How to {ROCK} as a New Teacher!! A Linky Party!

I am SO excited about this post! It doesn't take long to realize that to be a good teacher, you need to rely on other good teachers. I've gotten fabulous advice, tips, and tools over the last seven years that have truly helped mold me into the teacher I am today.

This summer I have the pleasure of being an instructor at my district's New Teacher Institute! I can't wait to facilitate conversations and discuss teaching with some fresh new faces, all excited about teaching! And, even better I get to do it with my fabulous friend, Lyssa, from My Mommy Reads!

Since Lyssa and I will be instructors, we thought it would be fun to get some advice from other fabulous teachers to share at our training and with beginning teachers, everywhere! So, we created this fun linky party to help beginning teachers {ROCK} their first year teaching!

Build Relationships! I've learned this is one of the MOST important parts of our job. Build positive relationships with your co-workers, your students, your parents, the secretary, the custodian, everyone. It is amazing how far a simple smile and a positive attitude can take you, not only in teaching but in life! I've been moved to two different schools in my somewhat short career and each time it has not been by choice. One was even a few weeks into the school year! It sucked!  Each move I've always made sure to smile and be positive- even when I wasn't feeling so positive. Things don't always go your way, but it's important to keep your head up and stay smiling! The relationships you build with your co-workers can truly make or break your school year!  

The same goes with the relationships you build with your students and families! It's important to always, always, always start on a positive, because teaching is hard! It's nice to have your students and their families on the same page as you! 

Be Strict! This is probably one of the harder things to do as a beginning teacher, or at least it was for me! However, you have to make sure that your students know who is in control of the classroom from the very first second they walk in! If they think they can be in control, I promise, they will be! You can be strict without being mean- but those first few weeks of the school year are so incredibly crucial! 

Try to Stay Ahead! This is another tough one, but it makes things so much easier throughout the year!    My first year teaching I always made sure to have everything I needed for the next week prepared and ready to go before I left Friday afternoon. It wasn't always fun staying at school later on Friday, but walking into school on Monday morning with everything ready made everything better. When you're prepared, the kids can tell and things seem to go more smoothly. When I am unprepared, I can tell the behaviors in my class start to get worse! It really helps to have a curriculum map to help with lesson planning! 

Spending Money! It's bound to happen, you're more than likely going to spend A. TON. of money as a new teacher. Even after your first year, you'll still spend a lot on your classroom. However, be smart. You probably don't HAVE to have that game or all those pretty new pens! I will say, that as teachers we spend a ton of time in our classrooms, so I did spend money on my classroom decor and making my classroom a place my students and I enjoy being in. But, I wasted a TON of money on games and resources that I've never even used! 

Family Time! School can take over your life, but don't let it. Always make sure to put yourself and your family first. At the end of the day, that is what is most important! It's easy to lose your Sunday to lesson plans, but make sure to work some time in for yourself and your family! 

This is an amazing quote for teachers! It's really hard to not want to do everything. But, to be perfectly honest- it's impossible. One of the best parts of our job is that we get a fresh start every year. Remember that! If something (or a lot of things) aren't going the way you want them to, start small! Change a little bit and know that you can do things completley differently the next year! 

I truly hope that something in this post helped you! Good luck with everything, and remember YOU are a ROCKSTAR!!!!

Now, it's your turn! Grab the image below and share your own tips for a beginning teacher! Make sure to link back up with us! 


Dare to Dream!

It's week TWO of the #tptsellerchallenge and I just love thinking about Teachers Pay Teachers and how much it has already done for my family. I am truly so thankful for this little journey. It's been such a blessing financially and also a TON of fun!

When I was in high school I was on the yearbook staff, and I loved every minute of creating spreads for the yearbook. It was then that I really remember finding out my love for creating. However, teaching was (and still is) my one true love, so of course I went to school and majored in education. With TPT, I get to combine both of my passions. To create AND teach. It's the best of both worlds!!!

My dreams focus on 3 F's!

Family- My whole world. The number one priority in my life is my family! As much as I love teaching and creating, my family always comes first. I have two littles- Camden and Cora, and childcare is NOT cheap y'all! Sometimes I feel like I'm working just to pay for daycare, so the extra income from TPT each month has really helped our family pay our bills each month.

Fun- As thankful as I am that TPT has helped with some of our bills, I would LOVE if we could use it for more fun purchases! In September we are heading to Daytona to go to the beach! While we are there, we are going to take our kids to Disney for the first time! I would love to be able to continue taking them on trips and giving them fun life experiences without breaking the bank. My husband is also in eduation, so our paychecks aren't super huge!

