What’s up, teacher-friends?! Long time, no post!
When I first made this blog, I had such high expectations for myself. Well, reality set in REAL quick & I abandoned this blog. People frequently ask, “How do you do it all?” Reality is that I don’t. I am really good at saying “yes” to everything & I constantly have a new project I’m working on. (Everyone has their flaws, right?!) This school year has also been super challenging for me with all new curriculum. My number one focus has been on my classroom and my students. Unfortunately, that means that my Teachers Pay Teachers and blog have been slacking. (Just a friendly reminder that nobody can “do it all” and we are all human!) My goal for 2019 is to post 2-4 times a month! Keep me accountable! Let me know in the comments what posts you want to see!
Let’s play 20 questions! I asked you guys on Instagram to ask me “Get to Know Me” questions! Here we go…
What do you teach? 6th grade science
How long have you been teaching? This is my 4th year
Do you coach or sponsor anything at school? I coach 8th grade softball, high school softball, & am in my last semester of my Master’s Degree
Let’s get a little more in depth:
Did you always know you wanted to teach middle school?
Nope! I majored in elementary education & was determined to teach Kindergarten. Yikes! In college I started working at an after school program & was a camp counselor in the summer. I quickly realized that kindergarteners can’t tie their own shoes or cut paper?! I started gravitating towards the older kids & realized middle schoolers were for me. I will never look back!
How did you come up with your Instagram handle?
“Maniacs in the Middle” was born 2 & a half years ago. I lived with my two best friends, Kelli (@sandersinsecond) & Lisa (@abcswithmissc). We all just ended our first year of teaching & had been following/stalking teachers on Instagram all year. We made a deal to all make one at the same time so the people in our real lives wouldn’t make fun of us as much, & if we fail, we all fail together! I knew I wanted something about middle school. Whenever I tell someone I teach middle school they always say, “You’re crazy! You’re a maniac!” So, Maniacs in the Middle was born.
How tall are you?
I am 5’9’’. This surprises everyone who meets me in real life. The number one comment I get when someone meets me is, “I had no idea you were so tall!” Apparently Instagram makes it look like I am short?!
Advice for a new teacher searching for a job?
Breathe! Apply for everything you are interested in! People told me to just “apply for everything” but I knew I only wanted middle school science. I only applied for middle school science jobs. After you apply, email the principal introducing yourself. Connections, connections, connections. Unfortunately, most people get hired because they know someone who knows someone. During student teaching, make as many connections with teachers, administrators, and parents as possible. You never know how that could help you! Stand out! My resume was not a “traditional” resume. It had color, was 2 pages, & “looked like me.” When I was in my interview they said they knew I was creative by the look of my resume. Make a website about yourself that you can put on your resume or in the email to the principal. Job searching is stressful! Be you & you will rock it.
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning? You look so put together!
I’ve always lived by the motto, “Look good, feel good!” I HATE pajama day because I feel so comfy & so unmotivated to do anything besides watch Netflix all day. When I am dressed nice & look presentable, I am motivated & ready to conquer the day! On school days it usually takes me about 10 minutes to do my makeup & 10 minutes to do my hair. On non-school days, I love to take my time getting ready & watch YouTube tutorials as I’m doing my makeup. Hair & makeup is a fun hobby of mine!
What’s your workout routine?
OrangeTheory!!! I have been going to OrangeTheory for 2 years. OrangeTheory is a 60 minute workout class. It is 30 minutes of treadmill & 30 minutes of weights, rowing, & TRX bands. I go about 3-4 times a week. I burn an average of 500-600 calories each time! This is the first workout routine that I have stuck with EVER. I love going & it kicks my butt every time, even after two years of going. Yes, it is expensive, but as I said before, it is the first workout that I actually enjoy & have stuck with. The coaches are so nice and really push you. It is such a positive environment & it is truly for all fitness levels. I have seen such a huge change in the toning of my body. This could also be a totally separate post. Go try OTF & let me know how you love it! You will be hooked!!
What are your favorite places to buy clothes for school?
H&M, Old Navy, Loft, Madewell, JCrew, JCrew Factory, Apricot Lane Peoria. I am starting to find boutiques that have cute & reasonable clothes for school too. What are your favorite online clothing boutiques?I love places that give teacher discounts too! Madewell, JCrew, & Loft all give teacher discounts with your ID! We can’t talk about clothes for school without talking about teacher tees! Lipstick Littles, Berteau & Co, Our Elementary Daze, Teach Create Motivate, & Cutesy Class are some of my favorite teacher tees!
