You Think You Know...About Kelsey from Aloha to Second

Hello everyone!  I am back to share with you some things you might not know about me.  I know I've been blogging with the Elementary Entourage since we started, and I feel like I've been able to get to know so many bloggers.  Yet, there are still so many things I don't know!  This round of posts has been super fun and exciting.  I hope you learn something new about me. :]

I met my husband in 2007 - my freshman year of college.  He is the love of my life, and I can't imagine not having him in it!  

He is in the United States Marine Corps.  He is in the reserves, so he leaves one weekend a month, and two weeks in the summer.  It's not bad at all!

When we first started dating, I was not fond of the Marine Corps.  I always hoped that he would get out as soon as his contract was up!  But now...I absolutely love it, and I can't imagine not being a part of the USMC family!

I was going to share a quick story.  We had been dating for about a year, and Tyler asked me if I would stay with him if he were ever deployed.  I was young and thought this would never happen to him.  So, I responded by saying, "No way! I am young, and can't date someone thousands of miles away."  The next day, he told me that he was going to be deployed to Iraq.  I was completely devastated.  But...I obviously did NOT break up with him.  I had been stupid in saying that I would.  I stayed with him throughout the whole deployment.  It was rough, but when he came home, and I saw him for the first time - that was the BEST moment ever.

Let me tell you!  There are TONS of reasons why you should come to my town to visit me!!  I live in Chicago, IL - the third largest city in the U.S.  Let me tell you, it is amazing!  It is rich in culture, history, and fun! Also, the food is pretty amazing!

This is a view from my apartment in downtown Chicago!  I have a one bedroom apartment, but we have a futon and air mattress waiting for you! :]

Here are just a few of my favorite things to do in Chicago:

1.  FOOD!  
I love eating out.  My favorite restaurant is Bub City.  There are a ton of awesome restaurants, and I love going to new ones.

2. TOURS! 
 I love going on Tours.  I've been on the Crime Tour, Pizza Tour, Architecture Boat Tour, and more.  They are so fascinating, and there are so many to choose from.

There are so many festivals in Chicago.  Rib fest, Taste of Chicago, Beer fest, Blues fest and more.  They are fun and often free to go to!

If you need to go anywhere, you can take a cab, bus, or train.  Everything is so easily accessible and cheap.

5.  BUSY!
There is ALWAYS something to do here.  You can go to the beach, go to a museum, watch a sporting event, meet new people, etc.  I love that I am never bored and the people are friendly.  You have a big, crazy city with the Midwest feel.  That, my friends, is awesome!

So, stop what you're doing and come visit me! ;]

I have ALWAYS wanted to be a teacher.  I truly mean that.  My sister is 4 years older than me, and that was what she wanted to be.  I of course then wanted to do what my sister was doing.  We played school (she was usually the teacher because I was the youngest).  For my birthday or Christmas gifts I would get things from the teacher store.  For example, I would get a grade book, one of those easy grading scale guides, stickers, a pointer, notebooks, etc.  I was a "legit" teacher as child.  I loved it and I love every minute of teaching.  I honestly can't see myself doing anything else.  I also come from a family full of educators.  So, fun in the summer was helping my aunt set up her classroom or cut out letters using the die-cut machine.  I also love spending time in my classroom.  My husband calls me a work-a-colic, and I tell him it is a hobby!

Teaching is definitely a passion or we're all just crazy! :]

I just finished my fourth year of teaching.  I started a tradition my first year, and I do it every year now.  I give my students an end of the year gift on the last day of school.  Here is a peak at what I did this year.

I do something a little different every year depending on what I can find.  But, the idea is the same.  This year I included in the bucket a water bottle, flashcards (differentiated for each student), a dry erase sheet (where you take a page protector and place a piece of card stock inside it - then students use a dry erase marker to write on it), a dry erase marker, a notebook, markers, and a personalized note for each student.

I think the personalized note is my favorite.  The students are always so excited to read what I say.  

I'll let you in on a secret too.  To save money I give students the remaining markers and dry erase markers from the year.  That way, I don't have to throw them out, and the kids can finish using them over the summer!  I buy most of my things at Dollar Tree or Target's Dollar Spot.

There is one more thing I always do. 

On the last day, I take a picture with each student.  Then, when school is out I have them developed and I send each student the picture in the mail.  I write a little note saying I hope they're having a great start to summer, and I miss them already.  Then, I include the picture of me with the student.  I still have students that tell me the picture is hanging in their bedroom.  It is so sweet!  Students also love getting mail.  I don't want my babies to ever think I'll forget them!

I have found that even though teaching is a passion of mine, it can also be very difficult.  My advice is to always make time for yourself.  Don't get burnt out, and don't feel guilty if you're not spending every waking moment doing something for your classroom.  I have a hard time with this, and I battle it often.  However, you are not the best you if you do not make time for yourself.  You must take time to enjoy everything around you, and cherish every moment given to you.  Your classroom will still be there tomorrow, and you can try again.  

Here is a quote I like by Dolly Parton.

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