LOVE going on family date nights! 

Fashion- I'm not going to lie, I LOVE to shop! But, with our childcare costs I don't get to shop as much as I would like. So, Teachers Pay Teacher has been a nice extra income that I get to use for me and not feel guilty about spending money.

I treated myself to this pretty Kate Spade bag this year and I've got my eye on a new bag for my 30th birthday! I've already started saving! 

I'm excited to read about YOUR dreams! Make sure to link up with Teach Create Motivate, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, Sparkling in Second, and Third in Hollywood!


Makeover Madness!!!

I am just LOVING this TPT Seller Challenge! Some amazing bloggers had a brilliant idea and created this amazing seller challenge to complete over the next month! I'm excited to be joining Teach Create Motivate, Peppy Zesty Teacherista, Sparkling in Second, and Third in Hollywood for this fun little journey!!!

The first challenge is {Makeover Maddness} and the goal was to "makeover" an outdated product or product cover. Before the challenge started, I was in the process of making over one of my favorite products- {The Organized Teacher} Notebook! So, this challenge was absolutely PERFECT timing!

This product has EVERYTHING you need to keep your organized throughout the school year! I created it last year because I wanted to have a notebook that had everything I needed in it- from meeting notes, to calendars, to my student information. EVERYTHING! 

I updated the borders, fonts, clipart, everything! I wanted a more bold, sleek, look that still included everything! I also kept everything printer friendly! At my school I do not have access to a color printer, and I don't like wasting all my color ink on something that goes into a notebook- so the entire notebook (other than the covers) are printer friendly! 

After I was done updating ALL of the notebook (it took a really. long. time) I wanted to update the previews! 

I updated each cover to match the updated look of the notebook pages! Each cover is completely editable AND there are also 20 different blank covers that you can use to completley organize your notebook and make it your own! 

How perfect is my Pal from Lauren @ Polka Dots & Pals!!! I couldn't wait to add her to my Organized Teacher notebook! 

The Student Information Pages include EVERYTHING you need to keep track of all your students' information! From pages to have parents fill out at Open House, to student passwords, and birthdays! 

The Meeting Notes pages include 5 different formats for EVERY type of meeting you could imagine! And, the best part- they are completely editable! So you can print them off and handwrite in your meeting notes, or simply add text boxes and type in them during your meeting! 

These monthly calendars are the perfect way to keep track of your busy schedule! There are 3 different formats included- a one page calendar with a corresponding notes page, a two page spread, and a weekly calendar! 

These Monthly Planning Lists are my favorite! I use these pages to record anything that I want to remember for the next school year! I write down a book I want to read, a lesson that went really well, or any changes I want to make! It makes it so much easier to keep track of all my thoughts! 

The Weekly Planning Lists are to help you keep track of everything you have to do, to create, to print, to copy, to make, EVERYTHING! There are tons of different formats, and even a perfect to-do list to keep in your planner! 

The Lesson Planning pages are completley editable and have different options to quickly jot down your lessons for each week! 

And, if you are a blogger or TPT seller- these Incredible Ideas organizer are the perfect way to keep track of all your thoughts for your blog, giveaways, link-ups, and products for your store! 

Now, my next task is to add an Editable Substitute section for the notebook! What other sections would you like to see included!?

I had SO much fun completing this week's challenge! I can't wait for Week 2!!! 


Teachers {love} Summer!!

As much as I LOVE teaching, boy do I just LOVE summer! I'm excited to be linking up with Primarily Speaking to share some of my favorite reasons for loving summer!

These People!

I just love summer days with these cute littles of mine!  During the school year, my alarm goes off between 4:15am and 5:15am (depending if I workout or not), so needless to say when I get home and finally sit down I am exhausted. There are so many days during the year that I can't wait until 7:30pm and it's bedtime. I hate that. I really do. I feel like I'm just wishing their little lives away and trying to make it until the next bedtime so this busy teacher mama can get some sleep too. But, in the summer I get to make up for all those long days and really, truly enjoy my kids. 

Working Out.

I'm not a huge fan of working out, and during the school year it's really hard to fit in time to work out. But, during the summer I can actually sleep in to a decent time and still get a workout in. Yesterday, I was able to sleep in, workout, AND take a shower all before my baby woke up! 

On my early morning drive to school, I pass so many people running and I'm always SO jealous! I always wish that I didn't have to be at school so incredibly early (7:15!!!) and I could actually run in the morning before work. So, I've really enjoyed being able to run first thing in the morning! I love having that {me time} to clear my head! 

