Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Letter to 16 year old me

One of my favorite bloggers littlemissmomma recently posted a list of blog ideas and this was one!

Dear 16 year old Sami,

There is so much that I wish I could tell you, but the truth is you would be too stubborn to listen to me even if you could.

Right now you are lost in a world of friends, boyfriends, and high school drama.
You try your hardest to be kind to everyone you meet (and you usually do a pretty good job)
You find yourself being sucked in to the world of art and music.
Let yourself get lost in it, it will save you from times that will be rough beyond words.

You have a zest for life and love for making people happy.
That hasn't changed.
You dream of having a family.
That hasn't changed.

You will be thrown some tough cards and dealt things that someone your age shouldn't have to deal with.
Don't worry, you will be okay.

You will finish school and finally leave the walls of Kelloggsville High School.
You will go to Grand Valley State University.
I know, that isn't your dream.
I know you will repeat over and over that you are getting out of Grand Rapids.
The truth is, you will be given the chance to move away to your dream school.
Will you do it though? No.

I wish I could tell you why you made that decision, but even today I can't answer that. Maybe it was fate intervening?
What I can tell you though, is that you will move into a dorm and think the R.A. is adorable.

A few years later, that same R.A. will ask you to marry him. Your life as a young adult is crazy. You are constantly busy, have the greatest friends, and are even coaching a cheerleading team.

So, my advice to you:
Make good decisions, you will be tempted.
Keep your heart open.
Stop worrying and have more faith.
Don't give up on people.
Keep smiling.

22 year old Sami

What advice would you give your 16 year old self?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

5 Things I've Learned During My First Semester Teaching

I spent the past 4 months with 29 of the cutest 3rd graders around. The first semester of teaching at Grand Valley State University is called "Teacher Assisting". My semester consisted of approximately 5 half days at the elementary school and 3 classes at GVSU. I learned so much in the past 4 months..  I know compared to veteran teachers I still no little, but I wanted to give advice to all those college students who will be in a similar boat as mine... 

So here it goes...

  1. Someone is going to have a tummy ache everyday. (I can almost guarantee it. =] ) These 3 little questions/comments should help fix most cases of a upset tummy:
-Did you try to go potty?
-Why don't you try to drink some water.
-Try to take it easy and relax, you should feel better soon.

My friend Myranda thinks my advice is hilarious, but hey... it works! ;)

2. Expect the unexpected. For example, when you print out informational pages on animals expect that things like "anus" may be a label on the animal. ...And the kids will ask what that means. Not that I know from experience or anything... ;)

3. Take time to get to know your students outside of the classroom. I was privileged enough to be able to create a recess cheerleading club. It was such a great experience to get to know my students outside of the classroom. Find a way to reach out to your students, use your talents!

4. Dissect the teacher that you are working with's brain. Ask why they are doing everything the way they are doing it. Many things that they are doing are so routine, that they don't think twice about it. Asking questions does two things. One, it allows you the opportunity to truly understand the methodology. Two, it shows the teacher you are working with that you truly are interested in learning from them.

5.Savor every second. Your time in the classroom goes so fast. Enjoy every second of every day because saying goodbye will not be easy. 

I was blessed with an amazing placement. The school was such a warm and welcoming environment. The teacher I worked with was amazing, a great mentor. 

I can't wait to learn even more from my Kindergartner's in the fall!

(my desk)

 (pages from my end of the year gift.. melted my heart!)