Jewelry for Sale!!!

Hey Ladies,
So I know this is supposed to be a blog for teaching, but I have decided to take on another creative way to bring in some extra income . . . jewelry!  I have a website on Etsy; www.Etsy.com/shop/LittleMissMegan.  I have a special offer for you as well!  If you become a member of my Facebook Fan Page, I will send you a coupon code for 15% off your first order!  :)  Enjoy! 


Personal Blog

Hey Girls...and maybe Guys!
Just wanted to let you know that I have started a personal blog about my year, pre and post 2010. If you'd like to follow it, I have it set to private, so you'll have to message me your e-mail address if you want to read! :) Hope you're all having a great Valentine's weekend.



Wow, another month gone by…where did January even go?!?  I have gotten myself very involved in school since the holiday break, and I am going to take this time to tell you all about my adventures. 
I am a member of the Recruitment and Retention Team for our school district, which basically means that I have to sit through monthly meetings where we discuss ways to keep teachers here.  Well, I also humbly volunteered myself to create a 2 minute presentation (via DVD) of my school and another one of the town.  So I’ve got until Wednesday to get said DVD presentations completed…yes, I burned myself on that one.  So anyway, I am trying to get started on the school presentation, but it seems as though no one on staff has any “good” photos (or any photos, or they just do not care about my ‘job’ of making North look good) for me to use, so tomorrow-in the snow, I am going to have to go out and take some lovely looking pictures to use for the project.  Wish me luck on that one. 
I am also a new member of the Wellness Committee for our school district, which makes me double as a “Coach” and head team leader for North.  I was not chosen for this assignment, but Sarah was, so after she put in her resignation, I told her that to save any frustration and/or stress, I’d take over for her.  Anyway, we had our first meeting last week.  As a team, we’ve decided to do a fitness challenge across the district.  It’s similar to Highway to Health, and I am personally, really excited about it.  However, I think I might get some slack from my co-workers about it.  I mean, I am the coach, but I also weigh 108 pounds and am pretty small, so I’m afraid that some of our heavier employees are going to be resistant about that.  My goal is that I get at least 15 of our 29 teachers and teacher assistants to participate! 
This week at school, we had “snow” days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Wow.  Seriously, that is the only thing I think about that.  In North Carolina (at least where I’m at), snow days for me translate to ‘Do not come to school if you feel it isn't safe for you, but if you do not, you will have to make up 8 hours a day for every day that you do not work.’  So, of course, I went in on Monday (3 hours late), went in on Tuesday, and made up 3 hours that I owed on Wednesday.  Today, we had school – on a two hour delay.  Tonight, it is supposed to snow/rain, which will likely freeze.  This means that we probably will not have school again tomorrow.  And again, wow.  This makes me very stressed out, because there is always so much to get done when you don’t have students, and it is always important to do as much as possible, because the days without students are usually few and far between.  Also, planning time is never really an option for me to actually accomplish anything, because we get 45 minutes in the morning (four days per week) and then 30 minutes in the afternoon (five days per week).  The morning planning time is usually taken over with meetings and/or computer questions and issues – that I am the only one who is able to help with.  The afternoon planning is just too short.  I’m not sure whether you have ever tried to get anything even semi-important completed in 30 minutes, but it is near impossible.  ;) 
On a rosier note, today in school for Morning Work, I had my students write.  I put a prompt on the board, and was amazed with what they wrote!  The prompt was “In the snow, I…” so then during writing time, we talked about editing and what it meant and that we can self-edit or peer-edit or teacher-edit.  Then I paired the students by ability level and had them switch their papers (in first grade)!  They did such an amazing job with fixing spelling errors and missing punctuation and capitals!  I was and am so so so proud of them.  So after their friends had edited, I edited, and they re-wrote their pieces on another sheet of paper with all of the corrections and brought it back to me for a final check, they re-wrote again on the final copy paper (to be displayed in the hall)!  They started to draw pictures to go with their story (because we are getting really, really great at making sure our picture matches our words), but didn’t finish.  My hope is that we will finish tomorrow, I will mount them all on 9x12 construction paper and hang them up in the hall for ALL to see!  I am once again, a very proud Mama.  After all, I do get called “Mom” at least three times per day!  :)  I’ll end this post with the one thing that absolutely made my heart turn to mush this morning…one of my students, a little girl who has some cognitive delays, said to me this morning “Oh Miss Smith, I just missed you so much!  My mom wouldn’t let me play in the snow because she didn’t want me to get sick, and I just missed you so much!  I was sad that we had no school because I didn’t see you for so long!”  Oh.  My.  Lord.  I am in love.  Seriously, is that not the sweetest thing EVER?!?  I love love love my sweets.  They are so precious.  And if I can’t smile about anything else in a day, I am glad to say that I can smile about those kids.  They make me happier than words can ever express, and they are the reason I go to work every day.  
Night all, sweet dreams.


