Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Summer of Inspiration

Today is the last official day of summer! Year eleven of teaching is about to begin! Before starting a new school year, I want to reflect on my summer. This summer has been full of great opportunities!

This is one of the few summers that I haven't had a summer job. It was nice to have the freedom to make plans with friends, create products, and spend time with my son. My husband, son, and I were able to get away for a couple of days to Dewey Beach (a beach in Delaware). I enjoyed our time just the three of us! 

Little Man used a crayon box to pretend to take a selfie of us...Amazing what this generation knows!

My friends and I had the opportunity to go to a free concert in Baltimore City to see Koo Koo Kangaroo! It was crazy because we thought that it would be packed but there couldn't have been more than 75 people (and most of them were teachers!) They put on an hour show that was jammed packed with my favorite songs and plenty of opportunity to dance! Then, Bryan and Neil were available to take pictures and sign autographs! I was able to talk with them and have them sign their cd. They are a lot of fun and I am so excited to tell my new students about them!

Then, at the beginning of August, six of my friends and I traveled up to Penn State Altoona for an education conference featuring the one and only Ron Clark!!! Ashley from Schroder Shenanigans in 2nd was the host of the conference and a speaker as well. She hosted a meet up the night before, which was great to see so many other teachers and bloggers who are passionate about their job! 

Ron Clark was the first speaker and he spoke for two hours! I have read most of his books and heard a bunch of his stories but there is nothing like hearing them in person. Ron certainly practices what he preaches because he was bouncing all over the place, standing on tables, and definitely keeping us engaged. I appreciated his transparency with his reflection of his teaching the previous year. He admitted that he lost some of his excitement last year when the hustle and bustle of the job got in the way. He spoke about how he knows what went wrong and he will do everything he can not to let that happen this year. That was encouraging because if Ron Clark can have an off year of teaching, so can the best of us! It totally motivated me to reflect on what I did last year and how I can improve this year. On top of speaking, he signed autographs and took pictures with everyone that was in line. My friends and I were seriously at the back of the line and it took over an hour to get to the front. But you know what? I did not mind one bit because I GOT TO MEET RON CLARK! Even though he had been speaking to so many people before us, he made us feel important and he didn't lose his sparkle. It was such an amazing experience!

In addition to Mr. Clark and Ashley speaking, Chris Pombonyo from Famous in Fourth gave an amazing presentation! He moved around the room with excitement, used music to get us up off our feet, and inspired us to have a more engaging classroom. I was blessed to meet him at the Get Your Teach On conference in Orlando and I was so thankful that I got to see him again. I was able to speak with him individually and get some ideas for our school. Such a cool guy and said he remembered who I was (which was so exciting!)

Chris and I seeing each other again!

It was an amazing day of learning and getting excited about teaching again. It certainly came at a perfect time because the new school year is right around the corner. I am so thankful that my colleagues and friends came to this conference and were inspired as well.

My amazing friends that I work with each day!
(Michele, Cheryl, Jessica, Lisa, Shanna, and Kim)

You would think after all this my summer would be done...guess again! Last weekend, I was able to apart of the first annual Maryland Blogger Meet Up! I have watched so many bloggers have the chance to meet with others in their state and I was so happy to have my chance! The event was hosted by Susie from Shafer's Shenanigans, Michelle from Pocketful of Primary, Ashley from The Sassy School Teacher , and Caitlin from Cait's Cool School! We met at Langermann's in Baltimore and enjoyed brunch together. They had amazing giveaways and I was able to meet a lot of great people. I sat next to Heather from Recipe For Teaching, which was a blast to get to know her! She is definitely further along in her blogging journey so it was nice to get encouragement from her!

A great turn out of ladies for the Maryland Meet Up!
My friend, Kim, from Flipping Into Kindergarten, Heather, and I.
I was so glad that my friend Kim and I went to the meet up together. Kim has been in the blogging world for the last year and it is so encouraging to have a friend to do it with. We completely geek out when meeting all of these amazing people and she is my instagram contest entering buddy! We are determined to get to the TPT conference next year and learn from more amazing people!

I am excited and pumped for the new year! I know that it will take hard work, a lot of positivity, and encouragement from those around me to make this year the best year ever! I am ready to set the stage to engage and I can't wait to do it with my teammates, Cheryl and Shanna!

Are you ready for your best year ever? Do you still need some more materials to help you out? Thankfully, Teachers Pay Teachers is having a one day sale tomorrow, August 22nd, only! My store in addition to many other stores will be on sale. Don't forget to enter the promo code ONEDAY to get up to 28% off! Happy Best Year Ever!

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