#teacherstats

There is this thing floating around Facebook that I’ve seen several of my teacher friends post. Usually I don’t click on them or try them on my own, but this one was super cool because it was all about #teacherstats! Here is mine:

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It’s insane to me that I’ve been teaching for 7 years! And what’s even more insane is the amount of students I’ve taught. This is obviously just an estimate but for 6 years, I taught middle school (still technically do although 6th grade to me will always be elementary school) which means I taught a crazy amount of students. It’s a wonder how I was able to memorize all those names!

I didn’t always know I wanted to be a teacher. I’ve always loved school and I did well enough (A’s and B’s and graduated in the top 40 of my 500+ high school class– I know, I’m bragging). I can’t even say teaching was always in the back of my mind for a potential career because it never was. I knew I wanted to do something that helped others and somehow it ended by being teaching.

The first 6 years of my teaching career were tough. I taught middle school (already super tough) in a very low-income area of Phoenix. I had kids talking back constantly, kids who failed but were passed on to the next grade, kids who were (maybe) suspended for fighting/cursing at their teachers, kids who did drugs in the bathroom, and even a kid who threatened me and another teacher (a police report was filed; I still get notices and currently a warrant is out for his arrest). Really, to say it was tough was an understatement. And when you pair that with administration that looks the other way and provides no support to teachers, it’s a recipe for disaster. I get mad that I let myself stay in a miserable place for 6 years but it’s so easy to sign a contract (in March, mind you. The school year isn’t even over until May and you have to sign a contract for the NEXT school year months before) over the risk of not finding another job. The district also had the highest pay in Phoenix (even over swankier places likes Scottsdale) and there was no way I could take a pay cut to leave.

During this time, I researched other careers SO many times. But what else can I do with a Bachelors in Sociology and a Masters in Education? Nothing that required more school. And so I kept teaching, dreading each day and coming home absolutely exhausted.

Last March, I didn’t sign my contract. It was the best feeling in the world. I had no job lined up, no definite source of income coming to me in the future, but man, to submit my resignation letter was the best. I remember texting my mom a picture of my name on the school board minutes when the resignation was approved (and um, why does it need approval? Ridiculous) because I was that excited. The first few weeks of summer were stressful; I applied to dozens and dozens of jobs. And if I wasn’t applying, I was looking. Luckily I didn’t have to wait or look for too long. I only did one interview/demo lesson at another school before I accepted the job at my current school.

This past school year has (almost) erased all the poor memories of my previous teaching years. Despite the tough days that still do happen, I love my 6th graders. They exhaust me in a very different way than my previous students. This type of exhaust is a good one– they challenge me to be a better teacher and it’s sad that it took me 7 years to finally start being the teacher I wanted to be. And it definitely doesn’t hurt that my administration is the best. I now take pride in saying that I’m a teacher and don’t have to fake liking what I do. I still daydream about what it would be like to be a travel blogger or an interior designer, but I can happily say now that I chose the best career for me. And while I may not have a ton of money in my bank account or have the funds for all the places I want to travel, bags I want to buy, or shoes I wish I could have, I am fairly positive I have the best job in the world.

Life Lately

Happy Sunday! Hope y’all had a relaxing weekend and are ready for the week ahead. I used to dread Sunday SO much because it meant one more sleep until I had to do the whole repeat of the work week. I don’t dread it so so much anymore but am definitely already counting down again til Friday. Here are some of the highlights from the last week or so:

Meet Henry!

Last weekend, the family gained a new member! Henry is an 8-week old Jack Russell and he is THE CUTEST THING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD! He and Pippy are becoming fast BFFs which I love the most. She is so gentle with him and he follows her around everywhere. I think my family’s text thread is all dog pictures at this point and I am definitely okay with it. Unfortunately I won’t have the same amount of baby Henry time as I did with Pippa but you can definitely bet that I will be visiting whenever I can to get my dose of puppy!

Summer plans…

My summer is definitely filling up quickly! With the four weeks of summer school and professional development I’ll be doing, it leaves only 3 weeks of actual vacation. And those three weeks are fully booked, too. Michael and I will be in Washington D.C. for a week for his sister’s wedding, Whitney has her flight booked to visit me, and this past week I booked a flight to visit her in Boise at the end of July. Phew! Busy, busy, busy.  Oh, and a friend and I bought tickets to see Justin Bieber at the Rose Bowl in August! 😉 Summer, you’re going to be FUN!

