Friday, June 14, 2013

Pirating and Room Décor Linky


Pirate Book Study

So I’m back for Chapter 2 of the Teach Like a Pirate Book Study! Chapter 2 is titled: Immersion. 

It was a chapter that really caught my attention as I read it while inhaling my lunch after a four hour teaching morning (yes, 4 HOURS without a moment of down time to do anything!). It really captured my attention because it is all about being in the moment with your students.  I am soooo guilty of not being in the moment this year.  It has been creeping up on me – the multitasking monster! 

I find myself grading, filing, and answering emails rather than engaging with my students as much as I could because I would actually like to leave work and have a life outside of these cinderblock walls!  Plus, the flaming hoops that we now have to jump through (especially in NY right now), require us to do so much more work on our own time.  Part of me refuses to do that. If I am supposed to complete all of this paper work, I’m going to do it at work, during my work hours. Not to even mention the trickiness of having so many adults present in your classroom.  When I have a para or special education teacher, I feel like I am spending so much time trying to communicate with the other adult that I am not as into the teaching as I could be.

I think my passion for teaching has suffered.  I also think I have build fewer connections with my students and have not been as supportive as I would like. 

How do you balance the need to be immersed with your students, the professional expectations (that have literally quadrupled from 12 years ago when I did not file a darn thing other than to slap a photo on a cumulative file to spreadsheets, graphs, portfolios, and recoding data in multiple places.) And being human like people who do not teach?

Is more multi-tasking the answer?  My brain screams “No, I can’t do one more thing and stay sane!” Does something go? My brain screams “YES – STANDARDIZED TESTING AND EXTREME DATA COLLECTION!” Not likely, but in the mend time, how can we be more in the moment with our classes? I can’t wait to hear what others have to say!

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Ahh!  Classroom décor! The Applicious Teacher is having a summer linky! This is such a great topic!  I had a blue and red colored classroom when I taught first grade.  No real theme, other than my frogs here and there.  I loved the bold colors.  It was a very striking color pallet. This year – new grade and new building – I decided to change it up! I went with “Dots on Turquoise” (with Dots on Black as a back up).  My goal was to be able to reuse some of the items I bought a few years ago when I had bright colors in my classroom (lime, turquoise, pink) and save some money. 

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I grew to like it more than I thought I would and I think I will keep the color scheme.  Other than that, I am not much of a theme person.  I tried having a camping theme last year, but it was just too much for me.  I couldn’t keep the theme going and it just seemed to distract from the real learning in the classroom. Plus, it was costing a bunch to buy all the items to make it sure cute.  So, I think I will stick with the colors and not worry so much about a specific theme.

What are your planning next year?


  1. Thanks so much for reading Teach Like a PIRATE and for writing your post about Immersion!! I find your honesty about this year's something we can all get better at.

  2. You hit the nail on the head with your honest reflections on why so many of us have a difficult time being fully immersed with our students as we teach.

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  3. I am so with you on the "If it has to be done I will do it on my working hours, not at home" thing. I have a 2 year old and I give up enough time with her as it is. SOMETHING has to give. Last year I decided that a lot of the paperwork is what gave. I would do mantatory things last minute, on lunch, or even in a faculty meeting but I stopped bringing it home. It isn't ok to me that I should take away from my family. So I stopped. Thanks for joining in!
    Third Grade Tidbits