Tuesday, July 4, 2017

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As usual, the school year took over and my blog went WAY back to the back burner... like WAY back! I would look at other teacher bloggers with envy for all of the time they seemed to have to write blog posts. I was barely finding time to cook dinner and clean my house.

So let's get started...

New School Year- Where do I begin? If you follow me on any social media or know me in person you know that this was THE toughest year of my life professionally. My district reconfigured and moved grade levels around between three different school. So after I returned from the TPT conference I waited and waited for my room to be ready for me to move in and set up. Three days before teachers were to report back to work I got the green light. I arrived bright and early and ALL of my things were in boxes still from the move. Thankfully my mother in law, sisters in law, and a few of his cousins came to my rescue. They took orders very well! lol Within 3 shorts days I had my teeny tiny classroom set up sort of to my standards. Ready or not because the kids would be coming soon. The next three professional development days were overwhelming, to say the least. I barely knew where the cafeteria was but yet I was taking notes on behavior procedures and office procedures, receiving my class list, trying to learn my new faculty and a learn MILLION other things that make a school tick. The first day of school came and I never really felt like I got off on the right foot. I was still learning so much about my new school that I was not confident like I usually am. I feel like that along with the rush of setting up my room really put a damper on my school year. I am so OCD about certain things and I struggled from here on out.






The first week of school I was recognized at a parish banquet for being Teacher of the Year and also receiving over $5,000 in grant money for technology for my classroom! My hubby and I attended this banquet  and it was an honor to be recgonized with some of the best educators in the parish.



Fast forward because August - November was a BLUR. New lesson plan formats, meetings, new administration to learn, learning my kids and all of their needs, adjusting to having over 200 fifth graders on campus at a time and at recess at the same time 😳😳, and a million other things. I felt like I was drowning at all times. I did not have time to create for TPT like I love to do (which killed me). I constantly felt like there was this plate sitting in front of me and there were things consistently being added to the plate and it was overflowing but yet no one was there to help me eat the food on the plate. Does that make sense?? I'm not even sure if I am allowed to vent like this on such a public forum but I feel like at some point we have to keep it real. So let's be real.... I consider myself an extremely passionate educator. I love love love my job. Teaching kids, interacting with them, learning about their lives, watching the light bulb go off, watching them be proud of themselves for the smallest accomplishment, and having their parents beam with excitement when they tell me they love my class. THIS is why I do it. BUT, this year I felt myself slipping farther and farther away from that passionate feeling. I dreaded work. I cried every day on the way to work and most days on the way home. My poor husband did not know what to say anymore. He would sit and listen and ask me if I wanted to quit. Quit?! Of course not, I could never. I love my job. But did I? How could I still say I LOVED my job if I cried every day, multiple times every day. I won't exactly say what was making it so miserable for me but I can tell you I was not alone. At some point in January/February I started to look at other job opportunities. I filled out applications for other educational technology jobs, received a few phone calls and interviews. I felt like I had options and for the first time in a while I felt good enough, adequate, intelligent, and wanted. After A LOT of prayers and talks with my husband I decided these jobs were not where I needed to be. Plus the thought of my students showing up one day and I just didn't KILLED me. They would never ever understand why I stopped showing up. I never wanted them to blame themselves. So I decided I was biting the bullet and sticking it out even through the tears. One of my #teacherbesties said the word to me "Look it's already February, we can see the light, we can do it." That was it. I left that day with the decision that no matter what was thrown at me I would do it. So many of us were having a rough year and it was no secret. We did pull together and I can tell you I will never ever forget the faces that survived this year with me. I have spoken with so many other teachers who are not even from my state and have had years like I had. Everyone has a BAD year. I guess it was just my turn.

So mid February... still rough but I had things to look forward to. I ride in a Mardi Gras Krewe here in South Louisiana called the Krewe of Aquarius. This was my third year and every year gets better! This year our theme for parade was "Aquarius takes a Road Trip." So each float represented a state. We were Alaska for of course we were eskimos!




If you have ever been to South Louisiana during Mardi Gras you will likely see these buses. We ride around on these all day before our night parade!


Me up top throwing to some of my teacher friends down below!

Krewe of Thoth parade in New Orleans!




So I started off February with a great time personally!! Fast forward a few weeks to Mardi Gras day... the day Ross and I found out we were going to be parents this year!! We were so very excited and wanted to tell everyone but of course held it in for a while.

I didn't post anything on social media until we found out the gender. I read so many things about not sharing during the first trimester. We told close friends and family but waited to tell everyone else. I told my students the last few weeks of school by playing a game of hangman with each of my classes and the puzzle said "Mrs DeRoche is going to be a mom." Watching their faces as they pieced it together was the BEST! Such genuine expressions!

The day after the last day of school we found out the gender and let the rest of the world know!


That's right! We will be welcoming a baby boy this November!!! My husband is overjoyed, to say the least. He is surrounded by women in his family so this will be a nice change! My official due date is November 9th. As of today, I am almost 22 weeks and second trimester has been a blessing. First trimester was not completely terrible. I like to consider myself one of the lucky ones since I never ever vomited from morning sickness. I mostly suffered from severe fatigue and all day yuckiness as I like to call it. Still very blessed!!

Anyways, back to my school year....once I went back to work after Mardi Gras holidays I decided to NOT let stress get to me. I mean after all it was a blessing that I even got pregnant during such a stressful time. A few weeks before I found out I was pregnant I was crying to a co-worker saying "I'll never get pregnant with all of this stress." God called my bluff and I'm so glad he did. This came as such perfect timing for me and my husband. I began focusing on staying happy and healthy for my baby. I can't believe I just said "my baby." Who am I? ha. Anyways, I stopped letting things get to me or maybe I just stopped caring. I really can't tell you exactly what happened but between the need for a nap at all times and everything else I focused on me and became an #okayteacher thanks for Lindsey Paull for that! 

The end of the year approached and I did submit my request for a transfer to other schools. I needed to have a better year next year no matter what. I went on an interview or so and said a lot of prayers. I asked God to put me where I needed to be... whether that was at another school in a new grade level or that was back at my same school trying to make next year better. God pointed me to stay where I am and I fully trust his plan. In the words of my co-workers... "This year has to be better, it just has to be." I was moved to a bigger classroom in a different hall and although I am THRILLED it is bigger, I am also happy that it is sort of a fresh start. I left all the bad vibes and feelings I had from last year when I moved all of my stuff out. This year WILL be different. I am determined. I took an entire month off this summer from doing anything related to my teaching career and got back on TPT and it feel SO GOOD!! I've missed it! I've missed connecting with all of the teachers on there and helping other teachers out. I will be attending #TPTOC17 in a few weeks in Anaheim, California with my hubby! I am so so excited to see some of my friends again and be around so many others like me! Here are a few of the things I've created! 😀


 
Gradebook Tropical Theme This is ediable and allows you to type in all of your students' names.

 





  







Other Nautical theme products available!






By request:



I almost forgot to mention on Labor Day weekend #EthelPup joined our family! She is a shih tzu and is full of personality. She loves dryer sheets, our cat Sid, dog cookies, and sleeping on the couch. She hates all hats, coats, or sweaters we try to put on her.
















I'm sure I'll be back with more pictures from TPT OC and more products I create but I think this post was long-winded enough! If you read it all the way through...





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