Snowden

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Michael and I rented “Snowden” on Friday night and it was super good! It was slow to start and I was initially really confused with all the technology/government jargon but I’m glad we held out and finished it. I didn’t really play close attention when the documents were leaked a couple years ago but have been reading up on it a ton today. I’m torn with my thoughts on it… obviously it was classified information and he deserves some consequences for exposing it. I know I’m willing to lose some privacy in order for my government to keep me safe. But there is also a line to that and I think he thought it had been crossed and he was standing up for what he believed in. That’s my very surface level thought on the issue 🙂 But anyways, definitely check it out! And put a sticker on your computer camera since you’re being watched…

Teacher Appreciation Week

This past week was Teacher Appreciation Week and boy, did I feel appreciated. My students, their parents, and my school’s admin and operations team kept the surprises coming all week. We had a lunch theme everyday that kept us well fed and my kids spoiled me with gifts. My favorite were the cards and I will forever cherish them. Teaching is not an easy gig. Some days I have absolutely no patience, other days I question my abilities to help my kids grow as learners, but most days I am fairly certain I have the best job in the world.

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Those were the highlights of this past week! Hope y’all have a wonderful rest of your weekend!

What’s Up Wednesday

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I am linking up again with Mix and Match Mama for What’s Up Wednesday. I haven’t been posting a whole lot lately so this post falls at a perfect time to cover all the bases of what I’ve been up to.

What I’m eating this week:

I am never eating anything too special. I don’t really cook full-on meals because of my current kitchen situation. Let’s just say that I am excited for a new apartment in July. Until then, it’s pretty easy meals. I did want to share two of my favorite Los Angeles restaurants so if you’re in the area, check them out!

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Home: There are two locations but I prefer the one in Los Feliz simply because of the outside seating area. It’s whimsical! I’ve only eaten here for brunch and but they have lunch/dinner options, too. Come early because it gets crowded!

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Panini Cafe: This is Michael’s favorite (thanks Kelley for the recommendation) and I’ve started to love it too for their breakfast options. I always get a breakfast wrap with fruit. Very filling and very yummy! The patio area at all locations are great for people watching, too.

What I’m reminiscing about:

It’s weird to think that I’ve almost been back in California for a year. I don’t know at what point I’ll stop describing me living here as being “back.” This time last year though I was finishing up the school year and packing up my apartment. I hate to admit that I was mentally checked out at work, but I definitely was. I was just counting down the days until I was done with my old school and was back home. Fast forward about 365 days later, and I am oh so much happier in every single way.

What I’m loving:

I am loving the spring weather! I’ve been spending a lot of time outside. Michael and I went hiking last weekend and checked out the LA Times Festival of Books at USC, where we ate lunch and read outside for a bit. My new school is all indoors so I don’t get to enjoy the weather during the day, but make sure to do a wog (walk/jog because let’s be honest, I don’t run) a few days a week after work. The picture below is the view on one of my walks this week. I love finding hidden gems like this one. The time change also helps and I love that it stays lighter later. Ask me in about 3 months if I’m loving the weather and I’ll probably say it’s too hot. I am enjoying it for now though!

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What I’ve been up to:

Most days seem like Groundhogs Day: wake up, traffic, work, traffic, work out, make dinner, watch tv, read, sleep, and repeat. With the events (aka stress) of the last month or so though, I will take Groundhogs Day!

What I’m dreading:

I don’t really think there is anything that I’m really dreading at the moment.

What I’m working on:

I am working on some (potential) travel plans! I have a few trips coming up (roomies, we need to start planning for our next Roomie Weekend) and I think I can talk Michael into a weekend trip to somewhere like Santa Barbara or San Diego. I’m also hoping to take a bigger trip over Winter Break. I have three weeks off so it would be the perfect time. I am throwing out ideas to Michael and the latest thought was Costa Rica. I went in high school and loved it. I remember it being really affordable too, and I’m not against traveling to places I’ve already been. I’ll probably look into some other Central/South America destinations. Europe is at the very top of my list, but I’ll save that until I have plentyyyy of time to see it all.

What I’m excited about:

SUMMER! With Spring Break behind me, I am now looking forward to summer. We have 7 weeks off, but I will be doing summer school for a majority of it so 7 weeks off turns into 3 weeks off. I know I shouldn’t complain; teachers get time off/holidays off/breaks during the year, but teaching is a hard gig and I look forward to my time off! But I also can’t complain about summer school either– I basically make a full days pay for only half a days work. My three weeks off will be spent relaxing, traveling to Washington D.C., and hanging with my bestie when she visits. Whitney hasn’t booked her flight yet, but it’s been discussed so I am counting it as a done deal 🙂

What I’m watching/reading:

I am, of course, watching my usual shows. Pretty Little Liars started back up again and I am anxious to see how it ends. Married at First Sight is back on and The Bachelorette is also back next month! And not long after that, Bachelor in Paradise!

During break, I binged on 13 Reasons Why. I thought it was really well done and definitely worth a watch. It’s way heavier than I thought it would be though. I read the book years ago and definitely didn’t remember most of what happened. Some of the scenes are really graphic and I wanted it to have a happy ending (spoiler: it doesn’t) but still enjoyed it and found myself rooting for (some of) the characters even though I knew how it would end. If you need a new show, check it out. And then find something happy to watch after!

