Thursday, August 1, 2013

Back to School Goals and the Last Day of a Great Giveaway

I'm going to start off with a shout out to the folks at The Teaching Tribune.  If you haven't been over to visit, today is the day to do it.  This is the last day of their Hot Off the Press Back to School Exclusive.  The grand prize:  a Google Nexus tablet.  Yep, you read that right!  And if all the fabulous prizes they've given away weren't amazing enough, the blog hop they organized was a blast!  I have a folder on my laptop filled with freebies that I now have to sort through and organize.  Go enter while there's still time!

Well, we're all packed up (almost) and ready to head up to the Sierras for our last camping adventure of the summer.  We did the trial run with the three Wild Ones last week (pictures here) and it went so well that we've decided to bring them along for this trip.  It's not quite as bad as packing for a toddler, but the Wild Ones have a pretty full 'suitcase' packed with leashes, toys, treats, blankies, bones, dishes, etc!  I'm particularly excited about this trip because it is going to be the first time since my shoulder surgeries (yeah that's plural...long story) that I get to paddle my stand up board.  I've just started swimming again this week too so YAY!  Should be a fun get away! Anyway, all that to say this, I wanted to make sure to link up with I {Heart} Recess for the Back to School Goals linky before I left the land of internet connection.  So here goes:

Personal:  I had this same goal last year and I did fairly well with it.  I actually scheduled 'me' time into my day.  It is so easy to let it slide, especially at the beginning of the school year when life suddenly gets chaotic and crazy.  But that's when it is even more important to carve out some time for ME.  It might be exercising, reading, relaxing, playing with the Wild doesn't matter as long as it's MY time to do what I want to.

Organization:  I start off staying fairly organized and then, sometime in mid September, the piles on my desk begin to multiply.  So the goal is to file not pile.  I'm thinking I can stick to this until at least Halloween.  Beyond that, there are no guarantees!

Planning:  I've started a seed journal.  When a great idea pops into my head, I jot it down in my journal.  It isn't very organized, just a series of random seemingly great ideas scribbled down one after another.  I think I might actually start another journal and find a way to tab it so there's some sense of organization going on.  Anyway, I want to make a point of trying to capture more of those thoughts that race through my spinning brain.  The problem is that I do some of my best thinking in the shower and during my commute.  Neither is a good time for jotting things down!

Professional: I want to be the best mentor I can be this year. This goal is near and dear to my heart because I am mentoring one of the most wonderful new teachers on the planet.  I'm sure I've already pointed it out a half million times, but the newest member on my fifth grade team is my daughter.  It will be a challenge, at times, separating the mom from the mentor, but I know I can do it.  I look forward to this journey for both of us.  I'm sure you'll be hearing all about it on this little blog of mine.  In fact, I'm hoping she'll start a blog of her own to share her adventures.  

Students: On the first day of school, I tell my students that my job is not to teach them fifth grade standards, though I will.  It is not to get them ready for sixth grade, though I will.  My job is to prepare them for a successful life as an adult.  If I can get these children of poverty to believe that they have the potential to succeed in life, then I've done my job.  Don't worry, I'll be sure to teach them some math and language arts along the way.  I promise.  :o)

Motto:  Hard work first, personal best always! This is our mantra in Room 24. We chant it first thing every morning.  When students hand me an assignment, they know I'll always ask, "Is this your personal best?"  You'd be surprised at how many of them will actually walk back to their desks with paper in hand instead of turning it in.  

There.  I feel better now.  I've got some goals written down for all to see.  There's always that hint of accountability when you go public with your goals.  Now it's your turn.  Hop on over to I {Heart} Recess to link up with your own Back to School goals!


  1. What a great idea having a seed journal. I have a regular journal, but a seed journal is a great idea for accumulating good ideas. I found you through the goals linky and I'm your newest follower.

  2. Oh my goodness - had no idea your daughter was going to be on your team this year!!! I am teaching with my mom starting this year, too :) She is the media specialist, but still! So excited for the journey. Bet your daughter is, too!

    The Sweetest Thing
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  3. I'm your newest follower! I love reading your blog and look forward to learning more from a 5th grade expert! I just love what you wrote above in the students section- about preparing them for successful lives as adults. It's so important for me to remember that! Thanks for all the great advice- your daughter will be lucky to have you as a mentor!

    Floating Through Fifth