New Years Resolutions for Teachers

New Years Resolutions for Teachers

Happy New Year!

Well, teacher friend, we made it to January! It’s time to look forward and set some new years resolutions for teachers! My teacher life in 2019 with such joy and a renewed passion for teaching. I am approaching the second half of the school year, feeling so refreshed as an educator. My teacher resolutions will look so different from ones  I’ve set in the past. 

There have been years though where I haven’t hit January feeling the way I do now. We all go through different seasons of teaching. A lot is coming up for us in the second half of the school year. Here are a few new years resolutions for teachers to help us thrive in 2020!

New Year's Resolutions For Teachers

Take Time For You

“A good teacher is like a candle- it consumes itself to light the way for others.” -Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

I’m sure that Mustafa had the most excellent intentions when this was said, but we as teachers are too often candles. The problem with being like a candle is that they burn out, and teacher burn out is real. I have felt it; I know so many teachers who have also felt it and some who leave teaching altogether because of burnout.

Once you’re burned out, you’re of no use to anyone. So, let’s agree not to listen to this quote and instead act like trees. A tree gives off oxygen, which is very useful for us, it provides shelter for animals, and it helps fertilize the soil. A tree doesn’t consume itself to provide for others. It is strong and stable. If a tree could, I’m sure it would take time for itself. Invest in yourself. You’re of no use to anyone if you’re burned out. 


Leave your school bag at work over the weekend. I did this a few years ago, and I am telling you it was magical! I didn’t do the work I brought home anyway, and it just stressed me out. Reclaiming my weekends meant I was investing in myself and wasn’t putting all my energy into school. 

Read for fun. When I taught grade 3 in the US, I was experiencing all sorts of burn out. One day a student asked if I did my 20 minutes of reading the night before. I hadn’t because I was trying to survive, but at that moment, I realized maybe I should read. So I got myself a reading log and started reading for 20 minutes every night, just for fun, like I asked my students. Invest in yourself and take time to read. 

Take a trip. Anytime teaching gets a little too stressful; I take a quick weekend getaway anywhere I can. In Poland, that often meant going to the mountains in Zakopane. In Wisconsin, sometimes it just meant going to my sister’s house or going to a spa. It’s amazing what a little weekend away can do for you. In Oman, I try to take a trip to the beach.

A little retail therapy never hurt anyone. While my bank account may beg to differ a good trip to Target, Zara, TJ Maxx, or Sephora could be just the reset you need. 

Be Present

If you’ve taught the TCRWP Units of Study, there’s a lesson in the grade 3 reading curriculum that got me one year. You teach the kids that sometimes readers fall into the trap of reading on autopilot. I sometimes think as teachers, myself included, we get stuck in the trap of teaching on autopilot. We go through the motions and teach the most beautiful lessons, but we are not present in the classroom.

Start with just celebrating small moments of joy in your classroom and work from there. It could be taking that moment to laugh alongside your students instead of immediately redirecting attention back to the lesson is just what’s needed. One year I was having a hard time, so I jotted down three joyful moments each day. These three moments were sometimes simple (like no one complained their dry erase marker was dead) and sometimes were meaningful moments (all those lightbulb moments we live for).

Notice when you check out, and autopilot begins. There are days I feel checked out during morning meeting. So, I acknowledge that and work on my active listening. Sometimes I find myself in writing moving from writer to writer conferring without really being in the moment as much as a could be. Notice when it happens, because it happens to all of us, and check back in.

Plan with Intention

This is an excellent resolution for teachers- including me! Use your prep times to your advantage and plan out your teaching. I find that the moments that I am the most stressed out as a teacher have also been the moments I am the least prepared. Click HERE to read more about structuring your prep time. 

Teaching is a lot of planning, but ensuring that your teaching is intentional means that you’re doing what’s best for your students. Taking your prep times to intentionally plan out each lesson to guide your students where they’re going next means that you’ll not only be more prepared but also more effective as a teacher. 

Show Appreciation

Who doesn’t like feeling appreciated? At one school I worked at, we took time at the start of every staff meeting to honor someone. Everyone needed to show up with an idea of a staff member they would like to acknowledge and why. You never knew who was going to be asked to honor someone and who was going to be honored. This little 5 minutes of appreciation set the tone for our work together.
How else could you appreciate someone? One of my teacher friends used to bring treats to a weekly meeting; another one popped in with Starbucks after a rough day, one principal would write little cards of appreciation, one principal would sneak into your classroom and tweet out something great you were doing. The ways of appreciating each other are endless.

