Fredericksburg

30 April 2012







It was a long drive in the dark and rain Thursday morning. I feel good about getting another interview in with a school system and I keep crossing my fingers that I'll hear back about a job offer one of these days! Unfortunately it's not quite that simple when you have two people looking for jobs in the same area, but I think my confidence and hopes about the upcoming year will be boosted if I hear back from a school. 

Fortunately, last Thursday I was in Stafford County Virginia and it's a beautiful area. It has that classic Virginia, historic charm in the downtown district while maintaining convenient and modern civilization just around the corner (hello Starbucks!). It sure is easier to drive four hours for an interview if the location pulls you in!

Adult Daze: Interviews

27 April 2012

{my school bag}

The next step in my adult experience that I want to share with you is the process of interviewing. I'm sure for some people it's old hat, but when you first time you walk in to meet a potential employer it can make your nerves rattle.

Of course, interviewing will be different with each field but I want to share how I have been preparing for a good education interview.

Step One. Apply! Of course this step seems so basic that it almost shouldn't be mentioned but it is hiring season and you need to submit your applications online, pronto!

Step Two. Practice fielding questions. I have been using this "Sample Interview Questions" guide each time I have an interview to prep for possible questions. It has definitely been helpful! You really need to get in the education mindset. Don't wing it going in, have prepared answers and be thinking about it on the car ride there so that you're not stumbling over your words in the interview.

Step Three. Bring a copy of your resume. I've only had to hand this to a potential employer in one interview, but it's definitely worth having in your bag or portfolio. Can't hurt to bring an extra copy.

Step Four. Be on time. When my interview was two hours away I left almost three hours to get there. This one speaks for itself: DON'T BE LATE.

Step Five. Be yourself. When you get to the interview smile, make a few jokes, have a conversation. Remember, they're not just interviewing you - you're also interviewing them. They are competing with other districts for the best candidates. Try to relax. This took a while to really sink in for me, but it's certainly true.

{via}

That's my quick guide. However, for any hopefuls out there I'm going to share some questions that I have been fielding a LOT in interviews lately. (Also be prepared to talk to just the principal or even several administrators. They probably won't warn you how many people will be interviewing before you get there, just know it could be more than one person.)

  • How do you differentiate for your students? (Every interviewer has asked about this!)
  • What does a typical lesson look like for you? 
  • How do you engage students in the lesson?
  • How would you teach seafloor spreading? (no joke!)
  • When and why did you decide to become a teacher? (Common)
  • If you had to describe yourself in three words what would they be?
  • How do you assess student learning?
  • How do you deal with late work? Do you give zeros?
  • What is your way of dealing with behavior management? (always asked)
  • What is your favorite way to use technology? 
  • What type of technology are you comfortable with?
  • How do you feel about co-teaching? (meaning with a special ed instructor)
  • What do you consider effective teaching?
  • What extra-curricular activities would you be interested in leading/coaching?
  • How do you feel about working with a team?
Ok, that is a good summary and with the exception of the seafloor spreading outlier, those questions are asked often. Hope this helps some teaching candidates out there! Best of luck. 

Interview Round II

26 April 2012


Today I have my second interview with a school principal. This time the interview is in-state but is two hours away. It's actually 4:50am currently and I feel a little nervous (and sleep deprived!). 

This time the interview is for a high school earth science position.

Wish me luck! 

Completion

24 April 2012

Well, things are wrapping up over here so neatly I could just pack every part of my life up into a little box. Graduate school is nearly over, my days of teaching come to a close in one week, and my thesis has been turned in.

{via}

My cohort and I met with our professor last night to turn in humongous binders full of student assessments and write-ups. Then we took a trip to Dave's Taverna, a local eatery to celebrate being one step closer to graduation. Cheers!

Anniversary

22 April 2012


Today Noah and I are celebrating our seventh anniversary. I count myself lucky to have such a rock in my life. This is the last time we will be celebrating on April 22nd, because from here on out July 14th will be our special date. I'm ready for the changes that we will face in the coming year. Some days it feels like I never experienced life without Noah and I hope I never do again. 


Adult Daze: Scheduling

20 April 2012

{See those pearls?}

Wellsie, this has certainly been an interesting semester. I haven't been under this rigorous of a schedule since I was a junior in high school and went from school all day to tennis practice then to musical rehearsals at nine o'clock. Although this go-around I'm planning the school lessons too.

Hence, the adult daze [days] around here is a new and eye-opening phenomenon for me. As a 22 year old who is about to graduate with a masters, interview for several job positions, get married, and move to a new city, life is getting pretty hectic.

So, each week I want to focus on one area of "adulthood" that Noah and I are working on.  This week, it's scheduling your time and how to use the hours in a day effectively.


I'm no expert at scheduling time, in fact, the reason this is my focus this week is because I am reaching "the crazy" as I like to call it. "The crazy" is when I will fully admit that around 4pm each day I become a grouchy bear. It's as if all the life-giving, positive energy inside of me has been sapped by sixth graders all day and my patience is about two millimeters thick. Consequently, when I arrive home I am not motivated to do work... And you know what? I don't always need to. Here's why.

