Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A LITTLE ABOUT ME

Hello Divas!
This is my FIRST official Blog Post! WooHoo!!!  Before I get into WHY I started this blog, let me tell you a little bit about myself.  I am a 26-year-old Wife, Former Pageant Queen (hence the "diva") and a Teacher...although, I am taking a break for a little while due to getting married and a recent move! :)

My sweet husband and I met in our 10th grade science class.  We started dating Senior year of high school and it was the BEST decision we ever made! He is extremely kind to everyone around him, has such a lively personality, loves his mama, and can be silly and goofy with me whenever/wherever! It's been a total of 9 years together and we've been married a little over 5 months!  He is more than I could ever ask for. He is just the BEST!!! My Love. My Life. My High School Sweetheart. Love You!

Chaz and I went to college together. I graduated with both Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in Early Childhood Education/Curriculum and Instruction with an ESOL endorsement. During this time, I did countless practicums in grades Pre-K through 2nd grade.  I interned with the most AMAZING kindergarten teacher and she taught me so many skills (especially classroom management) that I put to great use in my own classroom a year and a half later. While I was getting my Master's degree, I was a substitute teacher for grades Pre-K through 5th and worked as a Graduate Assistant for the Early Childhood Education Program.

I realized 5 VERY important things during this time.

1) I have more experience in the primary grades.
2) It is important to have an organized classroom environment.
3) Classroom management is crucial to a successful school year.
4) Children need differentiated instruction. They all have different needs.
5) I LOVE TEACHING. That "lightbulb" that comes on when a student learns something new or has an "Aha" moment is so incredibly rewarding!

So, here are the juicy details...
I completed all of the necessary requirements to become a certified teacher. Check...Check...Check.

First Interview....1st Grade. I CRIED. Yep, I am so embarrassed to even say that. I was terrified and nervous. Even though I had TRAINED for this, I wasn't confident and it showed. I didn't get the job.

Second Interview... 3rd Grade. Most of my experience is in primary, so although I wanted to be hired at this particular school that I had been subbing at for MONTHS, it just wasn't the right fit. Again, the confidence wasn't there. I didn't get the job.

"THIRD Time's a Charm," they say! A week prior to this interview, I had competed at a state pageant and had placed 2nd Runner Up out of 72 gorgeous and intelligent women! WOW! I had returned home with more confidence, as the "interview" part of the competition was weighted the most heavily. During this teacher interview, I felt like I actually BELONGED to this school and that I could do a great job. I was confident. I knew I could contribute something. Low and behold...I got the job! :) Everything happens for a reason.  I couldn't ask for a better school!!! God ALWAYS has a plan bigger than your own. Give Him control.

I finished my third year teaching Kindergarten this past May (May 2016). I was SO sad to leave, but my husband had been up north for work for almost a year and a half without me at this point. Ah! We got married in Spring of 2016 and I stayed in Florida to finish out the school year. I ended up moving from Florida to up north in July. Whew! Thank goodness it was warm, because that is NOT the case now!!! The high was 48 degrees yesterday...BRRR! I am used to it being around 75-85 degrees this time of year!

So, you may be asking why I didn't decide to jump right into a teaching job! My husband and I discussed at length how this next year would progress. We decided that we would like to take this year for "us" before we have any children. From what I hear, your life changes forever when you have kids!!! We decided that the best decision would be for me to take this next year "off" of teaching so we can focus on building our marriage "From The Ground Up" by continuing to develop a strong foundation. I am working my at-home business on the side, but we are able to spend plenty of time together when he gets home from work and on the weekends. We actually have TIME to go hiking, mountain biking, and eventually we will be going snowboarding! :) We wanted to spend this next year getting our first real "home" set up and organized. Plus...I rushed out of my old classroom very quickly and I had a LOT to organize as far as school supplies go! So, granted, I've been spending time going through bins of construction paper scraps, markers without caps, and broken crayons. You probably know the feeling...This year is my year to get ORGANIZED. The good news is...I LOVE organizing! :) I also love crafting and I am obsessed with my new Silhouette! Those ideas will be posted here as well, along with Pinterest-inspired crafts! So, I have plenty to keep me busy while I'm not in the classroom.

However, I have been seeing all of the neighborhood kids going back to school and all of my teacher friends posting about their AMAZING classrooms on Facebook and I just can't take it anymore! I have to at least be involved in the teaching and learning community until I have my own classroom again! :) Therefore, I created this blog in conjunction with my new YouTube channel to stay involved in education even though I am not PHYSICALLY in the classroom at this moment in time....but fingers crossed that I will be soon!!! I hope y'all understand!

So...plans for this year include: substituting, getting all of my classroom materials and new house organized, possibly seeking out a teaching job (Oops! Wasn't in the initial plan...), YouTubing (Check out my channel! - A Classroom Diva), and Blogging!

I am always open to new ideas, suggestions, comments, or questions, so please give me feedback along my journey! Let's bounce ideas off of one another to give as many teachers as many tools as possible to make their classroom the best learning environment it can be! Happy Teaching!!!

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