Get Moving

This year I am working to incorporate more movement into my classroom intentionally. We use GoNoodle, and sometimes we use Adventure to Fitness. We have a cool Spark bike in our class, that is great. It’s not unique to my classroom, and many other classrooms at our school have one. I also intentionally plan movement breaks into my schedule to engage students in moving, not just sitting. 

I have worked to get moving during the day. Sometimes that means taking the long path to the staff lounge, and other times, it means taking a walking break around the school during prep to keep moving. Moving throughout the day is so important. I find myself able to focus much better after a little movement session. 

Reignite Your Passion

Listen, there have been moments in my teaching career when I’ve just thought I was done. I’ve had to work hard to remember I even had a passion for teaching at some points over the last nine years. It happens to all of us. Reigniting your passion won’t look the same as other teachers, but it is necessary to keep your sanity and stay in the game. This was one of my teacher new year’s resolutions last year. 

Sometimes I read professional books to reignite my passion. I read the book Thrive one year to help get myself back in the game. This year I’m read the book Onward to renew my teacher spirit. 

Many, many years ago, I created a teacher twitter account to connect with educators who were also passionate. That was extremely helpful when I felt I was stuck. I could see the hope and passion of so many other educators. That pushed me to push myself and do better as a teacher.

One year to reignite my passion, I separated my teacher Instagram from my personal Instagram. I made a new account so that I wouldn’t have to see teacher stuff continually, and I could see more of my friend’s posts. While it might seem counterintuitive to want to see teacher stuff less, it was what did the trick. I found myself constantly feeling like I wasn’t enough as a teacher when scrolling through Instagram. Once I separated the accounts, I was able to only look at my teacher Instagram when I wanted. It helped me focus on my own life but sometimes look for great ideas when I needed to. 

One time I paired up with a motivated colleague, and we took classes together on literacy. We were in it together and pushed one another to try new things. It was so fun; we met up once a week to discuss our success and our failures to support one another’s learning.

There are so many different ways to reignite your passion for teaching. Some ideas that I’ve used in the past wouldn’t work out for me now, so figure out what works best for you at this moment in time and go after it. 

Try Something New

Yup! Trying something new as a teacher is so important. In September of this year, I found myself sitting on the floor of my classroom (because I was making an anchor chart down there), thinking that I hadn’t tried any new strategies for a while. I went to my computer where I had a list of new things I wanted to try (because I am a nerd like that) and I chose one and tried it out the next day. It was so fun to do something I hadn’t done before. Trying something new can reignite that spark you had for teaching, it can take you off autopilot, and it can just be fun!
When’s the last time you tried something new in your classroom?

Take Credit For Your Success

This last one is deep: why not go out strong?
Once I was sitting with my assistant principal during my toughest year as a teacher. She complimented the fact that all of my students who began the year on a behavior intervention had graduated. I no longer had any students on check in check out. Graduating from check-in check out did not happen at our school. I deflected the compliment and put it back on my students. They were doing such hard work, continually trying out new strategies and working to change their behaviors. She stopped me immediately.
“Natasha, don’t deflect the compliment. You need to recognize that this may not have happened with another teacher. You’re the reason your kids have made this growth. It is because of you, and you need to realize that. You’re a great teacher, and you work so hard. You deserve to take the credit for your successes.”
It was that little speech that made me realize how often I attribute my success to others. I think that’s just the way we are as teachers. Of course, this student grew so much because of their efforts. But also because of the time you took to teach them what they needed. Take credit for your success. It feels uncomfortable at first, but then it just feels great. Don’t forget to recognize everyone else who helped with the success yet also remember it was you who did that too!

What Are your Teacher New Year's Resolutions?

What are other great new year’s resolutions for teachers? Do you have any resolutions for your teacher life? Have any other strategies teachers could benefit from? 

Leave all your thoughts and ideas in the comments below! 

Friday Five: Back in the USA

Friday Five: Back in the USA

This is my first summer back in the United States since before I moved to Poland. I am excited but I am going to miss my laidback European summers. I won’t be jetting off to Spain for time on the beach and I won’t be walking down the street for ice cream everyday… although maybe that is a good thing! I am excited to be back for the summer though. I am excited to spend time with my family and visit all of my friends. It’s a summer full of transitions and fun… and one small rant about airports! 


