Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mustache Materials

When I saw the washi tape at Office Depot with mustaches on it, I knew I had to use it somehow, somewhere in my room. So I figured out Mustache Materials. 

just as a disclaimer to all of you out there that are scandalized - I do not advocate the growth or wearing of mustaches (on men or women) it is merely a fun poke at modern culture's obsession with mustaches. 

I think my "I mustache you to return your supplies" idea is really cute and fun (and as our new school counselor says, "very hip"). 

A lot of people in the building have made an effort to come visit my room at the end of the hallway that is at the end of the hallway (that's not a typo, I promise). This is a friendly and welcoming bunch, and they are all curious to see what the new girl is doing in that funny-shaped room. They all comment on how cute my room is, and usually say something about the colors, etc. 

But only ONE person has commented on the mustache materials. 

Which makes me wonder. Do they think I have a super cheesy sense of humor? Do they think it will be lost on my 3rd graders? Do they not approve of being "hip"? Do they not get the joke?

I really shouldn't obsess about one single bulletin board and supply table like this, but I'm proud of that pun! It's always nice when people appreciate my puns... 

I guess I have to be happy with enjoying that pun all by myself. Makes me hesitant to use puns elsewhere, though. Like my bulletin board in the hallway... Our school mascot has paws, and my bulletin board almost said, "Pawsitive 3rd grade" or something cheesy like that... But I showed restraint. 

- ms. J 

Friday, August 23, 2013

More Evolving

This set-up process is exhausting. I think the biggest part is just how overwhelming everything is. Just when I think I've finally figured out what I'm supposed to do and how I will do it, something comes up that totally changes my plans. 

For example, today I felt like I was finally done papering walls, and was feeling pretty confident about the layout of the room. (Just for the record, I am being minimalistic in my decorating for several reasons - none of which are because I am too lazy to paper the whole wall). 

So here is what I had accomplished. 
Isn't my desk area cute? Yes, that is Einstein up there...

My funny wall (I plan to cover up that big gash in the wall)

Supplies desk
Mustache materials are supplies they have to return. The sign says "I mustache you to return your supplies"

So I was feeling pretty confident about how the room was looking. Then one of my team members walks in and says "don't forget, we teach calendar so you need a wall for calendar!"

Well, that was new information for me (I'm glad she told me!) so I had to find a big spot for calendar. I ended up moving my cubbies outside the classroom to make space for the calendar. 


I'm not really a fan of my calendar area, but I guess it's ok. I think it's ok for me to admit calendar is something I don't like to teach - really not my thing. But hey, if that's the only thing I don't like about my job, I am doing pretty good. 

I don't think I'll post any more pictures of the room - don't want people to get too bored :) by the way, I left the crazy corner from yesterday the way it is. I'm pretending I did it on purpose. 

-Ms. J 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

My Classroom Evolution

I'm sure y'all wanna see pictures of my classroom. 

I've been working on the room for a day and a half. Yesterday, I just sat and stared at the walls and the room for a solid hour. My room is not a simple rectangular room, so I have to be creative. 
Anyway, I started today with moving a bunch of stuff around, adding 6 more desks, (I have at least 31), and getting a kidney table from the custodian! 

The second picture above shows my funny corner wall. I decided to make the right side of that corner my library, and then the left side of that corner is my math wall. 

They look great don't they? Ditzy me did not think to measure properly. So the end result is this:
I don't want to think about the work it takes to redo those walls, but I keep thinking about how that corner is gonna drive me crazy this year... 

-Ms. J, tired

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's official

Thought I'd share the crazy way I got this job. It really was all orchestrated by God, and I give Him all the glory for giving me the right position at the right time. He really is amazing, and it's wonderful to know I am in His will. 

I had an interview for a 7th grade math position two weeks ago. It was my first real interview (I've had interviews with private and charter schools but not with an actual school district), and I did not interview well. When the principal called me to tell me they had hired someone else, I asked for some advice for my next interview (which was scheduled for a couple days later). He told me to brag on myself, "you are a great teacher, you've had great experiences, and you have great ideas but you didn't tell us any of that." 

I also was advised to find 5 adjectives that describe myself, and use those in the interview. 

