what i will do different next year

each summer I go through the same mental disease of trying to change everything from lessons, units, and decor for the next year
It's what I love and hate about teaching
every year is different
but I've got to learn to keep the good stuff!
Have you already started thinking about next year? My teammie keeps a page in her notebook titled "next year"! I love it! I have been pinning away like a crazy person!
and now I have found the perfect linky over at Finding Joy in 6th!

so here are my "next year" goals

I just bought my EC teacher planner and I am committed! I swear!
We are required to do lesson plans online, and while I love that, I need to see it in writing I need that physical commitment to my plans! 

This year we began Fountas and Pinnell LLI kits for all second graders. I fell in love with it for one) it requires no planning on my part! and two) it's just good teaching!
BUT, each lesson is 20-30 minutes and even with another teacher pulling two of the groups per day, it was 90 minutes of guided reading. 
I have always done the workshop type model of minilesson, practice, minilesson, practice, etc.
Cannot do that now. So I began purchasing centers and making them to fit my classroom too. 
I will be printing and laminating most of the summer! I love the idea of the independent practice, but i have a hard time letting go. I think Teeny said it best when she said she was a smoothie! I hate letting go of that awesome idea I read on so-and-so's blog last night or the one i read about online! Bu they've gotta learn to problem solve and think for themselves!

We got some devastating news a few weeks ago...
we have to be at work at 7am next year! and students can be in the room at 7:10! that's AM people! I already have a "no talking to me until 9am" policy...and now we are moving another 15 minutes further away!
I really need to find a school that runs from 9-5 or something. And there has got to be some research that shows kids cannot function that early in the morning!
and my goal this year was to always leave by 4:00. We get out at 2:30 and by the time I get back from car rider duty, bus duty, or getting stopped in the hallway it's 3:00. 

As much as would like to think I can be Cara Carroll, Hope King, Amy Lemons, Amanda Madden, my girls over at Lesson Plan SOS, and Sarah Cooley, all rolled into one, I can't! 
Not to mention I need my room to look like Reagan Tunstall's! 
Let's be realistic! It's not all rainbows and cuppy cakes in their rooms either and I have to remember that! My kids love me and most days I'm ok with myself too!

I used to pride myself {when I taught 4t grade} in my no nonsense attitude. When I moved to 2nd grade, those sweet little faces, hugs, and hand holding really dampened my spirit! Plus, I know I allow them to toe that line too often. I may take up the old "no smiling until Christmas" attitude but I really just need to draw the line and stick to it. I love whole brain teaching, but i got real slack this year!

Hopfully with better planning and tougher management, I can get it all together!
So now go and link up with Kim so I know you are not perfect either!


  1. I can't believe you have to be at work by 7a.m. and students can start coming at 7:10 a.m. - that is when I leave my house and I have a 40 minute drive. I really like your goals for commiting to centers and being realistic - that one especially rang true for me. Thanks!!

    Looking From Third to Fourth

  2. Great goals! We have to be at work by 7:30, but kids don't come in the room until 8:00 (when school starts). We also can leave at 2:45, although I frequently stay later than that. Funny how schedules are so different across the U.S.

    What I Have Learned

  3. I have to be at work by 7:00 and the kids come in the room starting at 7:05! I also have a 25 minute drive! It stinks, but you kinda get used to it! You'll be fine once you get into a routine. I like your goal about being realistic. Definitely something to remember every day!

    An Apple a Day in First Grade

  4. I took up whole brain teaching this year also and felt like everything got a little slack too! I was wondering if it was just me!

  5. Wowzers! 7 am...my kiddos aren't allowed in the building until 8:45! I have to be at school 30 minutes prior to students arriving. We get out at 2:58. Are you guys unionized? We can only be required to be there from 8:15 to 3:28.

  6. You could sign my name to almost all of those! I have lots of I need to dos....I just can't seem to organize my thoughts enough to figure them out....lol. I will AFTER today:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  7. You are so good Rachel! I'm trying not to even think about school for at least the first week of my break. Ha! I'm with you, my promise to myself next year is that I won't try to change everything all at once! I made too many changes last year (totally unrealistic!) and practically drove myself batty trying to keep up! My new mantra is: Not everything has to be fabulous! Good works!

    Have a wonderful summer!

  8. Just found you through the linky! I would like to dabble a little in Whole brain teaching next year, but I don't think I will do all the components. And I totally get what you mean about being realistic! I see so many amazing things going on out there, but just can't get to them all and I have to keep saying "that's ok."


  9. I started the year doing well about not working so late but then something happened. I don't think I will ever leave "on time." I hope you do better than myself!

  10. I'm really cheering for you on the "Leave work on time" goal. We have a similar schedule (sign-in by 7:15, kiddos in the room at 7:20, dismiss at 2:30), and there were far too many days when I was still leaving work close to 5:30 just as I had on our old, later-starting schedule. I'm hoping to get out by 4pm more consistently this year, too.

    I enjoyed reading your other goals as well. Good luck!
    Eberopolis: Teaching Reading & Writing with Technology

  11. Great goals! I too believe being realistic is important. I have to stop and remind myself of this at times, and I also have to step back and take a good look at how MUCH has gotten accomplished, and well... Just found you today, and I am a new follower! I'll be back to read future posts. :0)

    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  12. We have to work 7:30 to 4:30 and our students can come at 7:30 as well...duty lasts until 4/4:30 at the end of the day because some of them are still there waiting to get picked up or for their bus. Our meetings are after that! It is a really long day for all. My goal is to try to consistently get out by 5, but it doesn't always happen.

    Literacy Spark

  13. Oh my goodness! "Be realistic" is right! I think so often I think what I'm doing isn't great because I compare myself to the other wonderful teachers out there!! I will never be them. Nor does my family want me to be them. I have to remember that, too! Great one!!
    Mrs. Richardson's Class

  14. I simply admire your passion towards your work as a teacher. Not everyone can have the passion and drive that you have. And for that, Kudos to you! I hope and wish that you will continue to be an inspiration and source of motivation to all teachers and to aspiring teachers. God Bless!
    Please visit My Webblog: Split-Site PhD


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