Sunday, January 5, 2020

January Leadership Goals


As I continue to navigate my way through this first year of administration, I have learned that choice and priority are two things that I always have to consciously be aware of when it comes to what tasks and accomplishments I need to get done each day. It is so easy to get held up in your office or have new tasks that keep popping up (that is just part of it!) throughout each day and lose your hold on what you really need to be focusing on...the students and teachers. The building and fostering relationships aspect of education is what I enjoy the most, and I want to help myself make sure that it stays at the front of my role as an assistant principal. 


So, I wanted to make myself a friendly personal challenge/set of goals for the month of January that I could use to hold myself accountable for keeping relationships number one!


It is not a daily challenge, but it could certainly be used as one! Instead, it is a list of actions that I have either started and want to maintain or keep saying that I am going to do but have not yet. 



Since I already made the template, I thought that I would share a blank one with you in Google Drive that you can use to make your own monthly leadership challenge. I also made one that says educator challenge if you are in a different role or want to use the goal sheet in your own way. 



If you like this and decide that it is something that you would want to use yourself, I would love to see what goals you add to your list! Please tag me in your photos on Facebook or IG. If we share, then we can all gain new goals and actions that we may want to carry forward throughout this school year and beyond. 



Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Another Year and a Grateful Heart


This morning, I sat down to dust the cobwebs off of this little old blog of mine and write a post since it has been a while....only to discover that there were some major tech and graphic issues going on with my site.

I am not sure when it started, because life has just been a little too hectic for me to check in over here, but it totally deflated me. I shut my computer down, got a little angry (real talk), and walked away.

However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this is totally not something to get upset about. It's time for some small graphic changes over here anyways, and it will actually be the perfect way to get myself and this space transitioned over to sharing about my new role in education. So, even though the blog looks straight blah...please ignore the mess, and I will share regardless.

If you hang out with me on Instagram (@rockytopteacher), then you know that I have been a lot more quiet than normal, and my content has been just "there", because, as I have mentioned countless times on there, I am just trying to find my new place in the social media space once again. I refuse to force it, and I look forward to seeing what it becomes.......when the time is right. I started this blog as a way to document my journey in education, and that will always be the purpose of the blog. It is a journal of my time as an educator. Some of the content is great, some is cringeworthy, but it is me, and that is what I hope this space will always be.

In 2012, I jumped into the social media education world, and I have been so grateful for all that it has brought me (good and bad). Since that year, I have made so many real life friends from all over the US, a plethora of "online" friends,  I have traveled from coast to coast, gotten to present in a bunch of neat places and share with fellow educators, and even had the opportunity to be a part of an education cruise this summer.

I have had 8 beautiful years in the classroom at an amazing school, with incredible principals, in a district that is SO pro "what is best for kids" that it's awesome. Our students have taught me so much over and over again. I have watched my practice and pedagogy change for what I hope was for the better. I have learned that sharing and learning with others can be fun and really challenged me and my teaching. I became obsessed with picture books (more that I already was), and connected with others that taught me how to teach better, stronger, and more efficiently.

I have also learned some painful lessons such as not everyone wants what is best for you and not everyone likes you. And, that is okay because it is what you learn in those moments is important. I have learned that follower numbers are just numbers, not every presentation you give is going to be great, and mistakes can be painful. I have posted content that doesn't sit well with others and tried to figure out how to handle that in the right way. I didn't handle it correctly, for those curious, but it was still a needed learning moment for me. It hurt, and it was a struggle. But, it gave me a chance to reflect on what to do and not to do; what to say and how to say it better in the future.

In the last year specifically, I have read a ton of cool books, finished my Education Specialist degree, and will hopefully, research willing, continue to plow through my Doctoral program this next year. I stumbled across a very unexpected opportunity to leave the elementary world and step into an assistant principal role in a high school. It has been hard...real hard...but I am SO glad that I did it. I love my new home, and cannot wait to watch that journey unfold. I hope that I can be what the students, their families, and our teachers need of me. My little one turned 2 a few days before Christmas this year, and she brings my family so much joy. We visited Hawaii in May, went on our first cruise, have had countless family visits this year, hugged on our loved ones as much as possible, and just LIVED.