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As for reading, I am currently one book 9 for April with Cancel the Wedding. Not sure if I will be done with it by the time by April Book Review post is up, but at the speed I read, it’s pretty likely.

What I’m listening to:

I heard two really good songs while watching 13 Reasons Why:

The Only Boy Awake by Meadows

The Night We Met by Lord Huron

And I also heard this one during the movie, Gifted (highly recommend!). I know it’s old but I’d never heard it before:

The Wind by Cat Stevens (the video I found for this one is super weird…)

What I’m wearing:

If you are a reader like me and want to share your love of books, check out these t-shirts from Book Shelf Tees. I found the online store via Instagram and fell in love with the adorable prints. I’ve ordered one shirt and have sent another as a gift. And you’re in luck because right now, everything in the shop is 20% off with the code MOTHERSDAY.

What I’m doing this weekend:

I will be enjoying an after-work hike and happy hour with co-workers on Friday followed by spin class the next morning. On Sunday, Michael and I will go out to Corona for a birthday lunch for my grandma and to meet a new member of the family (stay tuned for that post soon!). I’m not sure what the plans are for Saturday. We haven’t been to Disneyland for awhile so that will probably happen soon and we also have a Groupon for The Museum of Tolerance that we need to use at some point. And of course, some work because lesson plans and grading never seem to end.

What I’m looking forward to next month:

There are no special plans for May yet, but it’s just that much closer to summer!

What else is new:

That’s about it!

Spring Break Part 2

Sadly, spring break has come to an end. Here is how I spent the rest of the week:

San Francisco was super fun; we packed a lot in to our three days there! Unforunately, we didn’t get to make it to Alcatraz. My fault. I booked our tickets for the 14th without realizing it. And I should have because we left on the 13th. Once we noticed the mistake, the other days were booked up. That was the ONE thing that was on my must-do list, but that’s okay. Michael tried super hard to get us tickets but it didn’t work out. San Francisco is an easy flight from LA (and cheap, too) if we ever want to visit again.

We stayed at a hotel near the airport and took BART in each day. BART is good for getting into the city, but definitely no help in getting around. My Fitbit loved me this week with all the walking we did! Not everything we wanted to see was walkable though and I found a Groupon for a 3-hour bus tour. We went through all the different neighborhoods and saw all the touristy spots: Lombard Street, Palace of Fine Arts, the Painted Ladies, the Golden Gate Bridge, Twin Peaks, etc. We definitely couldn’t see all that walking (and yes, I realize they have buses here but that’s a whole other thing to figure out!). The BART station where we got off was right in Union Square which was the perfect spot to spend the rest of the day—and shop. My favorite thing! Michaels? Not so much. He was a good sport with all the time I spent in the different stores.

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We walked the mile to the BART station on Wednesday morning and headed to Fisherman’s Wharf. One thing on Michael’s must-do list was have a clam chowder and there is enough to do down in that area for hours. We found a restaurant with clam chowder (and something non-fishy for me) and sat outside. The weather was perfect! After lunch we headed to Ghirardelli where I got extra samples because Michael doesn’t like chocolate and then went back down to Fisherman’s Wharf to Ripley’s Believe it or Not. My family and I went here about 17 years ago and let me tell you, it’s not as cool as an adult as it is when you are young. We also decided to do a bay tour since we couldn’t make it to Alcatraz. I didn’t think I would be getting on a boat again that soon but there I was… it was a really cool way to see the Golden Gate Bridge (sailed right under it!) and we made our way around Alcatraz on our way back to port.

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The other thing on Michael’s must-do list was to go to a Giants game. He hates the Giants and my dad texted me something about being at that “hell-hole,” but Michael is trying to cross off all the stadiums from his list. I will say that the stadium was super nice. I only have Dodger stadium for reference and yes, I get that it is historical and yada yada, but that’s just code for OLD. The one thing I did not like about AT&T Park (and what we struggled with all week) was the wind. IT WAS SO COLD!!! Rain was also in the forecast and it held off for most of the game. I finally convinced Michael to head out in the middle of the 7th inning; I owe him for that. And one other thing: what stadium does not have lids and straws for your drinks?! Dodger stadium at least has that…

Our flight left Thursday evening so we headed back into the city to Chinatown. I ate at Chipotle but Michael opted for some authentic Chinese food. We walked around and headed back to Union Square. Again, Michael was a good sport with my shopping. We ended up being super early to the airport because our flight was delayed and we didn’t get the notification until we were at the hotel to get our things. It was okay though because it gave us time to get caught up on some stuff (emails for him and tv shows for me! 🙂 )

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All in all, it was a very successful spring break. Like I said in my last post, I need a vacation from my vacation! Luckily, I am heading out to Corona this morning for some rest and relaxation. Oh, and some Pippa time! Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend and Happy Easter!

