Why Children’s Books are my New Inspiration

As I’ve mentioned in past posts, I am in college pursuing a degree in elementary education. In pursuit of my major, I am required to take many different courses, one of which is a children’s literature course. I’ve been devouring children’s books that bring me back to my childhood and which have reminded me of the many quality lessons these books hold. I made a short list of some of the lessons I’ve deciphered and I hope it encourages you to pick up an old favorite and to cherish its quality and excellence. Enjoy!

1. Sometimes, it’s okay to be curious. (Curious George, H.A. Rey)

2. With time and perseverance, you’ll always end up where you belong. (Corduroy, Don Freeman)

3. Never take advantage of a good thing. (Miss Nelson is Missing, Harry Allard and James Marshall)

4. Love is eternal. (The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein)

5. Beauty lives within. (The Rainbow Fish, Marcus Pfister)

6. Lend a helping hand when you can. (Make Way for Ducklings, Robert McCloskey)

Advertisements

20 Reasons I Love My Elementary Education Major

It took me a really long time to figure out what major I wanted to declare in college. I felt, and I still feel, that eighteen is too young to decide what career path to choose. While many students change their major many times, I’ve never been casual about choosing and switching my major. I’ve always felt that choosing a major is a declaration of how your life will be lived. Choosing one major over another impacts the trajectory of your life in every way. Your career dictates where you live, your income, your ability to have a family, and many other elements of a person’s life.

After lots and lots of rumination and investigation, I chose a major: elementary education. I took a few prerequisite classes and realized I LIKE my major. This year, I’ve started taking my “upper division” courses, meaning that all of the classes I’m taking are major specific. Never again do I have to take a college algebra, American history, or statistics class… THANK GOODNESS!!! Because I’m now in major specific classes, I’ve come to realize that I LOVE majoring in elementary education! I’m sure you’re wondering why I love my major and being a pre-professional teacher so much, so I’m going to tell you! If you feel a list coming on, you’re right! Here goes:

20. Getting to look silly with your students while you dance around with them to the “Days of the Week Song.”

19. Being able to come home with funny stories everyday because kids really do do the funniest things.

18. Being able to learn from experienced teachers that have made inconceivable impacts in the lives of so many students.

17. The plethora of children’s books.

16. Being in a career that keeps you on your toes with ever evolving innovations and ingenuity.

15. Having the ability to be creative.

14. Connecting with families.

13. Watching the look on the face of a child when the “light bulb goes on.”

12. Being part of a career where there is a close network of supportive professionals to gain ideas from and give ideas to.

11. Increasing confidence in your ability to speak publicly and off-the-cuff.

10. The satisfaction of feeling like you executed a successful lesson that had the students really enthused.

9. The love and appreciation your students show you with hugs and thanks.

8. Learning to be an excellent problem solver.

7. Setting up an appealing, fun, warm, welcoming, and education-rich classroom.

6. Being able to share cute stories and tidbits with your students.

5. Watching your students become totally captivated by a good book.

4. The opportunity to learn from your students.

3. Watching students develop intellectually and become excited about learning.

2. Inspiring students to be the very best version of themselves and helping them to realize their full potential.

1. Knowing that you have the ability to mold the minds of students who have the potential to go so far. Every future neurosurgeon, president, Supreme Court justice, and every other professional walk through the doors of a teacher.

We’re living in a time when every motivation to become a teacher is being removed. Teachers are having their rights stripped of them, their benefits slashed, and their pay depleted. Nevertheless, the idea of being a teacher excites me in every way and I am not discouraged by the removal of so many of our impetuses to become a teacher. I love being an elementary education major and I love being a pre-professional teacher. The idea of preparing my classroom for the first day of school and the first day of “mind-molding” is so exciting to me! I’m glad I waited to pick my major because I know I’m headed in the right direction.  

The “Pros” and “Cons” of School

The start of another semester of college lends itself to being a consistent whirlwind, and as a result, my blog has sat untouched and neglected. In honor of the semester having officially begun, I’ve made a list of all of the things a new school year entails and I’m listing the pros and cons of each! Here we go!

1. The new school year means new classes.

Pro: New people and new, interesting information (hopefully!).

Con: Schoolwork and studying=social life killers!

2. New textbooks.

Pro: The smell of new books (Am I the only one that likes this, because if I am, this is really embarrassing!)

Con: The exorbitant cost incurred by having to get new textbooks.

