Friday, July 27, 2012

This Little Man Creates Beasts...Inspiring Others

This will be a completely shameless Alabama Football filled, pride filled post.  
But it begs to offer an important point of how inspiration can be found in the most unlikely of places. 
If you are an Alabama fan he is a household name.  
If you are an SEC fan you despise him.
If you have ever watched an Alabama Football game you have seen and heard him.
Scott Cochran
Wait!? Not Nick Saban?? NO, Scott Cochran
He is the Strength and Conditioning Coach for UA Football.
He can be found on the sidelines screaming in his booming voice "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" 
He is most noted for his infamous on air quote prior to the Georgia Blackout Game.


Or Maybe you have seen the entire stadium jump around holding up 4 fingers being led by a raving lunatic on the sideline at the start of the 4th Quarter....That's Coach Cochran leading the masses. 
"If it feels good, you ain't doing it right"

The man takes these young men and inspires them in such a way that it makes me want to emulate the same level of motivation in my classroom. 

He's tough, there is no doubt about it. Saban and the entire coaching staff wouldn't settle for anything less.  But he is in it for the players all the way.  Hearing the players talk about him both on and off the record speaks volumes.  They respect him. They trust him.  Both assets that are vital in the classroom.

Coach Cochran is full of "Cochranisms" and you will certainly see his players post them on a regular basis.  When asked why he is such an avid quote user, he said it started at home.  His parents put quotes inside his brown bag lunches everyday. 
"And every day they'd say, 'OK, this is the message we want our son to have,'" Cochran said. "Boom! And that message kind of went through the whole school."

And so it is now. Cochran gathers quotes. He says he has approximately 2,000 pages full of quotes in a computer file. He shares one with Alabama players before practice, or before they lift weights, or before he runs them ragged in the offseason. He writes the quote on a board. He shouts it out. He hammers messages like the ones he used to pull out of the bag.
Does he remember any particular words from lunches long ago?

"Everything you've got, every play, every minute, every day." 

His personal favorite: "God places the heaviest burden on those that can carry its weight."

What kinds of messages are we leaving with our students each day?  It is an inspiring one they can carry in their hearts and use to inspire others?

Yesterday a little guy from Brisbane, Australia by the name of Jesse Williams did something extraordinary. He bench pressed 600 lbs. Then he blew up Twitter.  
And Kicker Cade Foster threw up 455lbs!

God given strength is indisputable, but the unleashing of this strength is truly a process.  Do I think these players could perform and be amazing without Coach Cochran? ABSOLUTELY
but just like amazing teachers, we along with Coach, take them to the next level.

He gives his players what they need to stay motivated and to push them to be their absolute best.
So where does he get those sayings, aside from what he plucks from motivational speakers? "To tell you the truth, the players. I sit with the players. I'll ask our captains, 'OK, what kind of music do you listen to right now? OK, give me a verse, a line, that you'll need when we're running 110s, on the 25th rep, and your body is saying no. What are you going to need at that moment?' And they're going to give me a little line." 

Do you have favorite quotes or other motivators for your students?
Are you a Scott Cochran who takes on the world wide open everyday?

 A new personal goal is to hit the classroom each day just like he approaches the weightroom:
Wide Open, High Expectations, Fully Dedicated, and 110% Supportive

Because in the classroom, like the football field, every second counts.  Especially in the 4th Quarter.

Monday, July 23, 2012

App Happy Link Up (Android Version)

Second Grade Shenanigans is hosting a wonderful and resource filled link up of all your favorite apps. So far all the apps are from Apple.  Who out there is still on the Android bandwagon like me? While I am a fan of all things iPhone, I feel victim to the Verizon fiasco and will not be upgrading anytime soon. Often you can find many apps that are on both interfaces, but often you have to look a little harder to discover some jewels on the Andriod Market. 
Second Grade Shenanigans 

I have a few favorites that I use in the classroom:

Class Dojo is a behavior management system that allows you to track positive and negative behaviors. You choose the labels for the behaviors.  Each child gets a cute avatar that you click on to document behaviors. 
 At the end of each day points are logged, you can choose to reset points at the end of each day, week, grading period etc.  Since it is an app you can track easily on the go vs. "pull a card" or "move a clip" when we get back to the classroom.  

Also, there is a feature where students can access their personal data.  Behavior reports can easily be printed or emailed, especially helpful for students with behavior contracts, or who visit multiple teachers each day.

I have heard wonderful reviews of Book Retriever, but infortuneately it is an Apple only app at this time (well to my knowledge at least) so in my quest for library organization I found Booksource. 
This app allows you to track check in/check outs.  