  1. What is your priority? Mine is sleep. If I don't get enough sleep I am a grouchy bear.
  2. What do you need to get done? If you have a lesson the next day, that is a must. No options.
  3. Accept it. Recognize that a bad streak can't go on forever. Eventually you will get over the hump and things will become easier again. 
  4. Talk to someone. The worst feeling is when you think you are the only one who feels stressed or frustrated with a situation. Talking to others may help you feel better (such as when you realize you're not the only student teacher who loses all patience with people by 4pm).
These thoughts help me work through student teaching. It's stressful, doing a job and not making money, but it is only for a four month period of time. You can make it. 

Geckos Gone Wild

19 April 2012


Hello,

My name is Sci and I'm the gecko mascot for a sixth grade classroom. Yesterday a student fed me my meal worms just like every day. But, then, I noticed my door was left slightly ajar. I was curious. I walked over to the door and poked my head out, but no one was paying me any mind. The teacher was near the front of the classroom and the students were all looking at her. So, I journeyed out of my comfort zone to the nearby wall. Surely there must be wonderful adventures out here! However, to my dismay, there was suddenly a lot of racket and someone tried to grab me! I scurried away and up the wall to the top of a disco ball. Then that person got a little taller and tried to snatch me up again so I jumped about a foot and a half towards a nearby wall. Luckily they gave up when I was up in the corner of the room and behind a few tables. I ended up staying there the rest of the day I was so terrified!

I did notice a lot of people came in through out the day and pointed at me. I wished they would just go away! .... At least it's nice to be in the limelight for a little bit.

Sincerely,
Your Class Gecko

Bikini Summer 2012

17 April 2012


Over at Yes and Yes, Sarah Von linked her readers to a few posts so that we could keep up a smile over the weekend. One of the links I thought was a clear winner titled "Bikini Summer 2012".

I am getting married this summer but it's been on the back of my mind due to student teaching and jobs being more stressful. Consequently I am doing no pre-wedding diet (or at least not until student teaching ends) and I am not getting to the gym after my school days.

Beyond the wedding, it is swimsuit season and I, once again, am looking for a cute one piece which seems impossible to find. There are two reasons I always look for a one piece:

  1. When I swim in the ocean I have issues with two pieces, ahem, failing to do their job of covering me.
  2. I am self-conscious. 

Lets be real here, I vary anywhere from a size 8 to a size 12. I am not the skinniest girl on the beach, nor the tannest, nor the most toned. I would like to make changes and this would be a great summer to make them.

I am making it my goal to complete all of the lessons on Bikini Summer 2012. I think making positive changes in my mindset is a good first step to becoming healthier. Take a few minutes from your day and check out the posts on Olivine's Charm School.

What I'm Loving

16 April 2012


This puppy bow tie! How cute is he? Just like a sir!

{bracelet}

Amanda makes some beautiful jewelry. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she opens an Etsy site this summer so I can stock up on some cute finds.


I love this teaching print. With two blossoming teachers in-house I think it would be perfectly appropriate in our future living room.


To DC and Back Again.... a Teacher's Tale

14 April 2012










On Thursday we took the kids to Washington DC to walk around the memorials and to watch the Nationals play. We had a good time watching the game and some of our students had never been to Washington DC. I paired up with another student teacher who I've come to be fast friends with and we took our girls around together the whole day. We ended up sitting in traffic for an hour and a half just to go three miles and ended up missing the American History Museum as well as the Natural History Museum. The kids hardly noticed though, which is the nice thing about working with middle schoolers.

All in all I learned that you have to be flexible. Plans may not be followed but you can still take the positive out of every day and experience.

Some Worries & Frustrations

12 April 2012


To make this more bearable, I'm going to throw in some fun photos. Feel free to browse the photos and ignore the total downer that follows. Sometimes I really debate typing up everything because I like to keep it positive around here, but when it's all said and done, this blog is for me. I don't want to look back with rose-colored glasses and forget that times were hard, but I do tend to focus on the positive. Anyways, this will be the last text-heavy post for a while and I do have a lot of great things to tell you about!

The fun photos:









Now, I try not to make things sound glittery and full of glam. I think there are a good number of positive deals in my life right now, but that doesn't mean there aren't stressors. I think sometimes it's way too easy to try to sell yourself online. Lets be honest though, life isn't all fun and games. Here's some of the stuff that's been troubling me lately and some of it pretty heavily.

I feel like I snap at Noah every time he comes home. It feels as if I put forth all this positive energy at school to my students then come home and just can't keep it up. This hurts me because of all the people in my life Noah is the most positive and deserving of my love. I talked to one of my grad school friends and she said she's having the same problem. I'm hoping that when we get paid to work and no longer have the thesis to do this will fix itself a bit.... Don't get me wrong we're happy for the most part, but sometimes I just feel so selfish.

On Monday I missed my first ever full day of student teaching from being sick.

