Sunday, January 27, 2019

My First TpT Product

Looking for a sweet and simple note for your students on Valentine's Day? I just created my first product for Teachers Pay Teachers and IT'S FREE! 

Hop on over to get your free download here and enjoy these little notes. 
To personalize them you can tape on a pencil, stickers, or candy. Looks wise, they turn out really well on white card stock or even on copy paper glued to a fun colored background. In the photo above, I just printed them on white copy paper and used double sided sticky tape to stick them on red and pink card stock. I think my students will love these and yours will too!

PS: More products coming soon! 
Here is a sneak peek:




Friday, January 4, 2019

Let's Talk About Self-Care

As we get ready to head back to school, or for some of us we may already be back, it is so important to make sure that self-care is a part of your schedule. I say this because I know that as teachers, we can get very busy. From our schools to our homes, we have a lot that needs to get done. As for me, I can start working on a project and get all excited when I get to cross it off my to do list, only then to realize that I still have five other things to still cross off. Yes, at times it may feel like we have a continuous to do list, yes and you may be wondering why I am suggesting to add one more thing to that list. Well, in my experience, I truly believe that when we take care of ourselves and add self-care to our schedules, we are then able to give our best selves to our job, our students, our family and friends, and to the world.

I believe that it is crucial for teachers to take care of themselves outside of the classroom in order to be their best selves inside of the classroom. I know that our lists are long, but it is so important to add self-care into our schedules. For every individual, self-care looks different and it is up to you to determine what re-energizes, renews, and restores you! For me, self-care can be in the simplest form of a walk or pausing to watch the sunset. It can also be in the form of a workout, a pedicure, reading a good book, or even just soaking in a bubble bath. Each of us has our own way to relax, to renew, and to recharge. By knowing what form of self-care works for you, you are then able to set aside time for it in your schedule. I know it may seem silly to schedule time to go on a walk, but sometimes if we don’t intentionally set that time aside, we can get distracted and end up working on something else entirely. Then, we end up not having any time left to walk at the end of the day.

As we head back to work, I challenge you to intentionally take time for self-care. Put it in your schedule and see what happens! I firmly believe that when we take care of our self, we can better take care of others and be our best selves, fully recharged, renewed, and restored. Here are a few practical ways we as teachers can add a few self-care moments to our schedules. 

Make a Weekly Workout Schedule
When I set my mind on working out and write it down in my planner, it is more than likely that I will commit to it. This does not work for everyone however; again, you have to know yourself and what self-care looks like for you. Here is an example of what a weekly workout schedule might look like.
Stay Hydrated
As teachers we are on our feet almost all day with our students, sometimes barely having time to sit down for our full lunch time. It is so important that you stay hydrated. Drink your water! One way to help you drink even more water is by infusing it. Here are some flavors you can try next time and bring to school with you: 
lemon & orange 
strawberry & mint 
strawberry & orange
lemon & lime
raspberry & orange
pineapple & mint

Eat Healthy
I don’t know about you, but after the holidays, I feel like it is time for a sugar detox. What are you packing in your lunch? Make sure that you are including proteins, fruits, and veggies. I personally love using sectioned plastic containers to make sure I am packing a well-balanced meal. This way I am making sure that I am nourishing my body at school.

Yes, this one is a simple one, but sometimes overlooked. Take time in your day to pause and take a few deep breathes. Whenever I feel stressed or getting to the point of being overwhelmed, I just pause for a moment to take a deep breathe or two. Focus on your breathing and try to pay attention to your breaths. Are you giving yourself moments throughout the day to stop and inhale peace and exhale stress and tension?

Although these are only a few examples, I challenge you to make sure you are including self-care on your schedule as you head back to your classroom.
You got this my friend!


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Showing Up

Happy New Year friends! Can you believe another year has come and gone? For some of us, we could not wait to say goodbye to 2018 and ring in the New Year. For others, maybe we were trying to hold on to this past year, not ready to let go quite yet. Whichever end of the pendulum you may be on, whether holding on tightly or running forward, I invite you to slowly come back to the middle. Slowly release your grip of this past year or gradually come to a pause from your running. You are not called to live in the past and you are not called to live in the future. Dear friends, you are called to live in the present and it is time to show up.

For me, this past year was an overall wonderful year. Yes, there were some definite lows, moments of loss, grief, stress, and questioning of what’s next. There were also some definite highs as well filled with joy, excitement, newness, and answers to prayers. If I were to choose to hold on to any of these moments with a tight grip, I wouldn’t be able to grow and change. On the other hand, if I were to run ahead, never looking back, I also wouldn’t be able to reflect, take note, and respond.

With 2018, I neither find myself with that tight grip nor with running shoes on, but rather I stand somewhere in the middle. I have taken time to reflect on 2018 and I am excited for what is to come in 2019. It is in this middle space where I invite you to join me. Let go of whatever you are holding on to so tightly, put those running shoes down for a moment, and come to this space where we are invited to show up, to slow down, and to be present.

I challenge you in this New Year to be even more attentive and present. Be available to the people around you. Be present to your friends, your family, your students, and your coworkers. Show up to what you have been called to do right here, right now, in this present moment. When we are not showing up, we are not fully giving of ourselves to this beautiful adventure and gift we call life. When we are not present, whether in our classrooms or with our families, we may miss a moment of great worth, a moment that we can only experience if we show up.

Life is filled with these moments, and in 2019 my hope is that we would all be even more present in them. Whether these moments are filed with joy, sadness, bliss, frustration, or confusion, slow down and be present to what is happening around you. Reflect and respond to what has happened in the past, stop running ahead to the future, and rest in the present. For you have been called to show up and be present, right where you are in this moment, in your neighborhood, in your classroom, in your home, and in your family.

When we are able to accept the invitation of showing up to the present moment, we are able to be fully attentive to those around us. We are more attentive to our surroundings and the beauty in our midst and we are more attentive to others’ views, opinions, and feelings. When we show up in our classroom, we make ourselves available to truly connect with our students and we are able to give our full self to the little humans that fill our classroom. When we show up with our families and really take time to listen, we are able to better connect with the people we love. When we show up and are present to our surroundings, we are able to notice things we may not have if we are keeping a tight grip or running ahead. We notice more beauty, we see more goodness in the world, and we slow down for a moment and rest.

Dear friends, as you start your New Year, may you find yourself more and more in the middle space of the pendulum, being present to those around you and showing up.
Show up to the present moment in which we are called to live and to rest.
Show up to this beautiful adventure that we are all invited to, inside and outside of the classroom.  

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