Look At Me! I’m Organized!

STUDENT TEACHING HAS STARTED! Last week I got into my classroom for the semester. I have my own little desk, book-case and corner that’s ALL MINE! I can’t even begin to tell you all how excited I am and what it has taken to get here. Everything the last 4 years has led to this! I am in a wonderful school district, with a co-op that I LOVE.

Yesterday was my first day, and I finished moving in. Here is what my little corner looks like thus far.

IMG_7191

The front of my desk is rocking bead buddies and stained glass projects my summer school kids did this summer. If you can’t tell, the stained glasses are Beauty and the Beast themed.

IMG_7190

Recognize that pot? See how I made it HERE! Miss Swenda is written and facing front towards the students. “Called Equipped Prepared” is a reminder just for me! Cinderella’s glass slipper and the Disney princess cup are from a bridal shower I was at a few weeks ago.

IMG_7187IMG_7186

I am really proud of these drawers. Yes, I have an entire drawer of snacks. I have a schedule that gives me the ability to snack every few periods. I regret nothing. My other drawer holds my tea, binder clip collection, stationary, and other rando things.

IMG_7192

IMG_7188

I have a nice little bookshelf to keep all of my stuff. Obviously, it’s full of classics and the majority of the Folger Shakespeare Library collection. My brother hooked me up with Dancing Groot and Albus Dumbledore and I certainly couldn’t leave them at home! Bob my Philadelphia Flyers Gnome has a place of love as well. One of the best things I learned from my previous co-op was unit binders. You can see the stack of them to the right of the above picture. For each unit, I have created a binder. Over the years I have and will continue to collect handouts, projects and general things to go with the different units. IMG_7189

The cool part of having a mom that has been working in schools for so long, is that she has some pretty fun decorations and ideas. Ma hooked me up with these cute little fall leaves. Together, we came up with “What Miss Swenda is reading…” The top leaf has the name of the book. The bottom leaf lists the author, genre, number of pages and style. I am currently reading Dracula by Bram Stoker. It falls into sci-fi/fiction/historical, has 414 pages and is written like diary/journal entries, letters and newspaper clippings. For different holidays/months I will have different shapes to show my what I’m reading. As an English teacher, I feel it’s important to show the kids not only that I am reading, but also give them a glimpse of who I am through my reading.

We have some awesome projects planned for the kids this year- I can’t wait to share some of them right here! 🙂

Advertisements

The Beginning of Everything-Robyn Schneider

The pace in which I am reading is scaring even me. I don’t think I’ve read with such ferocity, purpose, pleasure and just downright passion since middle school. Before life got more complicated than hoping you didn’t have food stuck in your braces talking to your crush.

The Beginning of Everything was part of my library binge Part I. I finished a real book, then a Net Galley book. I figured I would read another real book. Space them out a bit. I laid out the 6 remaining books I have from the library and just kind of picked it. Yellow is one of my favorite colors so that may have been why I subconsciously picked it. I read the back of the book which jogged my memory as to why I had picked the book to begin with- it was young adult.

Having felt as though I skipped that genre when I was in high school, the time period most of those books are aimed towards, I am going backwards so that when I am back in a lovely high school classroom I can give good, well thought out, competent recommendations for my students. Let’s face it, not everyone thinks Much Ado About Nothing is “fun” or “hilarious” they way I do.

It started out simply enough. I read this awful book in middle school called “Izzy Willy Nilly” about a girl who is in a drunk driving accident and looses her leg. The beginning of this book kinda goes along the same way, but not near as dramatic. Probably because the main character is a boy, Ezra; NOT a whiny, hopeless teenaged girl.

I don’t quite know how to explain the connection. There’s romance in a way that’s not over the top cheesy or gross. More like “falling asleep, slowly then all at once.” There’s just enough mystery to keep you guessing without getting annoyed that the answers aren’t happening as you demand them. There’s a vulnerability that is so spot on. Where do you sit at lunch? Who do you talk to in class? Who is going to be your partner? It’s raw and it’s real. I feel like everyone went to high school with at least one kid that was a super star athlete, popular the works and they are injured in a game or something and suddenly the status quo of the world seems to shift as we all sit and wait to see if they recover, if they bounce back, how everyone else reacts. Ezra, was that kid.

The book opens with two quotes that really set the tone of the book.

IMG_2948

The Great Gatsby is one of my all time FAVORITE books. Schneider references Fitzgerald brilliantly. Most of my giggling was in tandem with the references. Ezra has a Standard Poodle named Cooper. He’s and older dog and Ezra has assigned Cooper the personality of Jay Gatsby. Schneider had me giggling to myself and my poor dog. Until the end. Then I bawled like a baby. It would be remiss of me to leave out the Doctor Who references, THE MONTY PYTHON REFERENCE and so many others that made my little nerd heart oh so dearly happy!

Hilariously enough, in the UK the book was released with the title “Severed Heads and Broken Hearts.” Once you read the book you’ll laugh way harder at that than you really should.

I can’t wait to recommend this to my high schoolers. This was an easy and quick read. I read it in about 3 hours. To do that math, that’s about 111-112 pages an hour. I believe that regardless of whether or not you are a “jock,” “a nerd,” “the ‘not out of the closet but pretty sure you’re going to be’ kid,” or the kid that ends up “crippled,” there is something in this book to be taken away for everyone.

I liked that this didn’t have the classical “happy ending” like a Disney movie, and yet, I feel happy. Like the book ended exactly as it should have. I’m not even mad. 🙂

Beginning-Severed