Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Way to make a girl feel loved!!!

Hey there!  I woke up this morning in an okay mood, but brightened up when I saw a wonderful comment from Amanda at Teacher at the Wheel.  She had nominated me for the Liebster Award!!!  Amanda and I were both featured on Common to the Core's New Teacher Blog Tuesday post together.   If you don't know what that is, it's an award for budding bloggers.  I've only been blogging for a few months but, it has been such an awesome experience and I've gotten to "meet" so many wonderful, helpful, and funny teachers from across the country.  But that's not where the coolness ends... I was also nominated by Tiffany at One Fab Teacher.  Tiffany was one of my very first blogging buddies.  I love her enthusiasm and great ideas!

So according to Amanda and Tiffany, here are my "rules" for accepting this nomination:

1. Link back to the blog that nominated me

2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers

3. Answer the questions posted for you by your nominator

4. Share 11 random facts about yourself

5. Create 11 questions for your nominees

6. Contact your nominees and let them know you nominated them

Here are my questions from Amanda
1. What's your favorite subject to teach and why?
I love to teach all of the areas of English/ Language Arts, but I have a special passion for teaching writing.  I know we've all heard it before... a kids comes to you and says, "I hate to write!" It just breaks my heart, because as a first grader, they are just too young to be so jaded.  And so it becomes my personal mission to change that child's perception and make them LOVE writing... and I'm proud to say I have a really good track record in this area.

2. Tell me about your pets (or if you don't have any, what kind of pet would you get if you could have anything?).
I have an almost ten year old english bulldog named, Otto.  He's the best dog!   You know how they say dogs look like their owners... well now you can picture my hubby, LOL!  I'm glad he doesn't read this... but seriously, it's true!  Otto is getting up there in age (the vet says that bulldogs who make it to double digits are "noteworthy") but we're not telling Otto that. 

3. What's something college did NOT teach you about teaching that you wish it had?
Gosh, it's been 12 years since I graduated, but I really feel like I had a great foundation for being a good teacher even before college.  I come from a family of teachers.  My mother was probably the person who taught me the most about what a good teacher is.  She retired from teaching elementary school 3 years ago after 28 years.  I ALWAYS knew I was going to be a teacher and read every teacher type book she read after she did from when I was in high school on.  So, honestly I'm not sure if I could pick something that college didn't teach, because if they didn't, my mom covered it for me.  But if I HAD to pick something, I think management is what you have to figure out on your own, because every teacher has slightly different expectations and tolerances.  

4. If you could make any unhealthy food super super healthy so it's no longer bad for you to eat, what food would it be?
OMG!  I could write a novel.  I love junk food!  If I could eat it all the time and stay healthy, I would!  But I guess, I'd pick ice cream.  I know you can get in low-fat but who are we kidding... it totally doesn't taste as good!

5. If you were bitten by a radioactive spider, what super hero power do you hope it would give you?
Octopus arms and super multi-tasking abilities...  I have two young boys who keep me on my toes.  They are ALWAYS getting into some kind of mischief.  Plus, as a working mom, I know many of you know how hard it can be juggle home life and school life so if I was able to do it all and be Super Mom and Super Teacher at the same time, that would be awesome!

6. Tell me about a memorable student that you've taught.
Over the past 12 years, there are so many memorable students (for so many different reasons).  I'm just going to go with the first one that pops into my mind for a positive reason.  I student taught in the district I still teach in.  One of my fourth grade students that I student taught is now back working as a substitute teacher, as she works her way through college to become a teacher herself.  It is so rewarding to have her stop by my room every time she's in the building to ask me questions or observe.  It's a great feeling to give back to a student who you just know is going to be an awesome teacher.

7. What are your favorite movies? (notice this is plural...feel free to pick more than one!)
My all-time favorite movie is The American President.  It comes on TBS fairly often and I always have to watch it whenever I see it.  I also love Fools Rush In, and Pitch Perfect is becoming a great go-to fun movie.  I love chick flicks but I usually have to wait until HBO to see them, as the hubs is not a fan of the genre.

8. To where would you like an all-expense paid vacation?
Hawaii, never been and would love to go.

9. What's the last thing you said out loud?
"Landon, go to sleep!"  This is my blogging time and my three year old must take a nap so mommy can retain my sanity.

10. What's something you would like to change about education in our country?
The collection of data that never seems to change anything.  Now don't go thinking I am bashing data collection because there is definitely a place for it.  To show growth, to document interventions that may or may not be working, etc.  But sometimes it just feels like I spend more time collecting data than even teaching.  I realize though that it's not going to change... this is just me venting!

