Tuesday, July 30, 2013

back to school: goals and new directions

       I officially return to full-time work today. (So thankful that this week is a teacher work/training week, with no kiddos. That will give me a little time to acclimate!)  While I enjoyed my two-year leave (I LOVED the flexible scheduling, the ability to take early-morning aikido, and the chance to finish my degree), I'm looking forward to working again. Primarily because being a grad student for 3.5 years (5.5 years, really, if you count my previous degree, since they were done consecutively) can really take a bite out of your finances.
      I know it will be a huge transition, so I thought I'd take a moment to set some goals:

       As a new teacher, I could literally list dozens of things that I need to work on! I heard or read somewhere that you should aim to focus on/change up 10% of what you do in the classroom each year. Right now I'm running at 75% change - some of it required (two new-to-me curricula, one college readiness program, and one social-skills program) and some of it self-imposed (two language arts frameworks - Daily 5 and CAFE). Put me down as officially overwhelmed and wondering just how this is going to work out. But here are the top three goals for this year:
  • Have my lesson planning done at least a week ahead
  • Create and stick to a schedule for organizing/cleaning/filing. At least my minions -- er, students -- are a little older and can be tasked with wiping down furniture with a wet wipe, sweeping, dusting, or other basic duties. Unfortunately, moving to a new school means I inherited tons of materials in no good order, disorderly closets, and furniture that is beyond dusty - the dirt looks ground in. I am not a neatnik by any means, but my new home-away-from-home is appallingly dirty. My mom and I have already committed to going in every weekend to clean, organize, and get the whole room where I want it. (What would I do without my mom? Probably cry tears of frustration over my ancient computer keyboards that are so dusty they need to be disassembled and cleaned - because their clear bottoms resemble dirt Etch-a-Sketches. If you hold the keyboard upside down and tip it from side to side, you can watch the dirt skitter from side to side.)
  • Give formative assessments for math and reading at least once a week (exit pass, pre- and post-tests, etc.) to help me track student understanding and adjust instruction.

  • Maintain my daily meditation practice. Consider moving my meditation time to the mornings or adding a morning session.
  • Be in bed by 10 p.m., which will give me about 7 hours of sleep.
  • Get to the gym one time during the week, and go to the gym after Saturday's meditation class.Some of the teachers are planning on doing Insanity after school, and it might be a good idea to join them once in a while.
  • Pack a fresh fruit/vegetable as a snack everyday.
  • Cook dinner at least once a week. I know that doesn't sound like much, but we eat leftovers until they're gone, so one meal will keep us fed for several days.
  •  One Saturday or Sunday a month, prepare a dish that can be frozen in individual portions for lunch. (I made lasagna last week, so I have something to eat for the start of school).

      I'm going to wait to determine specific amounts - I need to see my first paycheck before I can decide how to best divvy things up. But here are my goals:
  •    Rebuild my emergency fund.
  •    Start a new-car fund. My husband really worries about me driving my 14-year-old car long distances everyday, so he wants us to get a newer car in 6 months or so.
  • Start saving for the ring I want to get to celebrate earning my degree.
  • Set up an automatic deposit to feed my investment accounts.
  •    Make double payments on my debt with the highest interest.
  •     Pack lunch at least 3 times a week, and set up a weekly/monthly automatic deposit to put that money aside in a savings account.
  • Continue to see this blog as a source of motivation and fun, and not stress out about it.
    I truly enjoy running this blog, because I think it's been a great way to search for my style and connect with stylish folks. That being said, I'm not going to stress about blogging for the first month of teaching.  I'm not quite sure what form this blog will take from now on. I'd really like to continue sharing my outfits, particularly since I think it will be motivating for me to dress well. I may shift to weekly roundups vs. individual outfit posts. You may also have to endure some iPhone photos while I work on getting my photography schedule and spots in place!


  1. Welcome back to full-time work - good luck!

  2. Wow, congratulations on being back in the classroom, you've been working so hard on school so it must be really rewarding to be done with your own classes. That's smart to not worry about blogging for a while, I think sometimes we get caught up with the blogs and forget that at the end of the day, they're only blogs. (Of course, I've been a really bad blogger so I could just be justifying myself there!) I hope all goes well with your new class, it will be exciting to read about how it all goes and I look forward to seeing your outfits for teaching!

  3. congrats on finishing your degree, that takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I think getting a ring to commemorate your efforts is a great idea, you'll look down and always be reminded of your accomplishment :) good luck with the new job, i'm sure you'll do great. it looks like you have some busy months ahead, blog when you can and best of luck with everything :)

  4. you are so ambitious to even have this list! i am too scared of lists because then i actually have to follow them!! you have some great goals, though!! best of luck with them!

  5. Congrats Carrie :) Hope you enjoy working :)

  6. Nine days into the school year, I'm looking at this list and shaking my head in wonder. I haven't done 99% of the stuff on this list, but I'm still settling into work, so I'll give myself a few more weeks ... :)

  7. Thank you, Em! I miss blogging and the great community. I hope that I settle into my routine eventually and will be able to resume regular posting. :)

  8. Kat - I'm having fun, just wish I wasn't so tired all the time. :)

  9. Thank you, Lisa! :) Lots of great things happening, just wish I had a little more time to get stuff done ... I already feel behind!

  10. Thank you, Katie! I'm hoping to get back to chronicling my daily outfits, although I'll probably be using not-so-great phone pics at first ...


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