Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Teaching Portfolio

Because we move around a lot for my husbands work, I have really put in some time to my teaching portfolio. A portfolio is a very personal thing. It reflects you as a teacher and as a professional. That being said, no two portfolios will look the same. My portfolio might not be just right for you. But, I wanted to share some of my ideas.

Why I Created A Portfolio- Interview Story Time 

I had an interview about a year ago when we first moved to our current location. It did not go well. My answers HORRIBLE. I knew after answering the first question, it was a bad interview. Here is what happened. There was a job posting for a reading teacher. Like most jobs, it was a generic posting so I didn't know exactly what the reading teacher would be doing. Is it in the room? Pull out groups? What grades? What curriculum? The first question I was asked (and of course it was a panel of teachers and administrators) was, "What is your goal for this program?" Um what? I don't know what the program is! So I asked if he would please explain to me what the program was. He couldn't. All I could gather was the it was a grant based position and that I would probably pull students out and sit in the hallway with them. I truly couldn't answer his question. I didn't know what curriculum, if any, they were using. He couldn't tell me the grades he wanted me to work with. Nothing. Needless to say my answer was truly embarrassing. This left me feeling so badly about myself and my interviewing skills that I knew I had to do something about it so that didn't happen again.

I should also mention that my greatest fear is public speaking. Not speaking to kids, but to adults. That makes interviewing a very hard task for me. This makes interviewing for another job after a bad interview completely overwhelming. I needed something to help me out during this next interview. Enter the portfolio.

The Portfolio 

I know that a portfolio looks good to interviewers, but my main reason for creating it was because I wanted a prop or something I could rely on if I got stuck or had a moment of panic. When I sat down to create the portfolio I asked myself the following questions.

1. What defines me as a teacher?
2. What kinds of questions am I most likely to be asked?
3. Can I provide examples from my past experience to support my answers?
4. What kind of data can I provide the interviewers?
5. What work am I most proud of?

So in answering these questions, I decided to include the following sections to the portfolio

1. Original Lessons
2. Student Achievement Data
3. Observations- both official and not
4. Classroom Management Philosophy
5. Sample Lesson Plans
6. Credentials

I also stuck a few random odds and ends in the back pocket of the folder such as examples of my classroom modifications.

Did It Work? 

YES! I spent a fair amount of time creating the portfolio so when it came time to interview, I already had specific examples and physical examples to back up my answers. It made me so much less nervous and I think the panel liked the portfolio. I walked out of the interview and called my husband and told him that I actually thought it went well! And you know what, it did, because the next day, I got the job!

Want to get these dividers for your portfolio? CLICK HERE

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Classroom Rules Poster

By the time my students reached 5th grade, they have seen all the classroom rules before. My first 2 years in 5th grade, I did the same thing. We came up with the classroom rules as a class and signed an agreement to follow them. I often would refer to the contract that they signed if there were issues. I would also go over the classroom rules again and have them resign an agreement if issues continued. For my class, it just wasn't very effective.  So, I wanted to get a little creative with the usual classroom rules so that they really stuck with them when I had to refer to them again. Below, you will find my new and improved set of classroom rules..... with hashtags!

Most of the hashtags were things that I would normally say. My personal favorites are for the listening rule #tunein and come to class prepared is #priorities.

*June 2017 UPDATE* 

You guys have shown me so much love with these posters! THANK YOU!!

They have quickly become my best selling item on TPT. I have taken requests during the 2016-2017 school year and I now have so many more styles to choose from! I also have a variety of cover posters available to fit specific school regulations and requirements. I am also happy to announce that I have posters for British English available such as "Rubbish goes in the bin" and "No mobile phone use."

I know many teachers have finish their current school year or it is coming to an end. So, while we all enjoy a MUCH needed and MUCH earned break, I know some of us are planning out the changes we can make to our rooms for the 2017-2018 school year. That being said, if you have suggestions for themes, designs, or more classroom rules posters, please comment below! I will be adding MORE to this product this summer! You can also e-mail with comments, questions, or requests.

Thank you!                                                                 


Black and white options are available too! Put them onto your favorite paper to match your classroom's theme and you would be good to go! 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Student Welcome Notes!

Since it is June and school has been out for a few weeks, naturally I am already looking ahead to next year. I really like leaving something for the kids on their first day on school. This year, I am keeping it simple with these notes and candy! I don't have a color printer at school (boo) so I made them in black and white. I still really like how they came out. 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

DIY Fathers Day

This year is my husbands FIRST FATHER'S DAY! His only request was to have a huge, fancy brunch that has prime rib. But, I wanted to create a little present to go with it. So when he is in a brunch food coma this Sunday, he will have a huge bucket of goodies to really send himself over the edge! And to really sweeten it up (haha see what I did there??) I wrote this little poem. I am really happy with how it turned out! I also took and printed a picture of our son and put that in the basket! 

Create this easy and inexpensive, yet adorable, DIY Father's Day basket. To make this basket, you will need the following...

1. Almond Joy 
2. Skittles 
3. Gummy Bears 
4. Extra Gum 
5. Starburst 
6. Sweet Tarts 
7. 100 Grand 
8. Hot Tamales 
9. Reeses 
10. Pop Corn
11. A basket or bucket 

Arrange the candy into the bucket with a poem!