A Few Roses... (for tori)

December (cont’d)

Ok, so now I was FINALLY home for Christmas break. I got to spend a ton of time with my family, which is always amazing. However, this blog is solely for the purpose of things pertaining to teaching, so I will get on with that. Christmas came and went, and a few days after, Sarah left me a frantic voicemail stating that she took a very low-paying job teaching at a KinderCare and was quitting North Carolina. Of course, at first, I freaked out a little…but it all worked out and I now live in a cute, charming, old house in the country. (ROSE) I also have a temporary roommate until July, to split the already amazingly cheap expenses of living here. :) (ROSE) So anyhow, most of the second half of December was spent at home with the people I love and care about, which is exactly what I needed. (ROSE)


School started again on January 5th, so I got back the afternoon of the 4th so that I could have a day to just relax and veg out a little. School has been wonderful since I’ve been back from break. The kids have been awesome and I have seen a really big improvement in their reading skills and question-answering ability. The responses I am reading in their Reading Journals are more in-depth and more focused on the topics, and their overall writing has greatly improved, which means that I am doing my job! (ROSE) I am such a proud mama of my little sweets. They work so very, very hard for me. (ROSE)
On a side note, regarding moving to a new house and transitioning, I have to say that I have some amazing friends here in the south. I moved every item that I possibly could from my bedroom and linen closet three weekends ago, to the new house. Then, two weekends ago (MLK weekend), I moved everything from the kitchen, bathroom and living room over here…myself. On MLK Jr. day, Amber and John offered to borrow John’s dad’s truck for the day, to move all of my large furniture for me, which I gladly accepted because I own a Pontiac Grand Prix, which would not be able to move my queen-sized bed or my couches or my kitchen table, etc…so now, I am in this cute, amazing, cheap, fantastic, lovely, and wonderful home in the country! :) I just got a little carried away with the adjectives, but I really love my new home!



So ok, I can't sleep what with all of this packing, moving, and unpacking going on, so I guess I'll post a blog. I said earlier that I hadn’t posted anything from the past four months, so today is your lucky day! Where oh where, should I begin?!?

Some background information to help you understand:

roommate = Sarah

principal = Kate

new principal = Amanda

friends (here) = Tasha, Kayla, Amber, John (Amber’s husband), Sue

friends (not here) = Phil (boy I thought I was crazy for), Kara (teacher friend in another state), & Ingrid (bff from high school, also located in yet a different state)


Ok, so this month was a wee bit stressful. I was very sick for the first part of the month and this did not make teaching easy. I had a horrid cough that crept up every time I tried to speak, and I felt absolutely awful in more ways than one. The roommate (Sarah) was mad at me because she thought that all of “our” friends like me way better than her, so she spent much of this month being cranky and rude. I seriously contemplated moving out, but with absolutely no options and no money (I’m a teacher, remember?), that was not feasible. I also had a ton of work-related stress, as my principal (Kate) made me feel inadequate nearly every minute of every day that I was at school. It started when one of the second grade teachers told Sarah that she and I were on the “hit list” this year. Now, let me explain the “hit list.” Last year, Kate sort of targeted two second-year teachers. She hassled them, made them feel awful, and then asked them not to return when they had their final review in May. Also, let me tell you that Sarah wears her heart on her sleeve-and I mean fully exposed. She takes everything to heart and this can get a bit messy. So anyway, I get home from school one day and she says something like “Such-and-such told me that you and I are on the hit list this year, and the principal was in my room ALL day today.” So naturally, as a female, in my head, I was like ‘yeah right, just because she was in your room all day does not mean that she’s out to get us.’ And I went on with things…boy, did I ever underestimate the power of badgering. From the next week on, Kate shared the duty of “visiting” (a.k.a. observing our every move) both mine and Sarah’s classrooms, making us feel inferior and useless. I called my parents hysterically crying basically every day and worked on lesson plans and school stuff for every single minute of every single day. Even on weekends. One day during guided reading in first grade (my room, with 12 students), you would have had the pleasure of seeing the Reading Specialist, Sarah (principal), Lead Teacher (think Assistant principal), and Mentor “observe” me. This nonsense continued to stress me to the max until October, but then (hallelujah) Sarah took another job and we were “principal-less,” which deemed the Lead Teacher in charge. I thought that this was amazing.


So principal is gone. Sweet, wonderful, fantastic Lead Teacher is in charge. I continue to be stressed, but it is a fraction of the amount that I was stressed when we had a principal. I had a really nice time during October. In fact, I dressed up as my favorite book character, Junie B. Jones, for Halloween. It was amazing. I loved my kids, and I could see major improvements in my teaching and their learning. I was so happy with the positive things going on in my classroom, and the fact that I didn’t have so many people breathing down my neck. Seriously, it was the best. But then, I realized something that made me feel really, really thankful, but really, really bad at the same time.