What do you give students who can’t have Jolly Ranchers due to braces?
Y’all know I LOVE JOLLY RANCHERS. When I was in college, I had a professor who was literally Mr. Feeney from Boy Meets World. He told us, “Kids will do anything for a Jolly Rancher. Go buy Jolly Ranchers.” I have never heard more true words. I could do a whole post on Jolly Ranchers (#sponsorteachersplease). For students who have braces, I simply give them a LifeSaver mint. Works the exact same!
Am I your favorite student?
Obviously this was asked by a student & my students CONSTANTLY ask this question. I have the same response every time that initiates the biggest eye roll from them: “I love all my students the same!”
Where do you get your ideas for all of your engaging lessons?
I would say about 50% of my lessons come from something I saw somewhere else. I always start with Pinterest, blogs, & websites when looking for an activity on a certain topic. The majority of the time, an idea is sparked from something else that I saw and I just adapt it for my content and my students! I also have a pretty awesome resource who I can text at any point in the day with: “Hey! I need an activity for _____. Any ideas?!” She will send me 5 links in 10 minutes. I call her “mom.” She taught for 39 years and was actually my 6th grade science teacher. It’s in my blood. I also get ideas from Instagram, TpT, & Twitter. Always give credit where credit is due!!! Anything I use from others, I always share.
What are your guilty pleasure tv shows?
I am the BIGGEST fan of any reality TV show. It all started with The Hills & Laguna Beach in middle school. The Bachelor is my #1 reality tv show. I watch all of them every year from Bachelor, Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, & Bachelor Winter Games. Give me it ALL. I also love anything on Bravo such as Vanderpump & Real Housewives. My all time favorite tv show is FRIENDS. I can quote every episode & have watched the entire series all the way through one too many times. (I’m definitely Monica too so I’m not sure what that says about me..)
How are you so positive & energetic all the time?
When I am at school with my kids, I want to be the positive person in their life that they can count on every day. I am that teacher yelling “good morning” in the halls at students as I chug my coffee & walk to my classroom. I am overdramatic, loud, & outgoing with my students. I do believe that teaching is a little bit like acting. If I am sick, upset, or not myself, I put on my energetic, happy face anyways, because that is what my students need and deserve. (But believe me, I am only human and I love my alone time on my couch, watching Friends on Netflix, & taking naps on Sunday). For the positive part, it’s all about who you surround yourself with. Find your people & stay close with them.
What are some of your go-to classroom management strategies?
Routines, routines, routines! Bell ringers that students immediately work on when they walk in the classroom. Call & responses to get their attention. Class points system which can be seen on my Instagram story highlights! High expectations from the beginning & make them re-do things if they are not up to your standards!
Do you have a boyfriend?
This question caught me off guard because it was so popular! (Surprisingly it wasn’t my mom or my family who asked it either!! #loveyoumom) Here’s the “tea” as the kids say these days. I am 25. Guys my age act like my 12 year old students that I am with all day. I seriously love my students, this age, & their immaturity, but I am not trying to date a 25 year old who acts like my students… That’s not too much to ask for, right?! So no, I don’t have a boyfriend and until a guy makes me happier than chips & queso, I’m staying single. I also made a deal with my friends that if I am still single at 28, they can sign me up for the Bachelor (#sorrymom).
What’s your Starbucks order?
I need to work on this one because everything I love is so bad for me!!! I love a good Caramel Macchiato or an Iced White Chocolate Mocha. Trying to be healthier in the new year so what are your healthier Starbucks orders??
How did you decide on teaching as a career?
I really never thought of anything else! Actually, that’s a lie because in 4th grade we had to do a career project & I chose WNBA basketball player. We can all see how that turned out…But really there was no other career that crossed my mind. My mom was a teacher for 39 years and I was known as the “school rat.” I was constantly begging to grade papers or write on the board. My brother is a high school PE teacher. It truly runs in our blood.
If you had to move somewhere else to teach, where would it be?
Well I am currently writing this on a “cold day” with temperatures in the -30’s, so I would have to say anywhere warm! I love California & Florida. I LOVE Nashville & the Phoenix/Scottsdale area as well. The truth is, I don’t think I could ever move away from my family & friends so I am suffering through these negative temps!
Bonus Round! My five favorites:
Fast Food: Chick-fil-A
Beauty Product: Dry shampoo
Snack: Chips, salsa, & queso
Artist: Ariana Grande can do no wrong right now
Classroom Tech Tool: Quizlet Live! My students are OBSESSED.
That was fun! Now let me know what we have in common!