August 23, 2011

Meet the Teacher Monday (a little late)

Hi everyone! I'm so excited to participate in Blog Hoppin's Teacher Week 2011! I know I was supposed to post this yesterday, so I'm going to apologize for two things now: 1) I'm sorry this is a day late and 2)I'm SUPER sorry I'm going to be posting twice in one day. Yesterday was my first day back with my new group of firsties, and I was EXHAUSTED last night, so I'm doing both days posts today to catch up! OK, here goes...

Tell us a little something about you...

My name is Kristen and although I've lived in Pennsylvania since college, I'm truly a West Virginia girl at heart. I'm married to a wonderful man named Travis who, as you know if you've read any of my previous posts, is about to be deployed to Afghanistan. Right now I'm working hard to get everything ready and rolling for my new group of 1st graders and prepare myself for this upcoming 13 month (yes- you read that right, 13 month) deployment separation from my husband. We don't have any children of our own yet (I always say I have 20 of them 190 days a year) but we hope to some day! My husband and I are both HUGE Steelers fans as well, which is kind-of interesting since he's from Ohio and I'm from WV. He even proposed to me at a Steelers game!

How long have you been teaching?
This is my 7th year teaching (GASP! Really?! I've already been teaching that long?!). I've been super lucky enough to have taught first grade for all of those years! 

You might not know...
I teach in a charter school. There are a lot of teachers and school districts in general who don't like charter schools, but I have to tell you- after teaching in one, I definitely see their worth! Charter schools for those who don't know are, I like to say they're a mix of the best of both public and private schools (at least mine is). See this Wikipedia entry for more info. The school I teach at has been so successful that we've expanded to 6 elementary schools (K-8) and 2 high schools this year, with plans to open at least one more elementary and high school next year as well!

What are you looking most forward to this school year?
I'm really looking forward to being able to teach with my favorite first grade teammate- Sarah. She and I have been teaching together for the past 4 years and we work together like we're one teacher! We do a lot of lessons and activities as a whole first grade, and we often find ourselves finishing each other's sentences. Last year, however, she decided to go 1/2 time to spend more time with her son, which was a great choice for her, and the teacher that came in for the afternoons was great, but I MISSED HER! I'm excited to get back to our old routine this year. 
I'm also looking forward to using all the great resources and information I've found from following all these AWESOME blogs and Pinterest boards. I didn't find this world of teacher blogging until the spring of last year, and although I fell directly in love with it and shared and used lots of resources and activities, I'm excited to start at the beginning of the year with all my amazing blogging friends!

What do you need to improve?
There are a few things I'd like to improve this year:
First, I REALLY need to get more organized! This year especially I plan to work harder to make sure everything has a place. I'm tired of being that teacher who is asking the kids "Did you see where I put....?"
Secondly, I need to work on my filter. This one doesn't so much go for my students as my coworkers. I almost hate to admit this to blog-land, but I tell it like it is and sometimes my mouth gets me in trouble. Frankly- people don't like it. So, one of my main goals this year is to filter what comes out of my mouth. I have the sign up in my classroom to help both my students and me remember to do this (click the picture to get your own copy).

Lastly, I want to be better at grading and returning papers. I have a bad habit of letting papers sit on my desk before getting graded, entered into the computer, and returned. Then I end up with a weekend's worth of paperwork to do right before the trimester ends! My goal this year is to have papers graded, entered, and returned within 1 week of when I get them. 

What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?
1. My SmartBoard! I LOVE this thing! Weather it's being used for a whole group lesson or in a center, it's on and being used almost all day for something. Towards the end of last year the bulb in my projector went out and I went almost a week (*gasp!*) without it, and I felt like someone had cut off my arm! 
See this post for more info about how spoiled I realized I was that day.

2. Stickers and Stamps- I have 3 entire drawers plus a organizer box FULL of them!

3. Sticky notes in every shape and size possible.

4. My CD player and music. I'm constantly finding ways to tie music and movement into what we're learning.

5. This one's not really a teaching "supply", but Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits and sweet tea. If I have time to drive through when I'm having a rough morning it can totally turn my day around. I've been known to buy a gallon of the tea and keep it in the fridge for refills throughout the week as well. 

So that's all for today. If you'd like to do your own entry and link up feel free! Stop by I'm Blog Hopping by clicking on the picture below to link up! 
Check back here later tonight for my Entry #2 - Teacher Talk Tuesday!


  1. something else we have in common-i love stickers and stamps, too!! i am a new follower...

  2. I'm a new follower from the Blog Hop! I'm also constantly asking the kids if they saw where I put this or that. They know I'm crazy...but they love me anyway :) And I love the before you speak, think poster!

    Ms. Preppy's Adventures in Primary and Polka Dots

  3. I've chosen you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Stop by my blog to check it out!

  4. I'm your newest follower! I awarded you the Versatile Blogger Award. You can check it out over on my blog. :)
    ♥ Dragonflies in First ♥