This will be the first year using this app, I had previously used Library Thing to track the books in my library.  I like that you can easily use the barcode scanner and not have to spend the time painstakingly typing in each ISBN number like I had previously done.  You can also import and export existing lists which is helpful as well.
I also like the reports produced, at our school we use Lexile levels as a primary means of selecting appropriate books.  I also like being able to see which levels I may need to add more books to, or rotate new books in.  

Does anyone have any app resources for the Android folks of the world?  I cannot wait to see the new technology I can hopefully use to improve my classroom this year. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Nervous Anticipation

Thanks to all who have visited/followed/commented. I appreciate all the support. I will be returning emails soon :)
<p>Last night we had friends over for an impromptu dinner. Of course I completely forgot to take any pictures. But two of the girls teach on my team. Its so interesting to see how different people act within their jobs.&nbsp; Last year was my first year teaching. I was in a new state, knowing no one.&nbsp; The original position I was hired for meant I did not have a homeroom class. But due to an enrollment boom I was moved to having a homeroom one month into school. I was told on Monday, had trainings until Thursday, meet my new sweeties on Friday, then started teaching my own class on Monday morning. It was a whirlwind experience and I didn't have time to overthink.&nbsp; I'm a worrier its what I do! So I wrapped up a successful(we all survived) first year. Now I am embarking on my second year and feel completely overwhelmed.&nbsp; I know deep down I have it under control and know what I am doing, but Ive never experienced the Back to School meet the parent nights, the first week and those monumentous milestones.&nbsp; I cannot wait to see the growth I make this year as a teacher. <br>
On the last day of school I was asked to move classrooms. Now I was planning a major overhaul anyways so it wasn't *too* much of a big deal. I'm on the same hallways with my same team, BUT I seriously lack in the area of visual spatial intellegence which poses a new classroom is the mirror image of my previous room. So in my mind I'm planning a layout but everything is backwards!  Its quite comical when I think about it. We can't go into our classrooms and work until August so for now I wait and worry :)
Any amazing tips for starting off this year?
What is your greatest advice to not-quite brand new teachers?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Newbie Blog Hop

Its always fun to discover new friends in the Blog world.  
Today Janis @ Grade Three is the Place for Me! is hosting a wonderful blog hop for Newbies.
Join in!
1.  what state you are in?
   2.  your current teaching position.
    3.  your teaching experience.
    4.  when you started blogging.
    5.  share a blogging tip / blogging resource.
 1. I live in South Carolina.

2. I will be in my 2nd year of 2nd grade this year.

3. This will be my 2nd year as a classroom teacher.  Prior to teaching I had multiple undergrad experiences.  I had general classroom practicums in 1st and 3rd grades.  I also had a practicum in 5th grade full inclusion Special Education.  A Summer Enrichment Workshop for Gifted Students. I also served as a volunteer at the amazing Rise School which was an amazing opportunity.  I also served as an afternoon assistant at The Capitol School, yet another wonderful experience that has helped to shape my current classroom. 

4. I started this blog in August of 2010, but have seriously neglected it in its two years.  I started blogging to document our engagement and new life together.  Now I hope to document everyday life... Especially my classroom. 

5. Blogging tip: Don't give UP.  Like all good things, it takes time and effort.

I hope everyone stops by to link up and make this blog hop a success!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What I Loved This Wednesday

Today is the first day since school has gotten out that I declared an absolute LAZY day. 
Not even going to lie, I felt extremely guilty.
I went with S to his appointment with an orthopaedic specialist this morning, which thankfully was all good news. No lasting damage.
When I came home I unloaded the DVR and took a nap in the middle of the day! Felt so odd.  I kept waking up worrying about what time it was. Something I obviously need to get over and enjoy while I can still nap midday. 
I just cannot fathom the differences in lifestyles between me now and me even a year ago.  Its crazy. I have single friends who are also teachers, but are not taking classes this summer.  Its funny to see how differently we spend our time.

I need a blog overhaul in a BAD way.  Obviously I have NO design going on what soever, but I want to make sure I am actually going to keep this up before making any investment.  But oddly I feel like I am doing my memories a disservice for not making it pretty. Eh, I'm odd. Yes I know. 

Its Ok Thursday!

Today I am linking up with Neely at A Complete Waste of Make Up for It's Okay Thursday!

