that changed 2 years ago when my son was born. Now my most important job is being a mother, followed closely by teacher. Ever since I can remember I wanted to be a teacher, there was never any other option for me. I blame my mother for this...she would drag me into her classroom any chance she got and put me to work (to this day I despise cutting out laminating!). Honestly though, my mom is my inspiration. I have seen how many lives she has touched, changed, and helped through her years in education. When I grow up, I want to be just like her! :)

I am currently teaching grade 8 math in a junior high in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (Yes, I am a very proud Canadian!) I have been teaching middle school math for eight years now, and I have also taught social studies and science in previous years. I am currently working half-time, so that I can still spend some extra time with my son, and watch him grow.

I LOVE teaching math! I know, it's a rare trait! I didn't care for math through most of my own schooling, but when I think back there were a few teachers that sparked my interest. When I got to university, I was trying to determine what my teachables should be, and to be honest, math was the one that seemed the most bearable! As I started my journey towards teaching, I found that I really loved math, and I enjoyed sharing my love of math with my students. My goal has always been to help kids make real life connections to what they are learning in my class, only then will they truly see its importance! I am forever planning and thinking of new and innovative ways to teach math to my students and I cannot wait to share these ideas with "you" and see the multitude of awesome ideas out there that I haven't found yet.

The real reason I decided to start this blog is because of Teachers pay Teachers. I will be honest, the reason I started on Teacher pay Teachers was to make some extra money while I was on maternity leave, but what I have gotten out of it is so much more than that. It has changed the way I teach and opened up this whole new collaborative world to me. I have met so many amazing people (from all over the world), who like me, love what they do and just want to share their ideas. I have also managed to find a few more math geeks like myself!

Here are some of the amazing blogs you need to start following if you aren't already. These ladies are the ones who inspired me to take this leap of faith.

Runde's Room
Finding Joy In Sixth Grade
Miss Math Dork
Lessons from the Middle
4mula Fun
Teaching in the Early Years

To thank you for stopping by, I wanted to leave you with a FREEBIE. This poster is my most downloaded item on TpT, and I believe that it should be posted in every math classroom (or at least something like it) to reinforce the importance of learning math! If you have already downloaded it, do so again, as I just updated it!

Think you don't need Math? Think Again!
A FREE poster for the Math classroom!

That's all for now. I hope I convinced a few of you to stick around, there's more to come!