Welcome Back- O'Hare Chaos

They need some teachers' help

I have landed in many airports over the years and I have gone through passport control in so many places and O’Hare is terrible. To be fair, O’Hare is the only American airport I’ve landed in after an international flight- maybe all other airports are better. I’m about to go on a small (ok…🙄medium) and very justified rant about this now.

The directions aren’t clear going through. The employees are yelling these directions and if you aren’t in the right place at the right time, you miss out. Non-native English speakers are confused and instead of answering any questions, the employees just continue to yell directions. There are like 2 signs with directions and only in English and then you are expected to know what to do. It is like a lesson in the classroom gone horribly wrong.

I am a native English speaker, I am an American, I have been through passport control at O’Hare several times and it still stresses me out to the max every single time.

I feel so terrible for the people who don’t know what to do, try to ask for help, and just have the same directions they didn’t understand the first time screamed at them.

Then the little electronic check-in or whatever is completely unorganized. There is no one directing traffic and machines that are open when you leave the line and walk over aren’t still open when you arrive. Then those machines are very tricky for older people to use and understand which creates more chaos. AND why is there no expedited line for Americans? I am always envious of EU passport holders going through so quickly in Poland or UK passport holders zipping right through in England and I never get to zip through a passport line.

What O’Hare needs is a few teachers who have handled indoor recess duty for days…maybe weeks in a row. Teachers who have had to repeat the same directions over and over in the same way and rewording the directions different ways. Teachers who understand how valuable a meaningful anchor chart can be on the wall. Who know the value of pre-teaching and laying out clear expectations for what is going to happen. They need some teachers who understand that you don’t need to yell louder at non-native English speakers you need to explain things clearly, simply, multiple ways, and allow for wait time. A few teachers in there and the whole mess could be care  straightened out. 

You know what they need, you have the safety video at the start of your flight you should watch a customs video at the end of your flight while the plane is heading to the gate! See, this one teacher figured out a way to calm the chaos. Let me just run this idea by someone in charge of airport security…

After passport control there was a hilarious luggage situation. Several people, myself included, didn’t see their luggage come out. I had 1 out of 4 suitcases! 😲😧Then the baggage employee started… wait, guess what he started to do! YELL! At everyone! Then he called down and announced these exact words…. that I wrote down because I found them so hilarious! “Everyone! Stop talking to me! I AM TRYING TO TALK TO YOU!!!! They have magically found a luggage thingy that wasn’t unloaded. Your bags will be here soon! I don’t know. It is magical! MAGIC!” That last magic was screamed so aggressively I jumped a little! 😂

Once I got outside and saw my mom and brother I was relieved. So relieved I almost broke down in tears. One I had made it back into the US. Two I finally had someone to help me with all of my luggage… and there was a lot of it. 


Adjusting to America

I will not lie and say I have completely adjusted back to being in the US. Reverse culture shock is real! I’ve heard from many expats that re-entry can be just as difficult (or sometimes more so) than leaving. The biggest shock I’ve had to readjust to is how cold my parents keep our house! I haven’t been in air-conditioning in years. My parents don’t actually even have air-conditioning but they have so many fans. The fans are always on and I am always in a sweatshirt under a blanket! I can assure you in a few weeks I will not be complaining about the chill. It’s all about readjusting.

You know what else I have to adjust to? Being so close to a Target. I cannot even tell you how much I miss Target when I am abroad. The times I miss it most are when I need a specific item for my classroom and I know the exact location of it in Target and have I have no idea where to even begin the search for it in Poland. That is the worst! Although I have to admit I am now able to find lots of things in Poland. I have only been to Target once since being home and I have a new personal mantra for when I think about going to Target. “You are poor. You should not go.” It’s working so far but a girl can only hold off for so long! 

A third adjustment is living with my parents again! I’m almost 30 and moving back home after being so independent is an adjustment to say the very least. People (aka my mom and dad) want to know what I am doing at all times. Where I am going? How much money I am spending on things? Why does it take you so long to get ready? 😂The questions just don’t stop! I absolutely love my parents and I am so glad to spend time with them but it’s weird after being so independent.

The good thing about living with your parents is that my mom makes me coffee every morning and brings it to me. AND… you’re not going to believe this! My dad offered to give me his credit card to go to Target… what a brave man! Then immediately told me, just as he did when I was fifteen, that he expects receipts and I am only authorized to buy an HDMI cable. 😂😂Don’t worry, I only purchased the authorized item! 