11. What are some of your favorite blogs to read?
That is SO tough!  I think my favorite blog to read is A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  Kristin is Hil-ar-i-ous!!  I also love to read Erica Boher's First Grade and The First Grade Parade.

Here are Tiffany's questions for me.

1. What's your favorite color?
 2. Why do you teach?
It's what I love to do!  And if you read above about my mom and the rest of my family, it's what is in my blood!
 3. What's one of the best lessons you've taught?
I used to have a lot more freedom in what I taught but, my district has adopted some programs and texts that I have to stick pretty close with but, I still magage to throw some of my style in.  I think the Bucket Filler lessons many of us do at the beginning of the year have a great impact on our students.  I also enjoy teaching about history (Thanksgiving, Columbus Day, Civil Rights).
 4. Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook?  
I don't do instagram... yet... we'll see.  One thing at a time.  I LOVE pinterest for new ideas but Facebook is great for quick communication.  
 5. Iphone or Android?
iPhone.  I've had one for many years and it's like an extra appendage... one that I'm not sure I could live without.. J/k... no, not really, hehe!
 6. If you could take your students on an all expenses paid field trip where would you take them?
Hawaii... oh wait... I have to take the students!?  Can one of the all expenses paid be for tour guides for the kids so I can hang on the beach?  
Oh okay... how about Disney World, but I'm giving myself the best group of kids.  I'll spread the trouble makers out to the other chaperones.  Stop... I know what you are thinking...I'm a teacher, I can totally make Disney World educational. 
 6. Flats or Heels?
Flats.  I'm pretty tall already (taller that the hubby)  plus, I think I'm becoming an old fuddy duddy.  My feet hurt!
 7. Who is your favorite blogger?
Sorry, Tiff!  I'm copying from above...
That is SO tough!  I think my favorite blog to read is A Teeny Tiny Teacher.  Kristin is Hil-ar-i-ous!!  I also love to read Erica Boher's First Grade and The First Grade Parade.
 8. If you could live anywhere but where you live currently where would that be?
We vacation in the Outer Banks of NC every summer and I love the slow pace of the south.  But I also do like where I live (between Philly and NYC)  because  everything you could ever want is close by.  
 9. Favorite hobby?
I love to do Zumba... actually I should probably save this post to get ready for my class tonight.
 10. Soda, Water, or Tea?
I am a Diet Pepsi addict.  Yes, I said it.  The first step is acceptance, right?  But I do love my hot tea in the winter time!  I'll drink that instead in the morning.  
 11. What's the most frustrating thing about blogging?
Putting a lot of time into a post you think is awesome and getting no comments.  I'm trying to comment more on others because I know how good it feels.  I'm also having trouble getting by FB page off the ground but, I'm trying to be patient.  

Here are my 11 random facts!

1. I like to sing and used to be pretty good.  Now I only sing in front of my kiddies or in the car by myself. 
2. I have two sisters (I'm the middle one) who are teachers, too.
3. I love to watch all of the Bachelor shows.
4. I've read all of Nicholas Sparks' books but, am still waiting for one that doesn't make me cry like a baby.
5. I'm deathly afraid of balloons.  Why?  I have no idea!
6. I'm one of three daughters but, we have all had sons (6 boys in all).
7.  I like to drink craft beer (the hubs is even opening up a brewery in a few months with some friends).
8.  I enjoy hate running.  It depends on the day you ask me.
9.  I don't like seafood.
10. I love a good thunderstorm!
11. I love to go places, but I hate to drive.

And here are my nominees for the Liebster Award!  It felt great to be nominated so hopefully, those that I chose feel the same way!  I can't wait to read the answers to my questions for you!

Bridget @ First Grade Circus
Andrea @ Cheers to School
Natalie @ Recess and Beyond

Here are my questions.
1. Why did you become a teacher?
2. What is your favorite children's book?
3. Who designed your blog?
4. Where is the coolest place you've ever visited?
5. What is your favorite TV show(s)?
6. Did you have a favorite toy or stuffed animal as a kid?
7.  Do you have a favorite exercise you do regularly (or not so regularly)?
8.  What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
9. What is your favorite way to incorporate technology into your teaching?
10. Are you a Mac or PC person?
11. What is your favorite sport to play or watch?

Thanks again to Amanda and Tiffany!  You sure know how to make a girl feel loved!  I can't wait to see if I've been able to pay it forward to some other new bloggers!