Saturday, August 27, 2016

"We Grow Humans"

I have been insanely inspired about my career as of late. I give 100% credit to my administration for that. They energize us. They engage us. They care about us and our well-being. They know that if we are all taken care of, then we will carry that over to our students this school year. I wish all people understood this concept.

We hear it all of the time to "be kind". There's even a week dedicated to it at most school sites. But why is it that most adults cannot model this? Kindness really is contagious. It's an actual chasm or energy that spreads like wildfire. I feel it when I'm on campus. I see it as teachers walk by with smiling faces. If someone is not smiling, they look like the outsider. It was the complete opposite of this at my other school, and I'm sure many other educators and people in various workplaces experience it. It starts at the top and trickles down. However an administration acts is how the workplace will reciprocate what is being received. The concept is really that simple!

This begs me to ask the question of HOW bosses around the world do not get this kindness concept. Were they never employees before? Shouldn't that be one of the first lessons learned in an administration program? Who is teaching our administrators? Shouldn't they remember how teachers feel, considering they were once teachers themselves? It seriously blows my mind. I feel so sad for teachers across this nation that are villianized and uncared for.

One of the first moving statements my principal said aloud to us during a staff development day was, "Our school motto is 'We Grow Humans'. It's as simple as that." WOW. I was floored! No tracking data? No raising test scores? No higher numbers in accelerated courses? Nope. Simply care about other humans while being a good human. BINGO. It seriously brings tears to my eyes as I type those words. We simply GROW HUMANS. Take note, administrators. This woman should be ruling the world.

Oh, and first day of school procedures? Sure, we have them. But we were told our first priority is to ensure every student feels WELCOMED onto our campus. Education is about building relationships! Not shuttling cattle. Gah, does it get any better than that?!

Anyways, I'm jazzed to grow some humans this year. They need love. I've been loved by my bosses, and I will continue to spread that love on to my 6th grade babies.

Love you all. And to all of you teachers out there--go grow some awesome humans this school year.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Destiny Shaped By A Decision

Hello, friends! I know it has been two years since I've blogged, but a lot has happened in the past two years that has deterred me from it:
  1. I fell in love and have since created a life with another human being
  2. I became heavily involved with job hunting as Christopher and I had decided to move to Ohio
  3. The boys were surprisingly more needy with sports classes and daily park trips

So, let's chat about what has happened! My boo and I had trouble landing any positions in Ohio. It was brutal. We job hunted for a total of 6 months, yet we could barely get interviews. I even interviewed for a charter school and a small, farming community school, but was offered NOTHING. At this point, we had signed our paperwork saying we were leaving the district, so my job had been filled at The Hill. Christopher was lucky because his position was still available, and his paperwork was redacted. I ended up having to reapply for the district, which was one of the most devastating experiences. I had felt like a failure. Like I had given up on our dream of moving.

Then one day, my former-English-teacher-now-middle-school-principal messaged me saying she could find me a home. I was so elated. I knew this was going to be a huge challenge, but I was ready for something entirely different from what I had done the past five years. I was originally hired as a 7th grade English teacher, and even began planning with my team over summer.

By the end of June, I found out a counselor had left the new middle school I would be at. I immediately knew I wanted to jump on that opportunity, so Roxanne gave my name to her AP, and I was interviewed by all of the administration. I'm telling you guys, that interview was simply amazing. They asked tough questions. They asked emotional questions. One of my answers even made me tear up. I was embarrassed, but I also felt open to them all. Oh, and these people are the KINDEST HUMANS YOU WILL EVER MEET. They told me in the interview, "We hug here. I hope that doesn't bother you." I didn't believe them at first, but it's true. They hug and it's utterly fantastic. 

Fast forward the following week, and I was on speaker phone with them. I was offered the counseling position! Since then, I have felt like the door being shut on Ohio (for now) was the universe opening a big ass window for me. I am so thrilled to begin this new chapter of my career. There's still a chance I could be back in the classroom teaching (depending on count day numbers), but I'm just happy to be at the school I am at. 

My first few days as a counselor have been a whirlwind. The majority of my job this week and next week is scheduling. Holy heck, I never realized how intense creating schedules is. My eyes bleed by the end of every day, and each schedule I look at feels like a sudoku puzzle. Essentially, I play tetris as my occupation. Haha well, that's just for now. Once the teachers and students report back, my job will contain even more responsibilities, but that's for another blog post.

Many of you have asked about my office decor, so I wanted to show you some pictures and tell you where you can find these items. 

It's a bit plain for me this year, but it works for now! I'll definitely add to my walls as the year progresses. Here is a close up of the office supplies:

My favorite items are the Kate Spade stapler and tape dispenser! Here are links for purchasing on Amazon: Stapler and Tape Dispenser. If you're itching to have them now (like I was), go visit Paper Source or The Container Store at Town Square. They carry Kate Spade office supplies too!

Close up of the stapler that reads, "keep it together"

"make it stick" for the tape dispenser

The mouse pad and small mason jar holding paper clips were from Target. 

The paper clips were completely unnecessary, yet adorable, so I HAD to purchase them. 

The Container Store has awesome office supplies and amazing colors/styles of paper clips. If you're looking for trendy paper clips, click here. I also purchased the copper wired pencil cup there too!

The "I Am Very Busy" folders and watercolored notepad were purchased at Paper Source. I am completely OBSESSED with this store. Everything is too freaking cute. 

The Ribba frames above my bookshelf were purchased at IKEA. I ordered the foil prints from a trendy custom-print shop on etsy. Check her stuff out here
These turned out fantastic. I'm very pleased!

I am not very pleased with the tassel banner for my bulletin board. I spent a pretty penny on etsy, when I could have made something better myself. At least I saved some time? 
Crooked, but I'll fix it another day. Preferably when I'm not in a dress or skirt at work. 

My wardrobe closet is magnetic, so I hung up a ton of my Polaroid photos from Photo&Go at the Linq. You can attach magnets on the back to hang up in cool places. I also held onto senior announcements of students I'm still close with. 

My least favorite part of the office is this:

I figured I could have more post-its available, and students can vent their thoughts or spread kind words on the cork boards. I'm more than likely going to fix this up sooner than later. SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME!

I'll end with my Wolf Pack wall, because I love looking at my college memories. 

Alrighty, so that's my life as a brand new counselor! Stay tuned. I will not be posting any details about the job as to not break confidentiality with students/parents/coworkers etc. BUT I will always keep you all updated about my life in general! For example, I need to leave to go wipe a child's butt. Like he's literally handing me TP and bending over. Here's a reenactment: