Thursday, December 29, 2011

Questions & Answers

During my first few weeks of student teaching we did an advisory activity in which we had all our advisory students write a questions to me and my mentor teacher anonymously. Then we would answer them. I had them in my desk the entire semester, but we never finished them. I still have them in my possession and I thought I would take them time to answer all of them for my (and possibly your) enjoyment.

**NOTE: I left the questions as they were written on the cards.

Q: Are you currently at college or a graduate?
A: At that time in college; now a graduate!

Q: What is the worst thing you ever did?
A: I tried jumping down a flight of stairs and broke my ankle (after answering this I realized them probably meant something like have I ever done drugs or shoplifted)

Q: What do you do on your off day?
A: Crafts, read, watch something on Netflix.

Q: How many years did Ms. Albert stayed at UC?
A: 4 years + one quarter

Q: What is the hardest challenge you've had as a college student?
A: All the reading I was required to do, as well as balancing school, work and a social life.

Q: Do you want to have children?
A: Not really (I had told my students I didn't really like kids and the girls all gasped like "How could you hate children?). This answer might change when I meet the right person, but right now I loved being a teacher and I'm still too immature to bring a child into the world.

Q: What is your favorite color?
A: Green and blue.

Q: Are you excited about being here?
A: Yes, I was super excited about student teaching (some of my students thought I was crazy)

Q: Why do you look bord?
A: Umm? I don't know?

Q: Did you always want to go to college?
A: Yes-- but it was also kind of expected and I didn't really see any other option.

Q: What do you think about [School name] STEM?
A: I loved it!

Q: If I would to struggle with gramer would you volenteer to become my tutor?
A: I wish I would have answered this, but the answer would have yes!

Q: Do you have kids?
A: NO!

Q: What did you major in college?
A: History and Secondary Education: Social Studies.

Q: Are you strict or do you let people get over you?
A: I'm a pushover in the beginning and then I'm strict, but from now on I'm starting off strict.

Q: How old are you?
A: 22

Q: When was your first date? Tell us about it?
A: At the time these were written I still had never been on a date, but now I can answer it. My first date was during Thanksgiving break and we just watched a movie.

One thing I learned while student teaching which I would have thought of when I made my list was how quick you begin to recognize student handwriting. When I first read those questions I had no clue who wrote what, but now I can recognize some of what people wrote.

Also, I follow a blog called Sometimes Sweet and the girl who writes on the website also writes for HelloGiggles. She wrote an article called "On Being a High School English Teacher" and some of what she writes is very similar to my own experience as a high school history teacher. Check out the article here if you are so inclined! :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

DIY Chalk Boards

Sorry I haven't been updating for a while. My life hasn't been too interesting. However, there is something about being home in Cleveland that makes me extra crafty, plus I made one of the gifts I made my sister. So, here we go!

I made chalk boards. The one I made my sister was just a plain chalk board and the one I made myself has a cork board cut out of the United States. Now, the only reason I gave myself the United States cut out was because I didn't know how it would turn out and I didn't want to screw up her gift!
First, I took some ugly old pictures we had.
For the duck picture it was really hard to take out the glass, and while I was doing so I broke it, which ruined my plan of using chalk board paint on it. After I cleaned off the frames (they were covered in cob webs and dust) I spray painted them.
Then I spray painted the glass with chalkboard paint which I bought at Michaels, but I also saw it at Walmart.
**Note even when it doesn't look like it's windy somehow the newspapers you put down will find its way onto the wet paint. Haha Then for the United States I found this pattern from Lowes. For some reason the link isn't working anymore.The pattern was created to come out on 4 separate sheets, but that was way too big for my small frame, so I put the printer settings on 2 pages per sheet.
I cut out the map and taped it onto the cork board. I then outlined it with a sharpie. I also outlined Alaska. I left Hawaii alone because it was too small and ended up free handing it. The Alaska outline actually came from the 1 page per sheet because it was much larger. I used a box cutter and Xacto knife to cut it out. It is a long tedious process. It probably took me 3 hours to cut out.
I bought foam board from Staples for the frame whose glass I broke. I wanted something sturdier than poster board and something less bumpy than cardboard. It is really easy to cut with a box cutter when you get the size you need. I spray painted it with chalkboard paint and put it all together. The finished products! :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Final Days

Today was my last day of student teaching. I'm actually supposed to look for real jobs now! I miss my students so much already. I wasn't even inside my house for five minutes when I started bawling because I'm not going to go back after break.

Anyways, let's back track. In advisory we are doing Student Led Advisory where the students actually teach the advisory lesson. Two girls did snow flake making. It was fun! I love crafts and I really do want to make some now that I have nothing to do with my life.

Later in the day my MT calls me over and tells me to look at this one student's snow flake. This student is so adorable, but he's kind of spacey. I don't even know how to explain him, but this snow flake was totally him. My MT says to me, "Look at Anthony's snow flake. Only he would make it look like a devil." It was so funny and so true! A few days later Anthony tells a student that his looks like a mask and I just start cracking up thinking about my MT's comment. Hopefully you can tell which one is his... hahaha!

So this week was definitely rough. The students finished up their comic projects and some turned out so cool! Yesterday was pretty much non stop from 8:45-4:20 when I worked from 4:21-9. I made cookies for my advisory and mentor teacher. I also made record bowls out of what I had left and then 4 paintings to give to my advisory kids. It was a long day and I really appreciate my friend coming over to give me some support. I also found out last night that my mom, on top of having MS, now has breast cancer. It's only a stage 0, but prayers would be wonderful! I definitely do appreciate him coming over to hang out and he even helped me with some dishes.

Today was my last day. Like I said I cried. My advisory through me a surprise party and one of the my students made me a cake and she made me a large card which she forgot and also put together a small notebook full of notes from all my students! I didn't actually get to read the book yet because we had a fire drill at the end of school so she couldn't stop by, but I'm going to visit them again after the break and pick it up. The party was also a secret Santa exchange and we had food. My advisory kids are so cute. I'm really really going to miss them!
The female student is the one who put all of the party and stuff together. She is such a sweet girl. The boy is also in my advisory.

Throughout the day I gave out so many hugs and I got cards and gifts from people. I also graded a ton of stuff. Some of my students were shocked I was leaving and they asked if I could get hired there and stuff like that. :( I'm so appreciative of the amazing students I had and a great MT. Plus, an amazing team of teachers. My MT had a lunch for me yesterday where we all ate Indian and all the team teachers came to eat lunch in our room. It was a great feeling knowing all those teachers appreciated my work.
This is a picture of what I received today from various students and teachers.

Finally, I'm going to finish this post off with two pictures of the classroom. One is my desk and the other is the poster we hung up from our advisory door decorating contest. I'm sure I'll write some more about stories from student teaching that I missed and my MT said he would keep me updated with texts of the crazy things the students do. I'm also going to keep this blog going, so no worries this isn't my last post!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

I Did It!

Today I graduated from the University of Cincinnati. It's kind of surreal. On one hand I am so glad to be done. On the other it is starting to hit me that I actually need to find a job and start paying back loans. Looking back I am proud of what I accomplished. I graduated Magna Cum Laude, I was a college marshal in the graduation ceremony, and I achieved two bachelors degrees. It was so great to have my family there and see a lot of my friends graduate with me despite it being a fall graduation.

Sorry for the poor quality of the pictures. I have a great camera and all...

Anyways, so this weekend was pretty fun. Yesterday my mom, dad, sister and grandma got in and picked me up around 5ish. I wanted them to come earlier to see inside the school I teach at, but they got in too late and I didn't feel like waiting. We went to get Chinese for dinner and let's just say I have Chinese left overs for lunch all week. :) Then later that night my sister, mom and I went to Dayton to pick up my brother. I went home after that because I was exhausted and needed sleep.

This morning I woke up thinking I had to go to student teaching. I was way too tired to get out of bed, but eventually I managed because I knew I was graduating. Hannah and I got there together and waited around. They lost our name cards that we had to give to the person reading our names which was awesome because then we had some lame yellow card. Haha. We were both marshals for CECH which meant we got to lead our college in and wear different color gowns than everyone else. The ceremony was alright. Did you know the guy who designed the Golden Gate Bridge was a UC graduate and there is a brick from one of the old buildings inside the bridge? Yep, I didn't know that either, but Hannah and I said that we HAD to go back because of that. For our gifts they gave us a frame to go around a license plate and our college gave us a really nice pen. Too bad I don't have a car though... Then after I took some pictures and then we walked over to the alumni center for food and drinks. Afterwards we went back to the hotel where I opened up my gifts and we just hung out for a while and watched tv. Then my mom, grandma, sister, and me went to Urban Outfitters because I LOVE that store. We went to Target and Max & Erma's for dinner. We then went back to the hotel and watched some more tv. So, this weekend wasn't very thrilling. Very low key, but it was very enjoyable and I loved seeing my family. I can't wait to go back home in a few weeks to Cleveland! :)

Words of advice: Don't ask me what I'm doing now because I have no idea! Once I finish up this final week of student teaching I will be completely lost! Pray for me!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

50 Things I Learned As A Student Teacher

I got this idea from my friend, Heather, who wrote 75 things she learned from student teaching. My list isn't as extensive, but this is a lot of what I had learned these past 2 years.

1. Buy toilet paper not Kleenex for your classroom
2. If you want a 9-5 job don’t go into teaching
3. Students love when you show up to their extracurricular activities
4. Respect is better than being a friend
5. Come in every day as if it is a brand new day
6. Don’t hold grudges against students
7. No matter how much you clean your classroom it’ll always be messy
9. Society hates teachers
10. Students will always find a way to complain
11. Girls are worse than boys
12. Just because you give a consequence doesn’t mean the student will hate you forever
13. If you had a piercing on your face students will notice
14. Dressing cute builds rapport with female students
15. Don’t lend out pens or they’ll go missing
16. Build good contacts with home
17. Not every teacher will love their job
18. The first year of teaching will be nonstop
19. Give feedback as soon as possible
20. Show excitement and energy no matter how you feel about a subject
21. Learning about students’ lives is fascinating
22. Dress down days, days before long breaks, and pep rally days are the worst
23. Uniforms are miracle workers
24. Make jokes and laugh
25. A teacher’s boyfriend will be the most fascinating person to students
26. Community in the classroom is essential
27. Students will not always appreciate nice things done for them
28. If coffee is ever vital it is for field trip days (buy something from your favorite coffee place)
29. School days screw up your eating patterns
30. Learn every students name as soon as possible
31. Don’t accept late work without an excused absence
32. A teacher’s life is much worse if there is no support from administration
33. Positive reinforcement is key
34. Students love credit slips that can be exchanged for chips, etc.
35. Buy a huge container of sanitizer for the classroom
36. Always have a warm up
37. Always have an extra lesson ready if technology crashes or something comes up
38. Don’t make copies at the beginning of the day – make them days before you need them
39. Students love artsy lessons
40. Don’t bribe students
41. You will know more about students than you plan for
42. Don’t yell
43. Don’t give out students names to other students
44. Don’t talk when someone else is talking
45. Students will remember you love Cleveland :)
46. Life is more fun when you have teachers you get along with
47. Stay organized
48. Set aside time for yourself throughout the week
49. Hang up student art work in your classroom
50. Focus on small victories

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Welcome, December

Despite the frigid temperatures and stuffy noses, December is one of my favorite months. Christmas MIGHT have something to do with it. Although, I love that feeling of the first good snowfall. I love being able to drink hot beverages and not worrying about my hair curling with the humidity.
I'm posting some of my favorite things for this December.
My new computer desktop wall paper by Lisa Rupp, which can be found and downloaded for FREE here!
Our cute little Christmas tree! :) 
Homemade Christmas cards and gifts! Also, 50 DIY days of Christmas which can be found here!
Christmas classics! I love these stop motion movies! They will ALWAYS be a Christmas tradition!

Christmas cookies, of course!
A Christmas Story! I actually never saw this movie until I was in 11th grade, but now it's a yearly ritual. I might watch the movie 2 or 3 times when it's on repeat starting Christmas Eve. What's even better is that the house from the movie is a museum in Cleveland! I haven't been there either, but I really want to go one day. You can check the website out here!

I pretty much love all of December and Christmas, but I will stop here. :)

Sick Days

So, yesterday was the first day I had to call in sick. Now, I HATE missing work, school, etc. That is just not in my personality. However, I get so exhausted teaching that I knew I needed a day to recover, especially since this is the weekend I work at the nursing home. Basically, I woke up Tuesday with a sore throat. I thought it was just one of those where you breathe with your mouth open, but the sore throat goes away throughout the day. Not the case with me which I was really surprised about since I had no other signs of getting sick. I spent all yesterday sleeping and drinking orange juice hoping to recover as soon as possible. 

Today was probably not the best day to return three textbooks I borrowed from the school back. I was so sore once I got to school, and I actually think it made me a little bit worse. I was pretty good throughout the day. I just had to blow my nose a lot and I put on a ton of hand sanitizer. I hate being sick because I just feel so miserable.

 A lot of my students asked where I was yesterday and told me they missed me. One student ran up and goes, "MISS ALBERT!!!! WHERE WERE YOU?" He tried to give me a big hug but I told him not to because I was sick, but he goes, "I don't care. I'm sick too!" I really hope I'm much better tomorrow. I hate this!

During my planning bell the English teacher walks in and I thought she wanted my MT. She goes, "So, do you have any obligations after school." I told her I just had study tables. Then she says, "Oh, I wanted to see if you wanted to judge the dance tryouts because I need another judge." So, I was like well I'll ask my MT, but I'm sure it'll be okay! So, I was a judge for the dance tryouts. It was super cute. A lot of the girls trying out were my students and when I walked in they were like, "HI MISS ALBERT!" or "Miss Albert! You're a judge?!" The are too adorable. As I was leaving some of the girls were still there and they asked how they did. I was telling them I couldn't say anything and the math teacher goes, "MISS ALBERT TELL ME HOW I DID!" So, I go, "OH MY GOSH! You made it." Then she pretended to rub it in the students' faces.

So, some of the male students pretend to hit on me and one of them during class the other day looks back at me and tries to get my attention. I look at him and then he blows me a kiss. Then that same student wanted me to look at his and his partners story board. I was reading it and it was on the Cuban Missile Crisis and all of a sudden he had information about the Bay of Pigs. I asked why they had it and they said my MT wanted them to include it. So, I go, well you'll need to talk to him. The student goes, "But Miss Albert. We want you. You're really smart." I kind of laugh. Then after he talks to my MT he goes, "Miss Albert. I told you you were smart. [MT] said the same thing as you. You're just as smart as him. Actually you're smarter." Hahahaha... right....

Over break I may or may not have gone on a couple "dates," if you want to call them that. Basically, I hung out with two guys. Haha. Anyways, on Monday my MT had everyone in advisory go around and say the best part of their Thanksgiving break. I said that I went on my very first date ever. My students freaked out! The girls thought it was so adorable. They asked what I did and I told them I actually went on two. My MT goes, "How about we make Miss Albert bring in any potential dates and we have to ask them questions and decide whether or not they are good enough." My advisory students were like, "Oh my gosh! Like the bachelorette!" I wish I had a group of guys that I could have them question and vote on who would be the best. I love my students and I'd totally trust that MOST of them would keep my best interests in mind.

Well, I better get going. Please pray I get better soon!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy 23rd Anniversary!

HAPPY 23RD ANNIVERSARY TO MY WONDERFUL PARENTS! Yes, Jeff and Allison have been married for 23 years. It's crazy to think about, at least I think it is. This is the first year my parents, well my mom, has been with my dad longer than she's been without him. Also, a shout out to the beautiful offspring they created! HAHA! Just kidding.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sending Love to Japan

In light of the season among the many things I am thankful for one is friends, and especially friends that enlighten me to a world outside of my own little American bubble. I started talking to my friend Haruna again today. We met my junior year of high school and have been friends ever since. We were very good friends then and have occasionally sent letters and packages to each other. She sends me the best packages from Japan. Or maybe I just think everything from Japan is cooler. Well, let's go back into the archive. Yes, you get to see me in all my high school glory...

One of the reasons I brought this up is because talking to her got me excited to get back into one of my passions which is sending letters and packages. I have a few people all over the country that I try to regularly keep in contact with through handwritten letters. I think that snail mail is much more personal (and fun) than keeping in contact through text or the internet. Maybe that's just me, but who doesn't love going to the mailbox and seeing something for them that's not junk mail! I also told her I would help her with her English because she needs help with it. I miss her so much and I still think about her whenever I make origami cranes. I'm awful at origami and the poor girl had to try to put up with me trying to do it. Despite it all my junior year of high school was one of my best years ever and she had a lot to do with it! :)

If you would like to be my pen pal please let me know! I love having new people to write to!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Super Students

Sorry I have been awful at posting blogs lately, but my life has been pretty boring for the most part, especially at the school. I still love it, but not much worth blogging has happened.

So, yesterday one of my students was walking around with the most old school calculator ever! It looked like the picture here but it had the fake wood on it. It was hilarious. He was pretending it was a cell phone, but it was even huge for a cell phone. I don't even know where he found it, but my MT and I were so amazed and interested in it!

So, you know Diante? The one who kept asking me to homecoming? Well, a lot of the students had their schedules changed and he was one of them. He is now in the same class as his girlfriend, we'll call her Amanda. So, on Monday Amanda comes up to me and says, "Miss Albert! Look what my boyfriend got me!" He bought her a bracelet and necklace. I said, "I like to see that he isn't a cheap boyfriend. Where did he buy it" She said Forever 21 and I told her I loved that store and she should tell him to buy me something there.
Then yesterday he was working on his project and calls me over. He asked me if I thought he was a good boyfriend because he was trying to be. I told him I thought he was, but if he hurt her in any way I would find him. I love Amanda. She's so adorable and nice. Then he goes, "Can you do me a favor?" I told him, hesitantly, that I would. He goes, "Can you tell her I say 'Hi' with a heart and smiley face?" He's such a strange boy.

So it's really funny how observant students are about teachers. Very often they ask me if I have had my lip pierced- I have if you didn't know. Like, yesterday, Amanda and another girl in my advisory started laughing when I walked towards them. I looked at them with a questioning look. Then they say, "It's just funny that your hair blows in the wind." Pretty much I should be a model is what they were saying. Just kidding! Today one of my students says to me "You dress weird. But you always look cute." I'm taking it as a compliment.

Today my MT and I had our 'Super Student' lunch for the students who had a perfect binder and warm up for the first quarter. I posted pictures below. I sat with Diante and one of the students who always compliments my clothes and who also dresses very cute. Diante was HILARIOUS when he was eating. I can't even explain how he was. I wish I had a video or something. I really don't know how he has a girlfriend. Haha. I was telling them that I was leaving after winter break and Diante asks if I can just stay. I told him they wouldn't hire me. He goes, "Will they hire you if we sign a petition? Everyone loves you." I told him that wasn't true that there were actually quite a few students who hated me. He couldn't believe it then he goes, "I'm part of the Miss Albert fan club." I asked him if he was the president and he said he was. Haha.

Finally, guess whose mentor teacher volunteered her to chaperone 6 honor students on our team at the zoo on Friday? This girls. This internship is rough... :)
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