A Blog Hop and a Plug

Oh my! Two posts in a row...could this be a roll I'm on? haha

Anyway. So, on my slightly-regular stalking reading today, I stumbled upon a New Bloggers Blog Hop when checking out Jenny over at Owl Things First. It is actually being hosted by Janis at Grade Three is the Place For Me. If you don't already, I'd suggest you hop (hehe) on over and check them both out!

I've been having so much fun finding new bloggers to follow, and it feels so cool to have others follow me as well! (Thanks so much, you guys!!!) So, this is a great opportunity for other new bloggers to meet more people, and for experienced bloggers to help newbies like me out!

So, anyway... on the the

The rules are simple: just share a little bit about yourself!
(warning: I don't know what "a little bit" means...I tend to be wordy, but it's because I love to share...I'll get better, promise! hehe)
 1. what state you are in
 2. your current teaching position
 3. your teaching experience
 4. when you started blogging
 5. share a blogging tip / blogging resource

Here goes:
  1. I am currently living in the Great (albeit hot!) State of Texas. =) I have lived in the Austin area for nearly 9 years now. However, I grew up and spent the first 15 years of my life in Oklahoma. I love living here, but I miss my friends up "north". I also spent almost a year of my life in the suburbs of Chicago, while my husband was in the Marine Corps. Truth-be-told...I'd move back there in a heartbeat! I absolutely loved having seasons! The joke that I was told when I moved to Austin was that there are two seasons: Summer, and February. Turns's not a joke! It's incredibly true! I had no asthma or allergies in Chicago (Austin is one of the allergy-capitals of the country!), and I loved that I could park at my Home Depot, hop on the Metro Rail, and take a relaxing train ride down into the b-e-a-utiful Downtown Chicago! *sigh* I love Austin too...but there was something about Chicago... 
  2. I am currently teaching First Grade. But, I am not just new to teacher-blogging...I'm new to being a teacher! Well, that's not entirely true... I was a Kindergarten Readiness/Pre-K teacher for 10 years. But, this is my first official public school teaching job! I am super-duper, geeked-out excited for it! Completely overwhelmed, absolutely! But, I'm not going to let that dampen my excitement... It's going to be a fan-TAB-ulous first year! My team rocks! And I can't wait to get into that classroom already! hehe
  3. Okay...I kinda double-dipped this question into the last one. But, here goes: I taught Kindergarten Readiness/Pre-K for about 10 years. I started immediately out of high school, because it was an awesome summer job (no weekends, and off by 6pm every night). Who knew that would be where I'd park my career for so long?! But, it blossomed into a real love for teaching...and for those cute little "light bulb" moments when a kid really gets it! I also interned and student taught in 3rd grade, so that was a full year. They were great. I loved the curriculum! Especially teaching multiplication and division! Math is kinda my thing. Then I did two long-term sub jobs in what is now my school last year--one in second and one in fourth. I liked them both, for different reasons. All of this had really made it hard to pinpoint my "ideal" grade...but I'm super excited to give first a shot! 
  4. I started this blog in February 2011. It's only just now getting going, though, since June...when I got my job! But, it's not my first blog. I have a personal (and neglected) blog that I started in March of 2010, on my birthday. I want to get started back up with that one, too. But, my first blog was a Xanga (holy-g...does anyone remember that?!) that I started in 2004. I was very diligent about that one for about 4 years...but it got hacked, and then I discovered Blogger and never went back. 
  5. The best, newest tip that I received, was actually shared with me by Sophia at How Cute Is This, from The Cutest Blog on the Block. It was how to add my signature to my blog, and get rid of that pesky, link-indicating box around it! You can find out how here.
Thanks for reading! I warned you I can be wordy. haha

Okay, lastly, I wanted to share with anyone who hasn't seen already, this ah-mazing MEGA GIVEAWAY from Jenn at Finally in First! She is celebrating 2,000 followers, and she and 23 of her favorite bloggers are giving away some fan-TAB-ulous items to 24 lucky winners!!! There is only one day left, so if you haven't done it yet, get over there and enter! 
Well, that is all for tonight! I can hear your eyes rejoicing. hehe



Catching up, and my first Link-up!

There is so much to catch up on, but I don't know where to start. I don't want this to be waaaay long! So, let's see if I can just wrap it all up in a nice, neat list. I like lists...I *love* lists. They are so handy, and such a great way to keep track of all kinds of stuffs. heh


1) Move-in day did not go quite as I had planned. They seemed totally shocked that I was even there (I was the only one there) and hesitant to even let me in. Once we got that all cleared up, I was informed that I could bring stuff in, but that it had to be pushed up against the wall, stacked high, and I could not set anything up. Boo. But, apparently the nasty, Texas cricket epidemic has affected my school. It stinks, y'all. Like, way stinks. That many crickets in one place, and then combined with high summer temps and no air?? Holy cow. It was toxic. But, it's supposedly going to be all taken care of this week, and Monday we should be able to get started. Which, is great, since In-Service starts on the 20th, and school starts on the 27th. Cutting to the wire for a neurotic-perfectionist like me, now... =)

2) I didn't get to go to all the Professional Developments that I wanted to go to this week. In fact, I made it to none this week. Last week, we went to a Flip Flippen training, Capturing Kids' Hearts. It was pretty amazing. The training itself was almost more like a three-day therapy session than it was a training. The theory is, "if you have a kid's heart, you have his head." It deals a lot with developing relationships within the classroom, and developing a safe, trusting environment to create a self-maintaing classroom. I really learned a lot from it: creating and using social contracts, using management signs (hand signals) within the classroom, and how to handle disruptive and disrespectful behavior in a way that actually decreases the behaviors overall. Best part? I was able to share that I learned the "Three Questions" technique (What are you doing? What are you supposed to be doing? What are you going to do about it?) in my Classroom Management class...and I even, SUCCESSFULLY use it with my own son! =) Score one for the new teacher. haha

3) Today, I had my first meet-up with another Teacher-Blogger, Jennifer, over at Rowdy in First Grade. So much fun! I guess there aren't many of us here in the Central Texas area...and if you're out there, speak up! =) We talked about all sorts of things: classroom set up and decoration, experience, neurotic tendencies in the classroom (haha)... It was great. I can't wait until the opportunity to get together again. And, she was so sweet with my son, who can't wait to hang out with her again, either. He's (almost) five, and she let him use her phone to take this photo of us:
  Please ignore the double chin, haha. Apparently, I pull my head back when I take photos. Nice. And, he cut off the top of my head, so I look strangely bald...and you can't see my cute bangs-twist. =) But, if you don't follow Jennifer, you should. She's awesome! 

Okay, I'm going to end with a CURRENTLY from Farley over at Oh Boy Fourth Grade! This is the first time I've done this...but I see everyone else doing it during my stalking reading-up times. I thought it may be fun to partake! There is a rule for sharing, though: the "Rule of 3". If you share, you are supposed to read and comment on the two link-ups before you, and the one after you. It's all about spreading the love! 

As you can tell, I'm pretty excited to finally have my own room...and even more excited to get IN said room. 

Busy week next week, though: 
Monday = staycay to Schlitterbahn with the family, Tuesday = doctor appointment and *hopefully* time in the classroom, Wednesday & Thursday = more hopeful-time in the classroom, and Friday & Saturday = family in town and getting things ready for Sunday's party.

Okay, I think that's long enough. Thanks for sticking around, if you did. And, thanks to my new readers and followers! It's so awesome to be a part of such an amazing network of teachers! Hopefully, my next few posts will include pictures of things as they progress in the classroom!

Now it's your turn to link-up!