Play Dates and Pool Days!

How cute is she!? 

It's been so much fun being able to meet friends at the park, head to the pool, or take my littles on dates to Target! I've really enjoyed meeting some of my girlfriends and having some mommy time while our kids play! I'm really looking forward to next week and having some mommy time at the pool while Camden and Cora nap! It's been awhile since I've actually layed out a pool to get a tan! 


I'm a shopaholic! Shopping is definitely a hobby of mine. And, I've really, really, really enjoyed the extra time to actually look in a store and not have to rush! Last week I went shopping all. By. Myself. And, it was incredible! I got some fun things for my home office, some pretty dresses for the beach and some craft items for a couple DIY projects!

Extra Time!

Blogging and creating things for school and TPT have really become a huge hobby of mine! I've just loved all the extra time this summer to spend blogging and creating and updating things in my store! Since I'll be moving classrooms AND grade levels, I've got a mile long to-do list for school, and I've been able to really get a headstart on creating some things for my classroom. Also, thanks to the #TPTSellerChallenge I've been updating some of my products!!

Of course, there are TONS of more reasons why I love summer so much! I hope you are enjoying your summer, too! Make sure to head to Primarily Speaking and link-up with all the reasons you love summer!


What I'm Wearing Wednesday!

Happy Wednesday! I'm linking up with Jivey again to share what I've been wearing lately! 

Since it's summer and CRAZY hot here in Atlanta, it's been the perfect time to finally wear my Lilly for Target finds! I was absolutely crazy and waited in line when the line launched at Target, but it was completely worth the wait!

The Nosie Posey maxi dress was on my must-have list, and then after purchasing it I didn't think I loved it! It didn't fit right, and like almost every other maxi dress, was WAY too long on my 5'3" self! But, my amazing mom hemmed it for me and now it's perfect! I paired it with my favorite Kendra Scott Rayne necklace to run errands the other day!

And, to continue with the LFT trend I wore my My Fans Palazzo pants the very next day! We had a family fun day at the GA aquarium and these pants were absolutely perfect, especially for a day spend indoors! My mom fixed these ones for me too, and they are super comfy and I just LOVE the print! I paired these with my Kendra Scott Danielle earrings in Magenta and my S&D Rebel Pendant (this is a must-have necklace!). 

Make sure to head back to Jivey's blog and check out what everyone has been wearing!! 


Using Drawer Storage to Keep Organized!!!

Deep inside of me there is a super-crazy-organized teacher just trying to get out! But, sometimes it's really hard to find her under the piles of paper, tremendous amount of school supplies, and everything else that seems to pile itself up in my classroom! I'm excited to be linking up with my peachy friends @ The Primary Peach to share a little tip about how I {try} to keep organized! Make sure to head to our blog and link-up to share a tip or tool!

To be perfectly honest, I. Hate. Clutter. I hate it in my house. I hate it in my classroom. But, without having a ton of storage (in my home or at school) I have to find ways to organize it all (or atleast hide it)! So, I turn to baskets and bins!

Since it's summer, I don't have a ton of pictures to share of my classroom and the way I use my bins, but I'll try my best to describe them to you!

These plastic drawer organizers have quickly become my best friend in my classroom! I use them A LOT! For myself and my students.

Back when I was a supply teacher, one of the first purchases I made was a plastic storage unit to organize all my copies each week! It's going on eight years now, and I just love how it STILL keeps me organized each week!

This handy, dandy little organizer is PERFECT for organizing my copies for each week! I chose to get a 6-drawer organizer instead of a 5 drawer so that I could have a drawer for extra copies and store anything for the next week! 

I made some cute little labels to make them fun! Grab them for free, here! 

I also use plastic storage drawers for my students! When I first started teaching I used an extra desk for each team/group and placed community supplies on top. Then, as my class size started going up. And up. And up. I ran out of extra desks and needed something else to store their supplies. So, I invested in 3-drawer storage carts. 

I place one of these in front of each team and use it to store community supplies! I always use fun little storage bins for pencils, scissors, glue, etc. Then, I use the drawers for anything and everything! It seems to change each year, but lately I've been using them to store their banks (for a positive behavior incentive), dry erase boards, and their reading bags! 

They don't take up a whole lot of space, help store things, and have lasted for awhile! Definitely worth the initial investment! 

How do you store paper and student supplies in YOUR classroom!? Head to the Primary Peach to read more Organizational Tips and Tools and link-up to share yours! I can't wait to read!