Welcome and a little about me

Welcome everyone!  Here I go on my new blogging adventure.  I wanted to give a little background on me.

Our Family

I live in Michigan in a suburb of Detroit with my husband, Jared, our 2 year old daughter, "K", our 9 month old daughter, "M"and our 4 year old black lab, "Puppy." (no that's not our dog's name but we do call her that often so she answers to it - I figured if I wasn't going to use our daughters' names on the blog, I probably shouldn't use our fur daughter's name either, ha ha!)  Yes, my husband is outnumbered with all these girls in the house!

We enjoy hanging out at home, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time outside and enjoying a lot of the perks that come with living in the suburbs of a "big" city. We are big sports fans so we go to a lot of Detroit Tigers baseball games and Detroit Red Wings hockey games. We also have a "house divided" during college football season. Since I went to U of M (University of Michigan) and my husband went to the rival school, MSU (Michigan State University), we have a lot of friendly competition when our teams play each other. Our dog is even named after both schools - former U of M football coach, Lloyd Carr and MSU basketball coach, Tom Izzo. The rivalry ensures that one of us is always happy at the end of a game and our kids will probably be confused for most of their lives!!

My Teaching History

Both of my parents were in education (teachers and then my dad became a principal) so I always knew I wanted to teach. I went to the University of Michigan (Dearborn campus) and got a degree in Elementary Education with a major in Language Arts and a minor in Math. After a year of subbing and long term positions, I got hired in the district I student taught in and taught 4th grade for my first year. After teaching my first year, I went back and got my master's degree from U of M, this time a Masters of Arts with a Reading Specialist Endorsement. 

At the end of my first year, I was asked by my principal to start a multiage program with another teacher (who became my best friend.) We researched (and researched and researched) and started a 1st/2nd grade multiage classroom. We had 50 students and 2 teachers and it was an awesome experience. It was hard to get used to there being another adult in the room but it was so nice to have someone else who knew the students as well as you did, shared the responsibility with you and laughed with you when the kids said something funny. Students worked at their own ability level instead of at their grade level. The students didn't really think of themselves as 1st graders or 2nd graders - they were all one class. The only time they were with their own grade level was specials classes (art, PE, music, library) and science and social studies because the district wouldn't budge on that. 

After doing that for several years, we went back to our own classrooms but still worked closely together. I taught 2nd grade for the next three years. Then "K" was born and I knew I was probably going to stay home with her.   My mom left teaching to raise my siblings and I, so I knew deep down I wanted to do the same.  After my maternity leave, I went back to work for the last month of the year and realized I definitely wanted to stay home. It was so hard to be at work and know that my baby was at home. I give HUGE credit to moms who teach. It is so much work and sacrifice! I am so blessed to be able to stay at home. Even though I always knew I wanted to do that, it was still a hard decision to walk away from my job, two degrees and a paycheck, but I think ultimately I made the right decision for our family. I definitely don't miss the stressful parts of the job but I miss working with my teaching partner, planning and creating lessons and being with the students. I still try to keep the education part of my brain working. It has helped to find Teachers Pay Teachers because it allows me to create and share and connect with other teachers.

I also teach religious education at our church and volunteer at my former teaching partner's school (she's a principal now) so I still get to be in the education world.  Every week I tutor a 3rd and 4th grader so that keeps me in teacher mode and gives me ideas of activities to create.

Blog What You Know

So confession number one - I knew nothing of TpT, teacher blogs or teacher ideas on Pinterest when I was in the classroom...it wasn't that long ago (like 3 years ago) but I must have been living under a rock.  I didn't discover this world until after I decided to stay home so it didn't cross my mind to take pictures of my classroom or my students actively engaged on a project I created.  Because of this and because I wasn't currently in the classroom I was hesitant (scared even) to start a blog.  Who would want to read what I wrote?  Who cared what I thought?  Would I lack credibility because I wasn't in the classroom anymore?  My awesome husband reminds me over and over again that I am still a teacher.  Because I decided to leave the classroom doesn't mean my degrees or experience were taken away from me.  I'm just a different kind of teacher.  So I'm going to do what I've heard over and over again - blog what you know, blog what you love, blog what you are passionate about.  That might mean teacher ideas some days, mommy ideas some days, things I've crafted and created around the house, or ideas I've tried (and sometimes failed at) from Pinterest.  I'm so excited about this journey. 

I look forward to sharing my experiences and ideas with you and getting to know other bloggers and my readers better!

Happy Teaching,