Here are the rules for the Liebster Award:
1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator gave you.
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate.
4. Choose 11 other blogs with fewer than 200 followers to nominate and link them in your post.
5. You cannot "tag back" the other blog, but leave a comment on this post with URL of your Liebster post so they can learn more about you and see who you nominate.
1. My first job was working at a farm stand.
2. I played the flute in our school band from 4th to 12th grade and would like to find a way to keep it up.
3. My roommate's dog is named Junie B. after the book, except for her B. stands for Bella.
4. I am signed up to run a half marathon in May.
5. I love scrapbooking with my mom and am currently working on finishing my senior year of high school.
6. My youngest cousin is in first grade, and there's another one on the way!
7. In January all the senior elementary education majors at my school go on a trip to Washington D.C., and I'm super excited!
8. Children books are my favorite thing. I never seemed to grow past the young adult books, and even some of those I don't like.
9. I love making ceramics and have taken a few different classes in high school and college.
10. Next semester, I have two classes at the exact same time. I want to ask my professor for a time turner like Hermione has in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
11. I love white chocolate covered pretzels!
11 Questions from Allison
1. Why did you decide to start blogging?
I decided to start blogging to connect with wiser teachers, document what I have been doing, and hopefully grow to the point where I am helping other teachers.
2. What piece of advice would you give to a first year teacher?
Since I haven't yet had my first year of teaching, I'll give a piece of advice to student teachers. My top two pieces of advice are be sure to communicate clearly and be creative. With communication, I would add to be sure to talk with your teacher and make sure that you understand their expectations immediately. Also, now is the time for creative lessons. Too often, I felt constrained by school or district curriculum expectations, but realistically, as a student teacher my teachers would have understood if I was more creative since this was my "trial run."
3. What is your best memory of teaching, so far?
My favorite memory goes back to when I was student teaching in first grade earlier this semester. I had the opportunity to start Writers' Workshop. I knew the students needed motivation and prepared lessons to do that for the first week. We had so much fun! It was exciting to see the whole class go from hating writing to it being their favorite subject. Here is my blog post with more details. I also love reading aloud! That is one of my favorite day to day things.
4. Year round school, or not year round school? Which would you prefer?
I haven't thought too much about this, but year round schools have always intrigued me. I like the idea of not having the whole summer, where so often students fall back a few levels. Having a few couple of week breaks would be fun. Of course, it could be hard learning in the summer, knowing that other schools aren't in session. I have always been part of a not year round school though, so that is what I know, and I have learned to work with it.
5. What is your biggest challenge in teaching?
I've come to realize that how strictly I am required to follow curriculum is an issue. At the first school I student taught at, math was my least favorite subject since we followed a curriculum that I did not find appropriate for my class. As a grade level, we tried to skip a lesson or teach it in a different way since we knew that it would not make sense for our classes and were told that we needed to directly follow the provided curriculum since it is research based. Looking at pre- and post-test scores that I took, I could see that all of my students did learn, but none of us had fun doing it. In my second experience, the students were required to work on a computer program for 25 minutes everyday while I had them. This took up most of the time, and they did not enjoy it. Overall, I found that having more freedom in my lesson planning encouraged me to be creative. I was able to plan lessons that I was excited for, which in turn made my students have fun while they were learning.
6. What is one of your most favorite lessons/topics to teach?
I don't really have a favorite lesson or topic yet. During my student teaching, I really enjoyed my introduction to Writers' Workshop, Columbus Day project, health lessons, and of course, reading aloud. Reading aloud is always one of my favorite times during the day.
7. What do you do to keep school life and personal life separated?
This has not been much of a problem for me this past fall, so I'm not exactly sure how to answer.
8. When did you know that you wanted to be a teacher?
I thought about being a teacher when I was little. My friends and I loved playing school and debated who would be the teacher that day. However, I did not really know until the end of my sophomore year of college. My freshman year, I was a math major (note: NOT math ed.), but I took an education class just because I was interested in it. We had a lab, and when asked where I would like to be I told the professor lower elementary. I had just gotten out of high school, and I certainly did not want to be placed in a high school or even middle school math classroom. I was placed in second grade and loved it! I still was uncertain until I had to make a final decision at the end of my sophomore year. All of my junior classes were elementary education classes. Next semester, I am actually finishing a few el. ed. classes that I should have taken my freshman year (but weren't required for student teaching for people like me).
9. What is your favorite subject to teach?
Similar to favorite lesson/topics, I don't have a favorite yet. Knowing that I was a math major, most people would assume I love to teach math, but that's not always the case. In my first experience, I loved teaching Writers' Workshop and health, because I had the freedom to plan my own lessons, which made my students and I excited about them.
10. What is your best classroom management advice?
Be confident! If there is one thing I have learned, it is that you can pull off anything if you are confident in yourself.
11. What resource do you use most to find teaching ideas?
I love using other teachers' blogs, Pinterest, and google to find ideas. I have also used ideas from past classes, both in college and elementary school classrooms I have visited.
Blogs I Nominate
(Sorry if you've already received this award; it was taking too long to find eleven without.)
1. Beach Lovin' Teach
2. Blooming Kiddos
3. Kindergarten Kel
4. Lovely Literacy & More
5. Teaching: The Art of Possibility
6. Tales from a Traveling Teacher
7. The Crazy Adventures of a University Grad
8. The Loco Teacher
9. The School Potato
10. 2nd Grade Frosting
11. Creative Lesson Cafe
11 Questions for my Nominees
1. How long have you been teaching?
2. What is your favorite children's book?
3. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
4. Why did you decide to teach?
5. What is something you want for Christmas?
6. What is one of your favorite teaching memories?
7. What is one memory you have from when you were in elementary school?
8. Tell me about how you found your first job.
9. How do you like to assess students?
10. What is your favorite song?
11. What advice would you give to a first year teacher (like I'll be next year)?
Let me know what you thought of my answers. If you answer my questions, please give me a link to your blog. Even if I didn't nominate you, you can still answer the questions by leaving a comment.
Thank you Allison!