The district hired another principal in November, but she wasn’t able to start until after Thanksgiving because she had to finish out a 30 day notice as an Assistant principal in a neighboring district. So…I was still feeling really good about how well my students were learning and how well I seemed to be teaching. It was like magic! So this is what I realized: Throughout all of that stress of worrying about why all those “experts” were observing me EVERY day, I didn’t even let the thought that they might have just been trying to make me a BETTER teacher! It was like a major light bulb went off in my head. I was a better teacher because of all the extra work I had put in and all that stressing! Oh my GOSH, I couldn’t believe it. And what I didn’t mention, is that principal (Kate) took a promotion at Central Services in our district. Conveniently, I live right behind Central Services, so one day just after I’d realized that she had been molding me into a much better educator, I walked myself over to her office. This was right before Thanksgiving, and I did not find her in her office. Instead, she was in a meeting. She saw me in the hall and came right out to me. And this is what I said to her: “Kate, I have a confession to make.” To which she worriedly replied “Oh, ok, what is it?” This was my response “I was so busy stressing out when you were in and out of my room and all that last month, that I didn’t realize what you might have been doing. Although I couldn’t see it at the time, you helped make me a better teacher. I see my students understanding my expectations because of the way I present them, and I am seeing so much more learning in my classroom. My teaching is so much better and so much more clear! So thank you.” The next thing will knock your socks off, SHE HUGGED ME! And said, a little choked up, “Megan, I am so proud of you. Thank you so much.” It was such a huge revelation to me, and all I can say is this, things are not always how they seem. I assumed that she was trying to make me look bad and maybe she was, but every bit of stress and worry helped me to grow immensely as an educator, and I am super thankful for that.

About this time, I was feeling really sad because I thought I wouldn’t be able to afford to go home for Thanksgiving, and I hadn’t seen my family since early August. God answered my prayers less than a week before Thanksgiving break. One afternoon, another teacher and I were having a little heart-to-heart because she thought I was upset with her. I wasn’t, but it was nice to have a heart-to-heart…and she asked whether I had decided on going home for the holiday, to which I replied “No, I can’t afford it.” (Just a side-note here, my parents also can not afford to pay for a trip home either, because Dad was laid off for the last year). The next morning, she came into my classroom and said “Megan, I couldn’t sleep last night and so I asked God what He needed from me. He brought to mind my first semester of college. My mom had breast cancer then, and I was all registered for classes, but a family friend had to take me to campus to pay for everything. When we got there, I couldn’t help but worry to myself about how I could not afford even one class, let alone a full load. When our friend and I got up to the counter to pay, my friend said “I talked to my husband last night, and we know you can’t afford to go to college. We’d like to pay for your first year.” and she and her husband paid for my first year in college, so immediately I knew what God wanted from me, take this.” And she handed me an envelope with a card in it. I opened the card, and inside was enough money for me to drive all 16 hours home AND back. YAY for my being able to be with my family! Isn’t God amazing?!? Then, the next morning, I found another card in my mailbox at school. It was from our darling secretary. She had recently asked me whether my Dad had gotten a job, and he hadn’t, plus I was feeling very upset about the idea of spending Thanksgiving alone in this small town, mainly because I just missed my family. Well, inside the card was a check, and the card said this “Megan, maybe you and your Mom can have lunch on me. Just the two of you. Love you! I even talked to my hubby about it!” OH. MY. GOSH. The Lord loves me! I can’t tell you how emotional those two days were for me. Wow! So, I drove the 16 hour journey home in one day…to my family for Thanksgiving.


Came back to the south to teach first grade…December was a breeze. We only had three weeks worth of school, so that was a nice thought as we gradually crept closer to my two-week vacation up north with my family (again!). Sarah and I attempted to trek home as soon as we were permitted to leave school on Friday. We got about what normally would have been two hours from our little home, but was three, due to a winter storm…maybe you can recall the one? Well, Sarah and I were stuck in MAYBERRY, NC for TWO DAYS. In a HOTEL. Need I mention again that I AM A TEACHER!?! I do NOT have ANY extra money for a HOTEL. And then, to top it off, the second day, Sarah was sick; miserable with the flu. Needless to say, although it was an incredible inconvenience, I had fun exploring the area. I visited many sites from The Andy Griffiths Show and took many photos of the interesting things I encountered. I would be happy to accept you on facebook if you’d like to see my photos.

AND…I will blog about Christmas break and the new principal later gator. Night all, I’m out.




So yes, I'll admit that it has been OVER four months since I have last posted, and a whole lot has happened in that time...I will update later with my life as a first grade teacher from September 7th until now (January 14th) later. I have to say this though, life is something we can predict and it isn't something that anyone should take for granted. I love kids, that's why I teach. I don't do it for anything but the kids. So, tell a child you love them today and MEAN it. It might be the only time they hear it. I tell my students that I love them every day and that shows them that someone in their life truly cares. I'm just a girl, in a small town, but to some, I'm the only consistency and safe haven that they've got. Thank you "Forget Apples," you've made my day. :)