Its Ok Thursdays
Its Ok...
to be blogging when I should be doing Grad Schoolwork

to talk about babies all the time even though not planning to have one anytime soon

to still have wedding pictures that need to be printed

to be on level 78 of Coin Dozer 

to not have a blog design at all right now

to come home from the gym after 20 minutes since body sculpt class was cancelled

to have grand classroom plans, but not worry about them for now

to feel like a first year teacher all over again

to invite people over just to motivate me to clean house.

Eh...its all good, Its Thursday and its A-Okay!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Bare Your Soul

So I've said I'm back in the blogging saddle in some capacity now.  I am not making a commitment, because if you know me at all, you know that by making a set commitment I will certainly back out ASAP. 
I'm going to be totally honest here: Blogging scares me.
Yes that's right.  You see I'm a pretty guarded person.  I am open to an extent but its all pretty superficial.  I come from a family where feelings are hidden and protected. Don't get me wrong I love my family dearly and I know their world revolves around me but we are by no means open and sharing with emotions.  I see now how this is affecting me and my current relationships.  Case and point: my parents had never seen me kiss anyone until my wedding day. Granted there is nothing wrong with that but it did keep me from getting wrapped up in the moment and showing the joy of Kissing my groom for the first time.  Its almost to the point of being embarrassed when showing feelings of any kind and I cope by being silly.  Always have.  I am not an affectionate person and it often comes off as hateful and I don't mean for it to. So blogging terrifies me.  In all honestly very people I know in real life are going to read this. I am much more comfortable expressing myself to strangers, but the thought that someone I know may run across this causes my blood to run cold.  I am hoping that through blogging I will become more comfortable with opening up.  There are several blogs/bloggers I adore for different reasons and in looking deeper I see that they all put it all out there when they blog.  The good and the bad. The run of the mill and the controversial.  Triumphs and tribulations. The love and the hate.  I hope this will be a season of growth for me as well.
A few of those lovelies are in no particular order:
Michelle at The Vintage Apple 
Everyone knows her blog from "Oh How Pinteresting!" Link ups,
but she is a teacher and wife who keeps it real. 

I often see a huge overlap in our lives with moving away from our families, the love of our dogs and just our every day lives.  I admire how openly she expresses love for her husband each and everyday. 

Even though I am not a Mommy to Be I love reading about Laura's growing family, and her honesty in which she discusses her faith.  Her trust in the Lord and being "along for the ride" he chooses is an inspiration to me. 

I cam across Emily's blog after reading Angie Smith's  book I Will Carry You. Something about the faith and trust Emily had really pulled me in.  I have loved seeing the strength her family has and often see them as an inspiration to keep my eyes up.

Katie at Katie's Keepers
Yet another blog I came to after reading Angie's book, Katie shares life day to day. Simple as that no frills, just life. I love it.

Jesslyn Amber at Jesslyn Amber
I often feel like I am reading my life story when I read her blog. She's a down home Southern Girl who loves Jesus, her family, her adorable pup, her man, and Alabama Football Roll Tide! She is a precious and will leave you with smile on your face. 

Living in SC and being and SEC fan, I have to love her.  Formerly "Sweet Bef's Blog" she shares all her crazy stories that will leave you rolling for days.  But more importantly she's honest to a fault.  No covering it up its her life and she tells it like it is. 

Speaking of Shenanigans...You can't have those without Lindsey at The Bargain Blonde 
Keeping it Real.  Keeping it Cute. Keeping it Cheap. I love it all. 

I simply cannot say enough. First off she is precious, and a teacher to boot so I feel like she gets my struggles on some days and says the things I am thinking. Her "What I'm Loving Wednesday" link up is a huge hit and a great way to connect to others.  I absolutely adore the way she talks about her husband and their pictures are too cute.  Again Southern sports fans who love the Lord and their doggies.... I am seeing a trend. 

Sarah at Life Sweet Life
She is Crafty beyond belief. Not sure how I end up wrapped up in so many "mommy blogs" but I love her family's story and trust in perfect timing. 

Kelly at Kelly's Korner
Again love for the SEC will get me every time. Kelly's Korner has become somewhat of a Holy Grail. She has the Show Us Your Life Link Ups that are amazing and range from your home to hobbies. She makes you feel like you are talking directly to a close friend.  Her blog has become a great place to meet others and connect as well.  Her open sharing of the gospel through this is a true inspiration to me as well. 

Paige at simple thoughts
I love the mixture of life, faith, photography, and being a Southern Belle. 

I hope these girls can continue to encourage me to reach out and be myself out in the open so that I will have this blog to look back and reminisce on all the wonderful things I experience in life.