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Intentional Teaching in the New Year and Beyond

As we begin a new year, it is easy to throw out the old for all the new. You know the expression: "You can do all things, but you can't do ALL THINGS well!" Bringing intention to your teacher life can give you a feeling of accomplishment. All too often, especially in our profession,  the start of a year is about NEW and IMPROVED. We live in a do this, try that world. We try to "fix" or "redo" too much at one time. What if we switch our mindset around by creating a game plan consisting of a few strategies that could better serve you and your students? Intentional teaching is a way to do just that. We don't have to redo or rethink every area. Let's focus our attention on being intentional with time, co-workers, students, and our own personal life.

Let's start with being intentional with our time. 

 Whether you are at school or at home working, TIME is very important. Here are a few ideas for being intentional when it's time to work:
  • Free yourself of distractions! Put your phone away or shut your classroom door. Work for a set amount of time and then take a small break.
  • EAT the FROG! Mark Twain said, "If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning." What is your FROG? What thing must be done today? Do it now; don't procrastinate.
  • Make a list! As teachers, we tend to love lists! Whether you have a list started in your planner or you are Queen of sticky notes, do what works for you.

Next, be intentional with your work relationships.

  • Stay positive! This can be HARD given our day-to-day with student, parent, staff, and self-expectations. Find those around you that you can trust. Even if it is only one other co-worker, you need someone you can vent to and let out your frustrations, questions, and ramblings. If you are fortunate, you have a team that is there to let you vent and then those same people (your people) pick you up, brush you off, and encourage you to keep going, to keep being YOU! It's important to not stay down too long!
  • Be the co-worker you want to have. Smile, keep your word, and help others when you can. 

The most important: Be intentional in teaching your students.

What if we took what we already do well with students and made a plan with just that? Plot out a few things within your day and just show up doing what you know YOU do best? I'd call that a win.
Now don't start thinking, "I really don't do anything well." That is not true! You keep 20-30 humans alive every day. You make hundreds of decisions within a day, you teach them, deliver them, feed them, parent them, counsel them, grade at night, stay late for events, and that's just that start of most teachers' lives. As educators, we are always learning new things and we want to try out this and that. While I encourage you to continue to grow yourself professionally, don't throw out what makes you, YOU! 

What is it about you that others think you do well? When are other teachers pointed in your direction for advice or observation? Are you a relationship builder? Are you the master of differentiation or small group instruction? When a fellow teacher needs help with classroom management is your name the one suggested for a consult? 
  • Find your two best attributes as a teacher and let those qualities guide your intentional teaching in your classroom.
  • Being intentional in even the smallest "job" as a teacher can PAY huge dividends throughout the year in student work ethic, relationships, and academic growth! 
  • Find ways to apply your strengths in other areas of your daily teaching life.

Be intentional in taking TIME for YOU!

With all the things, it is sometimes so hard to block off time just for you that has nothing to do with work! You must take time to fill your own cup in order to have a full tank on intentionality for all the other pieces throughout your week.
  • If you can't dedicate a half a day to yourself each week, try to give yourself at least 30 minutes a day to just do what you want to do! Read, go for a walk, surf IG, do something for YOU!
Intentional teaching takes dedication and it's not always fun. There will be days/weeks you fall off the wagon. Please don't stay down! Find a way to get back up or ASK for HELP. Pick a few ways to aim for intentionality throughout your week. Part of being purposed for the week is feeling like you have a plan. If you need resources to help you be intentional, my digital and printable lesson plan templates can help you start and finish your week strong!

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Teacher Binder Bundle

With school right around the corner, many of us teachers are looking to get and stay organized for a successful year. {AND surprise! There is a bonus file now included for FREE!} My newest 2018 update to my Teacher Binder/Planner Bundle will help you get everything in order to start your year off! There are 15 different themes that offer something for everyone! Stripes, florals, cactus, pineapple... You name it, there is most likely a theme to help you keep you teacher life on track! These covers are just my favorite ever! Which one is your favorite? I have more than one:-)

Then you have the calendars! Oh, these might be my favorite part of the bundle! This update offers calendars that are now completely customizable so you can use them with ANY year! One page options are also included.  From color to easy printing black & white, I have you covered!

Lesson plan forms were also updated. Actually, let's be real..the ENTIRE file has been updated and I
love it! Lesson plans are now digital or printable and come in 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 subject layouts on a two-page spread. Thirty other teacher forms included to keep you on top of all that you, the busy teacher, keep track of on a daily basis!

The BONUS {Free thank you file:-)} is my new and improved Back to School Night and Meet the Teacher Templates! This pack is just full of goodness!

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Beliefs to ACTION Blog Hop: What Drives Me!

Beliefs to Action: A reflection on core education beliefs about relationship, parents, collaboration, failure, and technology.
Do you ever have one of those days? You know, the day in which you meet someone and you know you are made better because of it? The interaction or discussion leaves you changed and made better as a woman, teacher, or human being? Yea.  I know someone like that.  Her name is Whitney Alexanderson! She blogs over at With Love From Texas.  Y'all, seriously...she is not just ANOTHER teacher blogger.  She is the REAL deal.  I happen to be blessed to work with her day in and day out in fourth grade.  She is the cheerleader for our fourth grade team, and the students are changed by their time in her classroom! She inspires me big time! I hope you will follow her, she has A LOT to share!
When Whitney explained this opportunity for reflection to me, I was excited to participate and use it as a great way to dig deep on what I truly believe and energize myself before another fun and busy-filled year begins.  When crafting my beliefs I unpacked thoughts upon my experiences in education.  I call myself a hybird.  I have been a 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teacher as well as an elementary assistant principal for six years! So the hybrid in me sees many situation from the admin and teacher perspective.  Here is what I came up with as my SEVEN Education Core Beliefs.
Many of me core beliefs stand on their own, but there are a few I would like to share more about! 

No significant learning happens without a significant relationship! 
Relationships are KEY! I'm going to be brutally honest here, if you are in education and you don't care about building a relationship with students or parents, you are in the wrong place.  Kiddos flourish in places they feel safe and valued.  

Parents give us the best they have, and he/she walks through our door EVERY morning.
Don't miss this one, friends! It is easy to become frustrated by the little things in our teacher world each and every day.  Remember that these kiddos are the blessings from the LORD to a family.  Who knows the background on each child and family? Odds are, you probably don't! The family could have struggled with infertility for years and then THIS miracle happened! THIS precious miracle walks through your door every day! Open your eyes and hearts to the untold stories behind the kiddos in your class or school! 

TOGETHER, we are better!
It's not about the ONE, it's about the MANY.  Two heads are better than one.  There is no "I" in TEAM. Need I say more?

Failure is the best teacher.
This one is hard, especially for parents! Understanding that when we fail, we ARE learning! It's all part of the process! 

Last, but certainly not least is a quote from  George Couros, get over to his blog RIGHT THIS MINUTE! Great stuff!! Technology will not replace great teachers, but technology in the hands of great teachers can be transformational! 

Thank you so much to Whitney for this awesome experience! It is now time for me to send you on your way to the next blog in this fabulous blog hop! another sweet friend of mine: 

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