Sibling Bonding

My youngest brother is the only one currently at my parent’s house. He and I have had a lot of time to hang out. So far we have gone on an adventure to Target (that was no fun because we didn’t even get to aimlessly wander the entire store to buy things we didn’t need) and the grocery store. We’ve watched a lot of Netflix together and have joked around a ton! I think we’re getting on our parents nerves a bit because we like to cause a bit of trouble but it is so great. I do miss the time hanging out with my siblings when I’m not in the US. We purchased an absurd amount of freeze pops (another thing to adjust to- things come in such large quantities) that we will enjoy together. We are currently in intense negotiations about chores at the moment because neither of us want to mow the lawn. But, just like when we were children, it it isn’t mowed when my parents get home from work we’ll be in trouble. 😂We are also planning on purchasing hammocks and putting them up in our parent’s backyard to chill outside! Should be a good summer for the two of us! 



The Cutest Old Lady

I CANNOT BELIEVE I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT THIS! This maybe should have been number one but here we are at four. 

I sat next to the cutest, old, Polish lady on my flight! She gives tours in Warsaw and part of one of her tour groups was coincidentally behind us on the plane. She must be a very good tour guide because she promptly put herself in charge of us and guided us through the flight. She pulled out pens when they handed out the border cards which I guess you don’t even have to fill out anymore because it is all digital. 

This is one thing they scream at you as you’re waiting in line.PUT THOSE BLUE CARDS AWAY! I DON’T EVEN WANT TO SEE THEM! SIR, I SAID PUT IT AWAY WE DON’T WANT TO SEE THEM. YOU DON’T NEED THOSE! Such high-stress! 

The cards were only in Polish so she helped the ladies behind me fill it out and asked for a card for me. They didn’t give me one because they thought her and I were flying together. Then they still didn’t give me one because I was American and they said I wouldn’t need it. That, thankfully, turned out to be true. 

During the flight she watched the flight screen for the whole trip. I cannot imagine watching that screen for nine hours but she did it. I only checked it when the little boy on the plane would yell out, “only 7 more hours.” Then I would check in on our progress and get antsy about sitting still for so long! She took a little nap and rested her head on my shoulder and I didn’t even mind one bit. 

When I asked if I could get out of our row she told me I had excellent timing. The man on the aisle was also up so I only disturbed her and she doesn’t mind at all. Then she complimented me because I ended up returning from the bathroom before the man on the aisle and she was so impressed with my timing. I explained that I was a teacher and quick bathroom breaks were my thing… she didn’t really understand that but it’s ok! Then every time the man got up she asked if I needed to use the toilet or if I needed a walk around the plane. She was so kind! 

When we landed I explained the electronic passport thing… what is that thing called? to the ladies. Then we stood next to each other in line and I explained how it worked again. They successfully made it through passport control and after picking up her bag she told me to have a wonderful time in the US and gave me a hug. She was heading to North Dakota. I hope she’s having a good time here in the US! 



Next Up: Cousins Camping

The Rice family loves nature and the outdoors. My grandma loved birdwatching and the whole family enjoys being outdoors. Cousins camping started a few years ago. Now, I used to go camping a lot but I have not been camping in probably 5-ish years. My vacations have been a bit more glam than camping while in Europe. My sister made it very clear that we are NOT glamping but real camping. 🙄I hope I survive! While you’re reading this I am heading to go camping with all of my cousins. I’ve missed out on a few cousin’s camping weekends while in Poland and I am really excited to get to go to this one. I haven’t seen my cousins in so long and I miss them tons! I haven’t seen them since before I left the US for Poland 3 years ago. I know this weekend is going to be filled with fun shenanigans. I did pick up some Polish vodka in the airport just for this occasion. I have two cousins who are also turning 30 in July so I brought them each back a small gift (read: vodka and a shot glass) to celebrate! Watch out northern Wisconsin, the Rice’s are going to have some fun this weekend! 

How’s your summer vacation going?

What fun things do you have planned?

How do you feel about the airport upon re-entry to the US? 

Is it that stressful everywhere? Is there somewhere worse than O’Hare? 


Friday Five: March Challenge

Friday Five: March Challenge


Welcome March

Let’s be real. I need a little kick in the pants when it comes to my blogging game. I have so many great ideas to share. I have so much training and experience to draw on. I do so much research that I think other teachers could benefit from but I just never take the time to put these big dreams in my head into action. That is about to change. You might notice that I had limited blog posts in February (and January but the idea didn’t happen until February) because I decided to spend February planning for March. Hello! Look at this gal figuring out how to plan! This means that there will be a new blog post coming your way almost daily. I say almost daily because I wanted this to be sustainable. Now while you’re reading throughout March I’m planning for April. Is this how legit bloggers do it? I would like to think so. 