This decade has brought me the good, the bad, the ugly, the AWESOME, the "not sure what this is" moments, and everything in between. There has been a lot going on. It is me, and it is beautiful in its own way.

So, as I wrap up this random reflection post of 2019, I want to share my "one word" with you. I know not everyone loves the one word challenge, but I truly adore it because it encourages me to reflect, dream, and challenge.

My one word for 2020 is trust. 

Trust the process. 
Trust the journey.
Trust the unknown.
Trust the struggles. 
Find those you can trust.
Trust the hurt. 
Trust the joy. 
Trust the decisions. 
Trust what you can't control. 
Trust that you are enough. 
Trust that you CAN do this. 
Trust that everything will work out the way that it is meant to. 
Trust yourself. 

Trust.


Happy New Year my sweet friends.
 I am grateful for each of you. 
May the new year bring you what you seek. 

Love, 
Sarah





Saturday, February 2, 2019

This Teacher Loves Stitch Fix

Hi teachers! I am SO excited to share about my recent partnership with Stitch Fix and We Are Teachers to review their clothing box subscription. 



I was really nervous about taking videos and pictures for all of you for the Stitch Fix box, because anyone who knows me in real life knows that I am not the most fashionable person. BUT, I love clothes and I love dressing up for work, so this was the perfect chance for me to try out a company I had been hearing great reviews on and push myself outside of my comfort zone!

STITCH FIX

When you visit their website, Stitch Fix explains that they are an online styling service that delivers a truly personalized shopping experience, for you and your family. Fill out your Style Profile and a Personal Stylist will handpick pieces to fit your tastes, needs and budget—and mail them right to your door. Each box contains a curated selection of clothing, shoes and accessories for you to try on at home. Simply keep the items you  love and send back the rest in a prepaid USPS envelope. Shipping and returns are always free—even for exchanges!

MY FIRST STITCH FIX BOX

After I completed my online profile(which was SUPER easy to complete),  I scheduled my first box and literally checked my front porch every day! I was SO excited about this! You are charged a $20 styling fee for each box that you order from Stitch Fix . But, don't worry! That fee gets applied towards anything you keep from a box! One piece of advice I would give when you are filling out your styling profile is to be as detailed as possible so your personal stylist can really style you the way you want!


When your box arrives, the inside flaps literally give you all the directions that you need to get started! They also send you a paper set of directions, a styling idea sheet for each of your items, and a breakdown of each item included in your box. 


MY ITEMS

You get five items in each box. I received a dress, two tops, a cardigan, and a pair of pants. I ended up keeping 4 out of the 5 items. But, I was so impressed because every item was "me" and every item fit perfectly. Nothing was too big, too small, or just fit oddly. It was like the box was made for me...because it WAS! I am impressed Stitch Fix! Thank you! 



This cardigan is perfect! You can style it with jeans or dress it up with come slacks! There is a hood that you barely know is there. I have long hair and hate when the hood messes with it, but this cardigan didn't bother it at all! And, it is SO soft and warm! It is a perfect transitional piece!


This top would be such a fun piece to dress up or down depending on what your plans are! It fit great, but this is the one piece I didn't keep because I am a mover when I am teaching and my arms never stay down by my side for more than 2 seconds. So, I was afraid I would be adjusting the shirt all day long. 


I can't stop thinking about these pants! I know that sounds odd, but the moment I put them on..I loved them! This is one of those pieces that I am glad my stylist sent, because I would not have tried these on without someone prompting me to! I am not a "skinny pants" gal. And, even when I was doing my try on session, I was nervous about the style. However, the amazing Instagram community freaked out over the pants and convinced me to keep them! 



This dress y'all. It fit like a charm and is so comfortable. It is going to be such a fabulous addition to my teacher wardrobe! The pattern is gorgeous, the style is a faux wrap dress, and it has just the right shoulder/arm coverage. 


This top was my FAVORITE piece from the box! It is another item that I would have never tried on without encouragement only because the style is not something I would typically wear. Now, I can't wait for the winter weather to calm down a bit so that I can wear this top! 