So Thursday, 8/15, I went to that interview armed with 5 adjectives and determined to brag. They commented that the five adjectives were a great thing to add to the interview. I had no idea how the interview went, but they called me 3 hours later for a second interview the next day.

Again, it was hard to figure out how the interview went, but I could tell they really liked me (always a plus). I went home, expecting to have a suspenseful weekend of not knowing. 

At 6:30pm Friday night, one of my references texted me and said she had just been called by the principal for a reference check. Which, of course, threw me into a tizzy because I thought, "they're working on it over the weekend - maybe they'll call me before next week!"

Saturday, I got an email from the principal asking if she could call me. Of course, I said that was completely fine. She called me and offered me the 3rd grade position! I said, "oh I love it!" (I had been hoping to be hired for 3rd but was sure they were considering me for 4th). She asked, "does that mean you accept?" Haha yes!

So my paperwork is going through now. I have new teacher training Wednesday, and I'm going to be setting up my room Thursday and Friday. Monday is the beginning of teacher work days, and then school starts in just two weeks!

I still cannot believe that I am actually going to be a "real" teacher! My position is temporary for this year only, meaning I will be unemployed in June, but I finally am getting that much-sought-after, but hard-to-attain experience!!! (And consistent paychecks!)

I have so much to learn this year, and so much to do in the next two weeks, but I am flat-out loving it! 

I also have to figure out what to do with this blog, since I'm no longer a sub... Ideas welcome! 

-Ms. J, third grade teacher (did you guys know that third has always been my favorite grade? This is really and truly my ultimate dream job) 

Saturday, August 17, 2013


(Insert happy dance here)

I got a job, people! A for-real job! 

Third grade :)

-ms. J, employed :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Had an interview last week, which was awesome. Sometimes, it seems like the hardest part about getting a job is landing the interview. 

(Though I was questioning my sanity for even applying for a 7th grade math position, but I think the state of my sanity is obvious...)

It was a great experience for me, and I learned a lot. The phone call came today, letting me know that they chose another person for the position. The principal was so nice, though. I could tell he had been impressed with me - kept referring to how young and knowledgable I am. He gave me some great pointers on my interview skills, mostly "be confident in your abilities, girl! Brag on yourself!"

So, armed with the knowledge that I'm a great teacher, I am prepping for another interview this week. Guess what I'm doing? Making a list of things I can say to "brag on myself." One of the things I am writing down is "I have great ideas," which of course calls for examples of great ideas... Anyone have any great ideas? :)

( just kidding - I already have a list of those, too... But I'll still take yours :)

I cannot believe that I could potentially have my own room this year - how scary is that?!?! But, also, HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE?!?!?!? 

(Of course, then there would be no more stories from a sub... And I haven't been offered any position, yet... And I may not be offered a position... But I can't help thinking... And hoping... And praying... And trying not to get my hopes up too much... And failing... Haha)

- Ms. J, the one with great ideas :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


So, I am not QUITE sure what I was thinking when I agreed to do VBS at my church this summer...

Those kids are crazy! We have ages 3-12, and it's insane. The older kids spent a couple hours building a fort out of duct tape and cardboard today, and two 4-year-olds destroyed it in less than 5 minutes. Ah, life! They are definitely entertaining, and they keep my team of adult and teenage teachers on their toes!

Our theme is the Fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance). One cutie was trying to read the verse, and read the word goodness as "God's Knees." My teenage helpers died laughing. It was super cute.

That theme has been great, though - when my little ones get out of control, I say, "You need to work on temperance," and they say, "Self-control!" (so far no one has mentioned how I need to work on longsuffering... haha)

One little one found a bug, and was fascinated with it. Some of the older kids tried to squish it, to which a little girl cried out, "It's nature! Nature has to live or else it won't grow!"

One kid told us that at another VBS, he learned about "Jesus the Dragon Slayer." He also informed me that Jonah lived in a tent.

One little girl can't figure out all our names, so she just calls all us ladies, "Mrs." It's an effective way to getting all our attention at once, I suppose.

My teenage helpers have been so awesome - it's amazing how much influence they have on younger kids! I also have some wonderful adults that are really doing great stuff with the kids! They even took over for me this morning so I could go to an interview (yeah, I had one - first one this summer!)

I still think I was crazy to say I would do it, though.

~Ms. J (Or "Mrs." according to that little girl)