Free Printable: Educator Expense Tracker

Teachers, it’s that special time of year where we often spend too much money to make our classrooms look their very best. Although I haven’t discovered a solution to prevent over spending, I have become more conscious of how much money I am spending on my classroom by creating a simple “Educator Expense Tracker” for my planner. If you would like a copy, please use the download link below. 🙂

“I Voted” Sticker Template (Free)

My 10th graders will participate in a student mock election for the U.S. Presidential Election on Tuesday and I was stumped on how to make the experience more memorable for them when I found this amazing “I Voted” sticker template on TpT. Since adults receive an “I Voted” sticker to showcase their commitment to civic responsibility, what better than to provide students a similar opportunity?

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I can only imagine how ecstatic my students will be on Tuesday when they receive these stickers. The stickers from this template were far better than the one I received during early voting last week and best of all, this template was free. 

Printing the template was extremely easy.  I used standard Avery 5160 mailing labels (1 inch tall x 2 5/8 inches wide) that were recommended and the final results were absolutely gorgeous. (My photo does not do these stickers justice.) 

If you would like something similar for your students, I highly recommend downloading this template from Kaylynn Hamstra’s TpT Store.  Enjoy 🙂

 

Meet Your Teacher

I decided to introduce myself to my Early College students and parents a little differently this year. Instead of a PowerPoint, I decided to use a “Meet the Teacher” handout. Although I was able to find a few templates online, none of them were well suited for a high school audience (a little too elementary oriented). So, ultimately, I ended up making my own from that collective inspiration and I was able to customize it exactly the way that I wanted.

**This version omits my school’s contact information, but it is present on the final version that I will print and pass out on paper. I also plan to electronically post this handout for parents on Bloomz.**

So what do you think? Do you like my “Meet Your Teacher” introduction handout? I know it is rather simple, but I truly hope my students and parents enjoy reading it. 🙂 

PS. If you are interested in using this template for your classroom, please visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store. 

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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!!

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I don’t know about you, but I’m having one of the nicest Teacher Appreciation weeks ever. However, I can’t help but note the irony of National Teacher Appreciation Week coinciding with STAAR testing. Nonetheless, I’m grateful for the acknowledgement we, teachers, receive and I thought I’d take a moment to share how my Teacher Appreciation Week is going thus far.

At my school, teachers received a small goodie bag with a can of coke, a bag of chips, and a Whataburger certificate. Then, this morning, we had a Teacher Appreciation breakfast with pastries, coffee, and juice. However, what has truly made my week so far are small acts of kindness from my students.

One of my students drew me a picture. 

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Another wrote me one of the most beautiful thank you notes of my career. (BTW: Ding! is the catchphrase I use when my students get a question correct in class.)

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My 8th period drew me a witty picture (the misspellings are intentional).

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Then the National Hispanic Honor Society gave us the most delicious Mexican cookies in honor of both Cinco de Mayo and Teacher Appreciation Day. Yummmmm!!!!

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And just when I thought my day couldn’t get any better, I discovered in the parking lot that my “happy friends” had decorated my car with some of my classroom catchphrases. Wow! What an awesome day!

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Please share in the comments below how is your Teacher Appreciate Week/Day progressing. I’d love to know which activities your school does to recognize teachers. Also, what special ways did your students acknowledge you during this week.? 🙂

Started From the Bottom … Now We’re Here…

OMG!!! I’m so excited. Our iPads finally got a much needed upgrade from being charged on rigged up dish racks. 

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Now we have have a re-purposed C.O.W. (computers on wheels) laptop cart that we can use to charge, store, and transport our iPad minis.IMG_0040

 I’m so grateful and appreciative to finally have a secure storage solution in my classroom for our iPads. 🙂IMG_0042

 

Teach Like Me

Gandhi so aptly said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” As teachers, we use this quote nearly to the point of clichĂ©. However, how often do we apply this concept beyond working with our students?

Given the critical nature of the press and public towards teaching, maybe it’s time we do more than transform our classroom. Maybe it’s time we also transform the public perception of our profession.

One of the ways we can begin this process is by participating in a positive PR campaign like “Teach Like Me.” A friend sent me an invite through Facebook and I liked it enough to share with you. 1

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This spring, “Teach Like Me” will launch its 2nd annual campaign to publicize and increase public awareness of the positive contributions teachers make. On May 5, 2015, “Teach Like Me” asks educators and supporters to change their profile pictures on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to one of their custom Teach Like Me logos (available here). Then use social media with the hashtag #TeachLikeMe to share/tweet/post what you teach and why you love teaching. However parents, students and other members of the public can also use the hashtag to show their support, appreciation, and encouragement of teachers. For more information on “Teach Like Me,” please visit http://www.teachlikeme.org.

I am excited about participating and I hope you are too! 🙂

  1. I am not an official ambassador or an affiliate of “Teach Like Me,” but I like their idea.

Teacher Tutorial: Creating an Extra Duty Timesheet Using Google Forms


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When I shared how I use Google Forms to track the extra hours I work at school, a few teachers were interested in seeing a tutorial, so I created the tutorial below using Screencast-O-Matic. I hope this Google Forms tutorial is helpful. 

Before you get started, here are a few teacher tips that can help you use the Extra Duty Timesheet tool more effectively.

Teacher Tips:

  • Creating this time tracking form is not about clock-watching. I will not use it to document fairly quick tasks. However, if a school related task warrants more than 10-15 minutes of personal time then I will definitely record it. Often, teachers are the victims of our own success. We spend countless hours working on school projects without recognizing how that may cause imbalance in other aspects of our lives. Therefore, this time tracking tool not only records our additional contributions and dedication to our profession, but it also creates self awareness. This time tracking tool is about building personal and professional accountability for our time. 
  • If you are looking for a better work/life balance this time tracking tool may show you how you are utilizing portions of your personal time.
  • Also, this time tracking tool may also be a great documentation to take into your teacher evaluation. Unless you have a very visible role in such as an athletic coach, it might be difficult for your administration to see all of the valuable contributions you have made during the school year.

Please let me know in the comment section if there is anything I could explain better or if you have additional questions/comments about the tutorial. 🙂