Even though this is a sponsored post, the opinions on this review are my own 100%. I already scheduled my next Stitch Fix box, because I was so impressed with this one. As a busy teacher/wife/mom who is on a budget, it is nice to find items that are good quality, reasonably priced, and delivered to my doorstep. YES, PLEASE!

If you are interested in trying out Stitch Fix for the first time, I have a special styling link just for you! You can get the $20 styling fee waved for your first box! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Back to School with Walmart



Back to School with Walmart  

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Walmart. 
It is back-to-school time, which means that teachers who LOVE walking around the school supply aisles are about to get super excited! There is just something about the rows and rows of shiny and new school supplies that helps get us ready for heading back to school with our awesome students.  


I am so honored to be partnering with Walmart and WeAreTeachers to share with you how easy it is to do all your back-to-school shopping at Walmart.  
Did you know that you can upload your school supply list to Walmart? I uploaded my list in less than 5 minutes here. Now, our families can find our class lists online. They can even order online and pick up their supplies at Walmart! Easy peasy 
  
Easy Back-to-School Shopping  
Back-to-school shopping does not have to be stressful. In fact, Walmart wants to make it as easy as possible for families and teachers to get ready for a new school year. Here is a quick list of all the ways that Walmart has been working hard to make supply shopping a fun and easy process.  
  • *Parents can shop whichever way works best for them – online or in stores. 
  • *Walmart has the lowest prices! Families can save money by shopping for their child’s school supplies at Walmart. 
  • *Families can use the Walmart App and Walmart.com and then have your order to shipped to home or pickup in store.  
I like how families can choose Pick Up in Store or have their online purchases shipped to their house. There are so many options for each family to shop the way that is easiest for them.  



Yes, this is a sponsored post, BUT let’s get real for a second. I wouldn’t be writing this post if I didn’t support or believe in the information I am sharing with you. This year, I shopped for some supplies I needed for back-to- school from the comfort of my couch. My family uses the Walmart App to buy groceries each week. We have an 8-month-old, so shopping is not easy at the moment. Plus, I would rather spend my free time loving on my family than shopping for groceries or household items thanks to the Walmart App.  

Personally, I loved how easy it was to upload my school list to Walmart and shop for items in record time. Not being stressed by back-to-school shopping has helped me have a smooth start to my school year, and I am so grateful. And, our school families? I love that they can see our lists, price check the items, and know that they are getting the best deals possible by shopping with Walmart 

And, I want to brag on Walmart, too! I have a family friend who is an assistant manager at one of our local Walmart stores. He reached out to me and asked me to connect with teachers and find out what supplies teachers wanted to be available during back-to-school season. They listened to the feedback they got from teachers to make sure that the shelves were stocked appropriately. I am thankful that they are thinking about families and teachers and helping us make sure that we can find what we need at our local Walmart stores.  




This wouldn’t be a true back-to-school shopping post if I didn’t share some items that I love.  


I am all about some Mr. Sketch markers and needed to grab some more lamination pouches to get the classroom ready for students. Walmart has both of these items for a great deal this school season! I also used their 5 for $1 jumbo color erasers to help me put together my student gifts on registration day.  


This school year is going to be our best one yet! Thank you to Walmart for supporting teachers and their students this school year.  
**This post is sponsored by Walmart and WeAreTeachers. All opinions and ideas are my own.  

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Really Good Box of Stuff Subscription Review

Happy Back-to-School season, educators! Now is the PERFECT time to sign yourself up for an awesome goodie box that offers treats for YOU and your students!


Back in the spring, Really Good Stuff launched their teacher box subscription. They tried it out, asked for teacher feedback, and used your suggestions to make the new subscription back even better than before! I love when companies value our voices and opinions! 


I am so excited to be sharing some inside pictures of what's in the first box and how you can sign up to get your own "Really Good Box of Stuff".


Box Details:
*Just $29.99 a month
*Each month has a new theme
*Enough goodies for 36 students
*Loyalty program that sends you a monthly gift and you can earn feature discounts and special offers


You can check out my video below on the box reveal and my review of the subscription box!


**This IS a sponsored post for Really Good Stuff but all opinions and ideas are my own.