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!