Sunday, April 17, 2016

Time Saving Tip for the Busy Teacher, Mom, Whomever

So you know that dreaded feeling of looking in the fridge, only to find that there's NOTHING TO EAT? Well, that happens at my house quite a bit. Not because we don't have money to buy food, we are blessed that we do, but because I LOATHE going grocery shopping. I usually remember that I need to go after work or on the weekend, and ain't nobody got time for that or want to do it then. So, I usually end up picking up Chipotle, or let's be real, my husband picks me up Chipotle, and that's our dinner. Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with eating Chipotle. The problem is those other meals that need to be eaten during the day. Breakfast and lunch on the go are a real problem when there isn't food in the house. Therefore, I'm grabbing random junk for both meals, or not eating until later. As you can imagine this isn't really working, and me being HANGRY is never pleasant for anyone, particularly my kiddos.

So, after all that rambling, I'm happy to say that I've discovered an alternate way to grocery shop. I got the mail this week and received a post card that actually wasn't a bill or junk. It was a voucher from Wal-Mart for $10 off ordering my groceries online. Now, I know what you're thinking, "I hate grocery shopping at Wal-Mart!" Well I'm right there with you! I do too! I go in, am usually hangry, buy way more chocolate that anyone should ever consume, can't find everything I'm looking for, and leave just wanting to order a pizza or call my hubs to grab Chipotle.

Now the thing that I do LOVE about Wal-Mart are their prices. So, with the voucher in hand, I thought, "Why not try ordering my groceries online? What do I really have to lose?" I'm happy to report that this is now the way I will grocery shop! Being a busy teacher, I rarely have time to cook, let alone the energy to make a meal. This week is the first week in a long time that I have come home, known what I was making, and whipped something up! I even got to eat lunch with my kiddos this week because I FINALLY had a lunch (as they would put it) and didn't have to run out and grab something.

Now I was a little skeptical at first, when I went to pick up my groceries because I couldn't find the pick-up spot. Once I was able to find where I was supposed to be, I simply had to call and let them know I was there. A kind man rolled my groceries out directly to my car and proceeded to load them in my trunk. Talk about some amazing customer service! (Wal-Mart is not paying me to write this by the way, this is my honest opinion!) I'm happy to say that my produce was picked out fantastically, everything I ordered was there, and it was easy peasy lemon squeezy! Oh, and this doesn't cost extra, nor do they accept tips (so I'm told!).

So if I've convinced you to brave Wal-Mart and quit going somewhere expensive to buy your groceries, I have a link that will save you ten dollars just by trying this service: Do yourself a favor, get food in your house without doing much of anything. The ordering online part is simple. You type in what you need, add it to your list, and you are good to go. I will tell you, that you should order your groceries the day before you want to pick them up! I found this out the hard way and was forced to eat Chipotle another night. Oh darn! ;) Have a great week and take one more thing off your to-do list by ordering groceries online!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Set the Stage to Engage

I have been meaning to write this post for a few weeks, but it just hasn't happened until now. A few weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend the "Get Your Teach On" Conference in Orlando, FL, with Deanna Jump and Hope King. I was like a little kid on Christmas Eve, and could barely sleep the night before. Before I share a few takeaways from the conference, let me just say, it was gold! More dates and locations were just announced, so I would highly suggest getting right on that.

The first thing that I took away from this conference, was to find time to do the extraordinary. You've probably seen teachers like Hope King and Holly Ehle who flip their classrooms. I haven't attempted this yet, but this is one way that you can go above and beyond. These ladies not only transform their classroom to go along with what they are teaching, but they make sure the content is there. There isn't any point to flipping your classroom if the content isn't there! Yes, it makes great pictures for social media, but I'm a big believer in having a purpose for EVERYTHING!

Another thing that I learned was that YOU ultimately are the person who sets the stage. You are the person who shows enthusiasm for a lesson. You are the person who can get your kiddos excited about ANYTHING! I've learned that if I make it applicable to my kiddos and hook them with my intro, that's when the lesson goes well. That's when I have complete engagement, my kiddos think learning is FUN, and they get something out of the lesson that they will continue to remember.

I also took away that you need to be positive. Not only with your kiddos, but with those you work with, and with yourself. Part of keeping others engaged and making people want to pay attention to you is being excited about life AND teaching. Even if you aren't having the best day. Even if you're stuck in a work environment that tears you down. Even if you have THAT kiddo that is driving you crazy, you build report and relationships with everyone. Make it your mission to get to know your students individually. If your kiddos think you hate them, they aren't going to pay much attention to you, or give you an ounce of respect. If you respect them, and take the time to get to know them, THAT is when they will listen to you, stay engaged, and buy in to what you are doing!

Now that I'm off my soap box, I had a blast at this conference. I had never been to Orlando and never
taken a solo vacation, so it was kind of a big deal for me. I ordered room service, read, and enjoyed something out of the norm. I also met some new friends and took pictures with a few people I love. (Side note: Wade King left a selfie on my phone when he was taking a pic of Hope and I, so its only fair that I post it.) I am happy to say that this conference was one that gave me a renewed zeal for teaching and made me want to "set the stage to engage!"