If you want to be alerted of all the amazing content coming your way please make sure you subscribe to the blog… I’m not really one to beg for subscribers and there certainly aren’t a million popups encouraging you to do so but… maybe you don’t want to miss any amazing thoughts coming out of my head! 


So.. this week’s Friday Five is all about getting to know me! 


I Teach in Poland but I'm From Wisconsin

So many people ask, “why did you want to teach internationally?” and let me tell you, it is a hilarious tale. 

21 year old Natasha was student teaching in Green Bay, WI. My cooperating teacher graduated from the same college I had (in De Pere) and she was telling me that she student taught abroad in St. Lucia. I had studied abroad in Valencia, Spain. My friends were heading back in a few weeks for spring break. I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford to go back for spring break and my spring break no longer aligned with theirs because I was student teaching. So I was pretty bummed. I explained how bummed I was to my cooperating teacher and she said, “yeah. I always planned to go back but I haven’t made it yet.” 21-year-old Natasha panicked. My first thought… and this is now hilarious to write at an almost 30-year-old… was, “oh my gosh! What if I turn 30 and I still haven’t traveled back to Spain?!” The horror of it all. To be old and untraveled. I just laughed so hard I cried writing that sentence. BUT in my mind right then and there I decided that I would teach 5 years in Wisconsin and then I would move internationally. That’s exactly what I did. 

I taught three years in a small town in northwestern Wisconsin and then moved to Madison where I taught (in a suburb near Madison) for two years and then I moved to Poland. I’ve now been in Poland for three years and I have to say I really love it.


I love bold lipstick

Ok. I am a sucker for any and all things hot pink. A hot pink lip is no exception. I love a bold lip and I wear lipstick to school every day. Though I don’t always wear bold lipstick at school. I just love, love, love it! This year I didn’t wear lipstick one day and the next day one of my students said, “Woof! Lipstick again!” and breathed a sigh of relief… the kid really did say woof and sigh. I cannot sometimes! I cannot!


I Love to Travel

Well, one great thing about living in Poland is traveling throughout Europe is very accessible and not too expensive. I’ve traveled a lot in my three years here and I look forward to lots of traveling in my future. Traveling gives me life. I actually have another blog (that is updated maybe once a month… maybe) with my travel adventures.


I've Had Extensive Training in Math and Literacy

Now… I am not an expert in all things (please see image above! lol!) but I have been extremely lucky throughout my teaching career to receive excellent professional development. At my first school I was trained in Literacy Collaborate, a balanced literacy framework. We were originally affiliated with Ohio State and later switched to Lesley University. While there I also was trained in Math Recovery. These two trainings provided such a strong foundation to build upon as a teacher. The next school I worked at was a lab site for Teachers College Reading and Writing Project. I got to work with amazing staff developers to further my professional growth. I also served as a Math Curriculum Leader during my time there and I am currently our Elementary Curriculum Team Leader. I’ve been trained in UbD by Jay McTighe and I am leading our elementary staff to rewrite our science curriculum. I trained our whole staff on Fountas and Pinnell’s Benchmark Assessment System this year and we’re working to use data to inform our instruction. 

I have a lot of experience and knowledge and I want to share my expertise with more than just my colleagues. That’s why you’ll see me blog, almost daily, all month long! 

Friday Five- Whew!

Friday Five- Whew!

This week went by so quickly that I had to look back at my photos and my texts with my sister to try to remember what happened! Here we go! 


Bring in the Guitar

My kids were just not getting vibrations and sound. We watched videos, we read stories, we did a few experiments… nothing. On Monday I ran to the music room before our science class and asked the music teacher if there were any instruments where kids could see vibrations. She handed me a guitar and I walked back to class. The kids were so excited about a guitar being in our classroom that I thought we might miss the point. Nope. After feeling the vibrations and seeing the vibrations on this guitar they got it!  


Out on a Tuesday

On Tuesday our entire teacher taxi headed out for drinks after school. By Tuesday afternoon it felt like we taught for 780 days straight. Some weeks are just like that. I don’t know why… I can’t even remember anything from Tuesday. We went out and we laughed and got into really messy conversations about politics but a fun time was had by all. Sometimes you need a night out in the middle of the week. 