 

 

 

Life Lately

I haven’t posted in about a week because I’ve been extremely busy/tried and really haven’t had a whole lot I need to say! Here are some things that I’ve been up to lately:

We moved into our new school on Monday! I posted about it earlier in the week so you can check that out if you want to see some pictures. The kids have been absolutely crazy this week. Is it a full moon or something? (Yes, I believe in the power of a full moon!) Hopefully once they get more settled in, they will calm back down a bit. I have my last formal observation next week so I am a little anxious for that. I’ve learned though that I can plan, plan, plan and things will still happen that I can’t account for. I’m happy with my evaluation scores so far so hopefully the last one will be just as strong.

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Yes, I am still coughing. The cough tipped me off to something else though and I’ve had several doctor’s appointments with a couple more to come in the next few weeks. Perhaps I will share after I get more news but for now, any positive thoughts are appreciated!

Honestly, that’s about it. I’ve been so tired after work that I watch a television show* or two, read for a bit (on book 2 for March! would be 3 but it was boring), and am asleep by 9pm. Talk about old lady! Michael and I are still working very opposite hours. Some days he doesn’t start until around 3pm! I’m off at 3:45 so our work hours barely even overlap. His April schedule is much better though; it all depends on what shows he’s working on. He’s been working weekends too, so I have been out in Corona a lot. I am okay with the drive (beats 5 hours from Arizona) and it means I get to have a slumber party with Pippa! Stay tuned for a Pippa post next week– she’s turning ONE!!

And a few things I am looking forward to? Tricia is in town next week! She is visiting LA with the Igwe clan but she carved out some time to see me. We are going to hang out at Pump because where else would we go? We had such a fun time there over the summer that a repeat trip is necessary. Spring break is also about a month away and I cannot wait. It’ll be busy… cruise to start it off and then right to SF. I will have a few days once those two trips are done to just relax and gear up for the last couple months of the school year.

What have you been up to lately? I hope you have a great weekend!

*Most of what I watch is reality tv (Bachelor finale on Monday! Both of those girls deserve better than Nick…), but the one show I do not miss each week is This Is Us. Seriously, this show. I don’t know how a show can make you feel so many emotions in 40 minutes. I think I text Whitney the same text every week… something like “omg. I can’t!” or “noooo.”  Everyone in my family watches. Even my dad, so you know it’s good. If you haven’t seen it yet, check your OnDemand and get going! The last episode of the season is next Tuesday and if it’s about what I think it’s about, I may need to use the note that Milo shared on his Twitter:

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Life Lately

Life lately has been a whole lot of busy. Here are some of the things I’ve been up to:

Work// I had my third formal observation of the year on Monday. I am used to being evaluated, both formally and informally, but my new school has performance-based pay which adds an extra element to the process. I am super proud of my evaluations so far and am pretty tough on myself because I constantly want to be improving as a teacher. Oh, and our new campus will be done in a few weeks and our official move-in date is March 2nd! I cannot wait!

Sick// I have been sick for what seems like forever. Right when I start feeling better, I am coughing again. Earlier this week there were 6 kids absent in my one class of 29 so something is definitely going around. I’ve been really busy on the weekends and go-go-go during the week that my body is just begging for a day of rest. I decided to take today off and just relax and rest my voice. That’s one thing with being a teacher; there are no breaks ever during the day. I don’t get to sit down at my desk and “take it easy” so I am super thankful for the extra long weekend.

Sports// Yes, there is a sports update. Michael works at ESPN as a content researcher and was invited to a Super Bowl party at one of the anchor’s houses. It was a fun place to watch the game and meet some of the people Michael works with. The taco truck didn’t hurt and Michael enjoyed introducing me to the “famous” people aka ex-sports players that he works with. My dad and I went to the Gonzaga game at LMU last Thursday. We knew it was going to be a blowout game, but it is always fun to watch my team! I can’t say that the traffic to get to the game was anything fun though– an hour and 15 minutes to go from Pasadena to LMU! No, thank you!

Family// Kelley and James were in town over the weekend for a visit so I spent the weekend out in Corona. They were pretty busy with wedding to-do lists and making sure to see everyone they needed to, but I’m glad I was able to see them for the time I did! And I am always up for a weekend at my parents since it involves slumber parties with Pippa!

Michael// Michael has been out of town for work lately. He got sent to OKC to cover the Thunder game against Golden State and decided to have an extended layover in Phoenix (his hometown) on the way back. We did dinner on Valentine’s Day after I picked him up at the airport and on Sunday, he will be headed on another trip for work to Bristol. We have very different work schedules right now so I appreciate the time I am able to see him… and watch Homeland ;).

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And I will leave you with this lovely picture of blue skies and palm trees… it’s supposed to rain pretty much all weekend so I will be staring at this.