3. Back to school parties.

Pro: It’s so much fun to be reunited with friends you haven’t seen all summer.

Con: I can’t think of any… can you?

4. Fall sports.

Pro: Lots of school spirit and lots of fun!

Con: The rare occasion when your team loses. 😦

5. Reunions with friends.

Pro: The whole gang is back together again!

Con: Um, nothing!!!

6. Being back in my apartment.

Pro: Being in my own space.

Con: The whole college food situation. I could really go for some home cookin’ by mom and dad!

Okay, so my list isn’t very extensive or very good, but, as timing would have it, I have to get back to my schoolwork! I’ll blog again as soon as possible!

College and the Quarter-Life: Starting the School Year Off on the Right Foot 101

With the start of a new school year comes a lot of possibilities and, sometimes, a lot of anxiety! You’ll fall into a comfortable routine before you know it and another wonderful school year will be under way! In the meantime, here are a few tips to start you off on the right foot! Let’s get excited for the commencement of what is sure to be another great school year!

1) Figure out how you will balance your social life with your academic responsibilities.

I think learning to find a balance is the greatest difficulty college students face with the onset of a new semester. Of course, being social and staying on the ball with schoolwork are both very important. However, what’s more important than either of those collegiate necessities, is figuring out how managing to do both will work for you.

2) Be health conscious.

Caring for yourself and your well-being is of the utmost importance. Eating right, exercising, and catching enough zzz’s are necessities that you need to be able to fit into your schedule. If you aren’t staying healthy, than all of the other elements of your life will fall by the wayside, which of course, will certainly not help you to start the school year off on the right foot.

3) Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!

Hitting the snooze button is so easy and so tempting, but I assure you, getting up and out will be a huge stress reliever. Missing class will not help you adjust to your new school year routine! Also, you’ll find that waking up early will give you so much more time, which will certainly cut down on the rush and stress many people feel at the beginning of a new school year.

4) Organization is key!

Being organized will keep you free of stress and will help you to avoid the new school year frenzy that many students experience. Buy a planner and become an avid note-taker. Write down everything from social engagements to due dates on assignments. Also, buy folders and notebooks and store them in a specific place so that you fall into a routine of keeping your school supplies organized and accessible.

5) Be positive!

The start of a new school year is the start of a year that holds so many opportunities and possibilities! Expect to make new friends, have new experiences, succeed academically, fall into a comfortable routine, get healthy, and reach new heights! There’s so much in store and so much to be excited for!

How do you plan to start the school year off on the right foot?

College and the Quarter-Life: Lessons You Won’t Learn in the Classroom 101

I’d like to preface this post by saying that I truly think you will learn so much more outside of the classroom than you will in it (of course, the content is different in nature). I’d like to add that I’m no life expert, so don’t think that this list of five life lessons means I know much of anything… I don’t!! Living will be the greatest teacher and these are just a few pieces of wisdom I’ve gathered along the way!

Happy living! 🙂 🙂 🙂

1)   You, and only you, are your best advocate.

Friends and family create a wonderful support system and I’m not suggesting that they do not love you, look out for you, and hope for the best for you- they do. I’ve learned, however, that you are the one who needs to make your voice heard and who needs to take charge. Even if they wanted to, no one else can do that for you.

2)   You aren’t ENTITLED to anything. “Entitlement” doesn’t exist.

Nothing is ever handed to you. Your life is a product of what you have earned.

3)   School comes first. A social life is secondary.

Of course, going out and being with friends is fun, but it’s easy to lose sight of the reason we go to college and take classes… for our education! Our educations are the keys to our futures (it sounds cliché, but you and I both know it’s true!) and while a social life is also beneficial, we need to remember our true purpose for being at college.

4)   Trying to be someone you’re not automatically diminishes your chances of success.

If you don’t want to be yourself why should anyone else want to be with you, work with you, be friends with you, or hire you? Be yourself and everything will fall into place. “Who you are is a declaration of independence in itself!”

5)   The word “no” is a powerful tool… use it.

This is a concept I have had trouble grasping in the past, but once I learned how to say “no” a weight was lifted off of my shoulders. It doesn’t make you mean, rude, incompetent, or any other negative thing if you make use of the word “no.” No one will think any less of you because you have a limit. In fact, they’ll probably think, “Wow, they know what they’re doing.” Saying “no” is a strength.

 

Are there any life lessons you’ve learned? Please share them with me!