Stacks of Books

If you follow me on instagram then you know about this. In my classroom I have sets of books for guided reading. They are in my own room. I can reach them without even standing up if I am sitting at my teacher table. BUT I never put books back. I pull them out for lessons with kids and then I pile them up. I pile them up until they are so out of control and then I am annoyed with myself and spend a whole prep putting them back where they belong. It did make me feel a little better when 100% of teachers who answered my insta poll said they also stacked instead of put away. I mean, you win some you lose some. 


The Messiest Desk

Things were so busy on Thursday. I found myself saying just put it on my table more times than I knew. When I finally walked back there (period 3, don’t judge) it was piled high with so much stuff. So much stuff! I tried and tried to clear it off but must admit that it was still a disaster when I left today. 


Opposite Day

At precisely 8:29 this morning I had had enough of opposite day. FYI our school day begins at 8:30. My kids were so crazy! I know that opposite day is so much fun as a grade 1 kid so I didn’t spoil their fun but I was dying all day long. Our schedule was put up in the reverse order and the cards were upside down. What was silly and funny at the beginning of the day was not so funny at the end of the day. Kids were wearing pants inside out and backwards. Kids were so goofy and laughed so much. BUT I was so proud of them when they said the only math we should do is turn around facts. If you don’t teach everyday math 3+4 is a turn around fact to 4+3. See what happened? Oh to be a first grader again! 

How was your week? Did it fly by or did it feel super long? I feel like this is the time of year where it either feels like a rush or it feels like a drag. Let me know in the comments below! 

Friday Five- First Week of Winter Break

Friday Five- First Week of Winter Break

This year it felt like winter break almost came too fast. I know I am probably the only teacher in the world saying that but it is true. Usually, as we approach winter break I am ready. When that bell rings for dismissal I can’t get out fast enough to start my holiday. This year I didn’t feel that way. When the bell rang it felt like it had come too early. Like I wasn’t quite ready for break and could have taught another week or two. Either way, it is here! 


Welcome to the united states of america

Hearing those words as we touched down in Chicago brought so much joy to my heart. To be honest, most of the time I don’t miss too much about living in the US but when it comes time to visit I cherish every moment. I do so much shopping when I am back in  the US. Last year I had to bring two suitcases back to Poland with me because I bought so much junk. Now I can justify the clothes I bought but my goal is not to spend any money on teacher stuff. The stuff I want to by is a want not a need. This trip I am most excited to spend time with my family and friends. This week it was all about quality time with the fam. 


Happy Birthday to My Brother

My youngest brother’s birthday is in the middle of December. This means that I get to be at home for his birthday! Last year he turned 21 and I literally got to my parents house at 11:00 and went to the bars for midnight. I had one beer to celebrate with him before jetlag began to take its toll and I had to call my mom to come pick me up while the rest of my siblings continued the party! For future reference, going to the bar after a ridiculously long flight and drive is not the greatest idea. Lesson learned. This year I had a few days to prepare, also 22 is not as monumental as 21. We went out to breakfast together and celebrated with Chinese food for dinner.  


Visiting Friends

When you live abroad and come home everyone wants to see you. It can be pretty tricky to juggle your time and plan to see everyone. Last year I didn’t make it up to visit one of my closest friends so this year I scheduled her in first. Next week I will be visiting my very first teaching bestie and now just a general bestie. I’m so excited! We haven’t hung out in 3 years!! She also had a new baby right before I moved to Poland and I can’t wait to actually meet her! 

I will also visit my other two teaching besties who I miss very, very much. They helped me get through one of the toughest years in my teaching career. These two are always available for a consult and to just chat teaching… although sometimes they call in the middle of the night because they forget about the time change. It always results in a hilarious conversation I usually fall asleep during! 


Read, Read, Read

Although I am overwhelmed by all the new Netflix possibilities I want to spend this break reading as much as I possibly can. I love to read and sometimes while school is in session I don’t have the time to read as much as I would like. Over vacations I like to try to read as much as possible.

To Be Read: 

  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity by George Couros
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
  •  Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown


Google Level 2 Certification

Earlier this fall I became Level 1 Google certified and now I want to become level 2. Over the break I’ll watch complete the training course and hopefully take the test. I didn’t think it was too tricky to become level 1 certified and I think it would be cool to learn a bit more and become certified in level 2. 


Were you off on break this week? Leave a comment below with your winter break plans!