Break was not relaxing. The only times I felt really happy were when I was out to lunch and dinner with friends and family. I had to eat and I really enjoyed my time with company. The rest of the time was spent in a downward spiral with me fretting about my thesis (which I thought was due this past Monday and, in fact, was not).

I've been playing phone tag with a principal. My phone is off during school and I can't check email and when I'm out of school so is he! I'm worried that we're never going to schedule an interview.

I have no idea where I'll be living in three and a half months. 'Nough said.

Will Noah and I be able to get jobs within driving distance from one another?

What if I have to sub next year instead of having my own classroom?

A lot of my issues right now are my "What Ifs?". You never really know what's coming your way so for the most part I'm just counting my blessings!

....................................................................................

Tomorrow I'll be back with some pictures from our field trip (probably in the afternoon). As you're reading this I may be off in our nation's capitol!

An Absence

11 April 2012

Beware! Text heavy. 


Ok, I've been absent for a few days from the blogosphere. I know this has become normal during student teaching and I shudder a bit to think what it will be like when I have my first year as a true teacher. This post is basically just to catch up and get all my thoughts down and out of my system!

To catch you up a bit I'll do a little bit of the positive that's ruling my life right now.

First, my thesis is practically finished.

Second, I have a little bit of Noah in my life. Hard to go wrong there!

There is a field trip to Washington with my kiddos tomorrow.

I have a few interviews coming up.

Over break I was able to meet up with one of my bridesmaids and my mom-who-is-not-my-mom.

I went swimming over break. How I missed it!

Animals filled half my days last week. Kitties and pups galore. Too bad none were mine!

My future mother-in-law gave me an Easter basket.

Noah had his first true gig as a musician. He's so talented and for the first time he was paid to play in a church. He sounded marvelous, as always! That's my man.

I found out that my church is hosting a bridal shower. Awww.

Glee, New Girl, and Game of Thrones have all started again.

I may be able to work a summer school gig.


Things aren't all peachy though but I wanted to throw a WHOLE BUNCH of POSITIVE out here because it just feels right today. I'll catch you up on some of the "tough stuff" tomorrow.

Daily Grind

06 April 2012

I'm downtown with a new latte (CaraMochaNut) from Daily Grind while watching people on our walking mall. It's actually been really nice to be back in my hometown, Winchester. Our downtown area is beautiful. It's making me a little instagram obsessed. Some days I think I may just end up here, relaxing with Noah and enjoying the comforts of home while being surrounded by familiar faces. A little bit of contentment can occasionally have a face off with adventure.






Business Pups

05 April 2012


My interviews are today so what better to leave you with today than pups who are ready for some serious business? 

{via}

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{via}

Hope some of those cuties made you smile. I had to end on a pug right? Oh, I've been seeing lots of corgis around recently too and I think they're precious! 

Fingers crossed that in the next year or so I can get a dog. All these cuties are getting to me! Have a lovely Thursday and if you have a dog give him/her an extra pat for me!

Interviews: Stage I

04 April 2012


Tomorrow I'm interviewing with a school district in West Virginia and I'm holding out tons of hope! They sent me an email with my schedule for the interview day and said that everyone has two interviews and candidates needed to check the schedule to find their locations. I opened the PDF file sure I'd be looking at two of the high schools only to find to my delight that both of my interviews will be at the middle school level! I am amazed. I had a difficult time not emailing back with a "thank you thank you thank you!" email.  

I know I've said it on Twitter a lot but if you'll send some positive mojo my way tomorrow I'd be ever so grateful! 

Tuesday Goals

03 April 2012


Tuesday morning has rolled around to start the day with another mug of coffee. I feel a pattern in my day. The best part of today is that it's Noah's last day of work before his spring break!

Last night he came home and we watched the season premiere of Game of Thrones. I'm so glad he's watching that show with me but it just kills me not to give away things when he asks questions. Does anyone else have this problem?

Since I was fairly distracted throughout the day yesterday I'm going to list my Tuesday goals where the world can see them:
  • Finish the grading, the charts, and at least one section of my TWS today
  • Take a walk in the park
  • Plan some healthy meals for the week
  • Watch New Girl tonight at nine! 
  • Do TK20
  • Call back a principal
  • Organize a dress fitting
  • Get at least one assignment in the gradebook
That's not close to everything I have to do but all of this must get done today! Spring break got here just in time! 

A Little Jaunt & Crossed Fingers

02 April 2012







This weekend seemed to fly by. It was the beginning of my spring break and I sit here, on Monday morning, with no work done from the past two days. I can no longer afford to put off my thesis, grading, or job applications. I have a mug of coffee beside me and, I'll confess, some Nilla wafers and Nutella. 

We took an hour car ride to shop for suits yesterday. Noah, his best man, and I all traveled a little north while I sang to Glee songs the entire drive. Spring is in full swing here in the Valley and the bright greens and pinks (hello redbuds!) are gorgeous! We've been having nearly perfect weather here for about a week and it's looking to continue on. 

There are only four weeks until graduation and summer and our 'real lives' begin. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it! 

Oh, and keep your fingers crossed for me, I have two job interviews coming up!


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