Sunday, August 16, 2009

I'm a Born Again Teacher

I'm on day 5 as a Born-Again Teacher. To say that my head is spinning would not do justice to the way my thoughts are processing, however I must say I'm feeling much better about everything today. I'm convinced that support from others is the key to staying sane!
  • My former team not only sent me on my way with a lovely goodbye party at the most quaint places in all of Lake Worth (along with the most useful gift certificate of all time for a Born Again Teacher - can you guess?) came to my rescue and totally pimped out my room with the technology I'll need and (perhaps best of all) organizing the labyrinth of wires that encompassed the front quarter of my new room. I
    may be "techy" but one thing my new family should probably know about me right away is that I don't/can't do wires or hardware (much to the chagrin of my former team).

  • My 16 year old son came to help me every day with cleaning, organizing and helping to input student names into databases to get me ready to Rock-n-Roll on the first day. What a kid! Home from college for the weekend, My 19 year old son and his girlfriend will be there with me tomorrow where they'll take pictures of each student as they come in. Tomorrow is the day before school begins, but students and parents come in to "Meet and Greet" the teachers and I want a photo of each student while they hold a name card under their face (like a mugshot). I don't know; bulletin board? seating chart? thoughts on this?

  • My new team has been very welcoming with offers of their valuable time, materials and their warmest sentiments. I already think they're wonderful and I hope soon, I'll be able to give back to them as much as they've given to me.

  • My new administration is not really new. The principal, Pat, and I go back 25 years when we taught together at my first school, Coral Sunset, that was also brand-spanking new. We've kept in touch over the years as have many of us from that original at Coral Sunset. Sometimes life hands you an amazing group of friends that stick with you for life and even though you may not see them very often, you'll find each other in that special place in each other's hearts.

  • Parents of former students have already contacted me with offers to volunteer. Rumor has it (and I know it's true because I taught at this school before) that the community here is extremely supportive. I know I won't have any trouble finding volunteers to help out as needed.

  • Of course my online where I've received oodles of ideas and recommendations for where to go for grants and I've even received messages from companies about easy applications to fill out where you can win money for your classroom. NACD is already sending my for our labs.
So, as I meet my students and jump into our first week I can tell you I'm very excited. I've got some great activities planned for my students and I've already planned the first homework assignment which is based on our. I want to give my students and their parents some gentle exposure to the blog and the world of blogging. Take a peek and please share your thoughts.

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I wish all my educator friends out there best wishes for a great school year. Those are my plans too.

And remember to ask questions. Lots of questions.



When I was in the classroom teaching 5th grade, I used to take a picture of each kid on the first day of school and then put their heads on these little lifeguard bodies I had already made in several different skin tones. Each wore red shorts and a white t-shirt. I would put the kids' student numbers for my class (1 to 25) on the bodies, laminate them, and stick half a velcro strip on their backs. I had a bulletin board called "Mrs. Main's Life Savers" with five big lifeguard chairs on a beach. Each chair was for one of the class jobs, and I rotated the kids each week. All their little lifeguards were always on the poster, in lines on the beach or in the chairs. It helped them see how soon it was their turn to have one of the jobs. And it was cute. At the end of the year, I gave them their lifeguards.

Looking through my basement for something else, I just came across the pictures from one group of kids who are about the be high school juniors. They were my 5th graders during my pregnancy with my son. I am still in touch with most of them, and it's amazing how "little" and "young" they were six years ago!

So consider maybe incorporating their pictures into some kind of in-class display.

P.S. Have a great year! I am really excited for you.


Sounds like you are off to a great start! Wishing you a wonderful journey this year with your students! Suggested uses of those photos, Star of the week, helpers, seating chart, use in voicethread and have them comment and set goals. I will be working with all 450 5th graders in my school this year in a 9 week rotation class - if there's a way to colloborate with your students I would love to. I'll enjoy following your year. Best as always.


I love the Life Savers idea. How fun is that for the kids? I've also stumbled across some old pictures from "way back." Students I had in 1st grade (25 years ago) now have kids who are attending my school. How could that be??? Thanks for the ideas.

Thank you also for the great ideas. I'll let you know about collaborating. I've got some ideas and may be in touch as soon as I get my bearings.


Thank you for your wonderful post about going back into the classroom. I'm having a lot of trouble getting mentally ready for the school year to start, so I need and appreciate this type of positive affirmation. Have a great year, and I look forward to hearing about your experiences.


I helped a teacher take closeup shots of kids faces with their arms folded and chin laying on arms--showing a big smile. She printed them out (on photo paper no less), cut out the head propped on the arms, removing all else form the picture, and then hot glued them along the bulletin board strip outside her room. Naturally when their work was displayed out in the hall it was placed under the student's picture. It was CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!!


In our classroom, we have made "Wanted for Fifth Grade" Posters gluing the "mugshots" in the center and then the kids decorate around the sides with pictures and words that describe themselves.

Have a fun year!