I'm so excited to be sharing a little bit more about myself today! Our Elementary Entourage collaborative group has been growing by leaps and bounds over the past year, and I'm always so honored to be a member of such a fabulous group of teachers and bloggers! Our personal teaching styles and classroom ideas always shine through in our individual posts each month. However, this one is definitely different! This month you're going to get an up close and more personal look at each of our bloggers. Be sure to check back each day as we share an inside view at who we really are, along with some secrets about us that you may not know!
I'm from the mountains of North Carolina, so I'm a southern girl by heart!
On thing I love to do is camp and ride 4-wheelers with my family! This is a family tradition every summer, and we spend many nights camping and riding in the mountains of North Carolina and West Virginia. I don't mind getting dirty, and believe me, we do!
This year, instead of riding a 4-wheeler, I bought a Polaris RZR which was the best purchase ever! I absolutely love my RZR and my daughter does, too! It's much easier to ride the trails and kick up some mud! She can ride with me, and I don't have to worry about her holding on all the time. :)
My husband and son ride their own 4-wheeler, and we have a blast! It's fun, and I don't mind the mud. However, the first thing I want to do when I get home is take a shower!!!
One of our biggest tourist attractions here in the mountains of North Carolina is the scenery! We are 10 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the views are spectacular! Leaf season in the fall brings the most tourists. People come from all over to see the changing colors of the leaves, and it's breathtaking! Appalachian State University is only 25 minutes away, which is where I went to college to become a teacher.
The New River flows through the North Carolina mountains, and many people come here in the summer to "Canoe the New" or kayak at Zaloo's Canoes. We also have people come here to visit Grandfather Mountain (famous for the mile high swinging bridge), Linville Caverns, and in the winter, skiing is booming! It's a snowy wonderland at our high country ski resorts!
|The Blue Ridge Parkway is home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in western NC!|
Tourists love to get away in a cabin rental or a secluded camping spot in the crisp, fresh air of our mountains. Whether, it's a relaxing day or a zip line adventure you're looking for - you'll find it here!
I actually didn't go to college to become a teacher. My love was in design - digital design. So, my original plan was to become a graphic design artist. I took a teaching course while at ASU, and quickly realized that my love of teaching out weighed my love of design, so a teacher it was! Luckily, I still get to use some of my design skills as I make fun and engaging resources for my classroom. I absolutely love creating new products, and I spend most nights working on units, activities, and useful resources to use each day in my classroom. *Confession: I spend more time designed the covers of my products than I do actually making them! It's my favorite part! :)
Our fourth grade social studies curriculum in North Carolina is all about our state, so each year I take my class to see the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. The Biltmore House, as we call it, is the largest privately owned home in America! It is an 8,000 acre grand estate (literally a castle) built by George Vanderbilt in 1889. It is a 250 room French Renaissance Chateaux nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is breathtaking to say the least! We spend several weeks learning about the history behind the house and the Vanderbilt family. Then, we take students and parents to visit this one of a kind home which consists of 4 acres of floor space, 35 bedrooms, 45 bathrooms, and 65 fireplaces! The look on their faces is priceless as we pull up to the front of the Biltmore House from the Vanderbilt's 3-mile driveway!
My words of wisdom come at a crucial time in my life. I'm actually at a turning point where everything I know about teaching is getting ready to change. I've taught fourth grade for 10 years, and I'll be moving to second grade in the fall. This is a change that I actually look forward to, but change isn't always easy. I'll have to spend my summer moving into a new classroom, learning a new curriculum, and coming up with new and exciting lessons to enriched the learning of my upcoming second graders!
This past school year was one of the hardest for me, so I'm actually ready for this change. I just finished my 14th year in the classroom, and I could tell that I was starting to lose my passion for teaching. I had even considered taking a year off, so I knew that it was time to do something about it. Lately, I've been reading Unshakable, by Angela Watson, and it has really opened my eyes to teaching with passion. I've also recently written a blog post about how I lost my passion for teaching, and how I'm going to get it back! You can read it here.
If you're a teacher caught in a slump - it's okay! It happens to the best of us! Sometimes all we need is a little change to get that passion and enthusiasm back that we long for and that our students deserve! I'm hoping this change will do just that for me! :)