It’s my greatest hope that by now everyone is finished with school. I can’t imagine still being in school. (And if you are I apologize!)
I have a lot of thoughts to share today, so grab a Diet Coke, or a water with some cucumber and lime in it (my current favorite) and settle in. =)
First, I want to recommend a book to everyone. I already recommended it on IG, so I’m sorry to be redundant, but this book is so smart. The entire time I was reading this book I just kept thinking “Yes, yes, yes! You’re exactly right!” I read it really quickly; in a week, and if I hadn’t been in school part of that time I think I would have read it even faster. So, the basic premise of the book is that reforms targeting reform schools haven’t been successful in closing achievement gaps because reforms aren’t targeting the “right parts” of kids. I feel that’s a terrible synthesis, but it was so engaging and I really think the author is totally on target with his ideas. I don’t want to give away the entire text, so I’m not going to share too much. If you’re an urban teacher, I firmly believe you should find the time to read this book this summer! It’s absolutely relevant to anyone in education, but it’s particularly relevant to teachers in urban education.
Next up, I finally got around to ordering some gorgeous teacher goodies from C. Jayne Teach! If you’re not familiar with her goodies, check out her website right here. She makes adorable products to make teaching easier. When I finally got around to checking out her shop, it was really difficult to stay within my budget! Her products are all adorable! I know that a lot of other teacher bloggers have purchased her Teacher Anchor and that it’s gotten a lot of positive reviews, but I’m going to a new school next year, and I don’t totally know how planning works there, so I was nervous to commit. But I got some ADORABLE stickers with my name on them so I can tag things that belong to me before I loan them out to other teachers. Super cute! I kind of want to tag everything in my office with them, but I already know those things belong to me so that seems a bit superfluous. I also ordered her Student Conference Notepad, which is so dang cute! It has spots for reading, writing, and math as well as each day of the week. And each sheet is 8.5×11 so if you want to put it into a binder for tracking it will measure the same as a standard sheet of paper. I can’t wait to use it with my kinderbabes next year! I think the only downside for me is that the boxes are a little small, and I have GIGANTIC handwriting, but that’s totally a personal problem. Not a design problem. Here’s a pic I snapped of my order.
Also, I was sort of a moron with this order. At first, I forgot to put the personalization in my order for the stickers, and then I had a panic attack because when I tracked the package USPS said it was already delivered and I hadn’t received the package yet. Both times Chandra was so patient and nice to me. She totally didn’t make me feel like an idiot and she was incredibly helpful and responsive. I would absolutely recommend ordering from her shop! I really can’t say enough about how adorable her products are, and how easy it is to work with her. Plus, I would way rather support another actual teacher and human that I (kind of) know over a corporation. Small business, whoop, whoop!
Lastly, this is something that’s been weighing on my mind this whole week, especially as I read How Students Succeed and this super smart blog post from Carolyn. One of my love bugs this past year is such a mess; he lacks a lot of foundational skills and is constantly seeking sensory stimulation in literally almost every way possible. He has terrible impulse control and really struggles to pick up on social cues and meet classroom expectations. It’s really difficult for him to be independent; even when he’s engaged he’s coming up to me about every minute for some positive reinforcement. BUT he’s really sweet as pie. A complete and total love bug. However, it was incredibly challenge to manage him daily with 24 other kids in the classroom. The point of this and what’s on my mind is that there are definitely times this year when I lost my patience with him, and I feel really guilty about that. I know he has a rough time at home and I know that I need to be a positive model for him. It was really difficult, and I feel like I let him down at times and I think that I feel additionally guilty about not going back to the same school next year and not being able to continue to be a part of his life. Have you ever had that lingering feeling that you didn’t do your best for a student?
Okay, y’all. Thanks for sticking with me through all of this! Have a great weekend! I’m hoping to get some new products up on Monday, so keep an eye out for that. =)