Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Win it Wednesday!

Don't you love free stuff -- especially really good free stuff?

Well, this summer, I've been working on the mother of all back-to-school packs.  Seriously.  In a genealogy of all the back-to-school packs, this would be at the top of the family tree.

This pack is full of everything for back-to-school: printables, forms, a meet the teacher letter, a syllabus template, permission slips, and more.  There's an elementary edition and a secondary version that contain slightly different documents tailored to the age group.

Here are some images from inside the pack!

This comes from The Ultimate Back-to-School Pack - Secondary Edition.
The Elementary Edition has even more printables. 
The pack is chock-full of forms!

Today (Wednesday, July 31st), I'm running a contest on my Facebook page in which you can win a copy of the back-to-school pack!  All you need to do is like, share, or comment on my link and you'll be entered to win!  Check it out here. Winners will be chosen by, and I'll announce them via my Facebook page tomorrow!

Happy Wednesday!


Sunday, July 28, 2013

New Adventures

You know that brand-new feeling that comes with a new school year?  The air is full of endless possibilities.  You can practically smell new pencils, crayons, markers, and glue (No, wait, scratch that.  Don't smell the markers or glue!) as you walk through Target or WalMart.  Parents have that "I'm so glad to be almost done with summer" look in their eyes, while kids have that sad, longing "Did it have to go so fast?" look in their eye.  

Well, that's my life right now.  I'm not just facing a new school year.  I'm facing a new life. 

Six years ago, my fiance and I were newly minted college graduates, looking for teaching jobs.  Seeing that our home state of Washington had little to offer us, we Googled "Where do they need teachers in the United States?" and found that we'd stand the best shot at getting jobs were in Las Vegas, Florida, and Arizona.  Not feeling inclined to gamble or wrestle alligators, we decided we would head to the Valley of the Sun -- besides, I had been accepted into grad school at Arizona State University.

Here we are, just before hitting the road on our way to AZ in 2007!
 Fresh-faced and ready to take on the world! 
Two days before saying, "I do," my husband got a middle school Social Studies teaching job just west of Phoenix.  Immediately after returning from our honeymoon, we loaded down our Dodge Neon down wedding gifts and didn't stop driving until we reached the land of scorpions, saguaros, and suntans.  
To make a long story short, we ended up buying a house, acquiring a lovable 4-pound chihuahua, eating a lot of Mexican food, and teaching at the same middle school for 6 years. We met some wonderful people and worked with a set of very talented teachers. 

But... (Isn't that how all good stories go?  There's got to be a plot twist!)

But, the rain (and both of our rather large families) kept tugging at our hearts.  We longed to be closer to home.  So, this spring, we put our house on the market and started applying for jobs in Washington.  When our Arizona contracts were due in April, we nervously declined them, trusting that things would work out the way they should.

May 8 was a day to go down in the record books as possibly the best day ever.  Chris (my husband) had interviewed for a Social Studies job with Timberline High School in Lacey, WA the day prior, and I had an interview for an English job with the same school that day.  I didn't think that either of us had a great shot at getting the jobs because our primary experience had been at the middle school level.  

After my interview, I had a meeting with my current teammates.  "I really liked them," I said, "which is too bad because I don't think I'll get this job." 

After school that day, three things happened: 
1. Our realtor called, informing us that we had a full-price offer on our house;
2. My husband got a call from the principal at Timberline HS, offering him the job for which he interviewed;
3. I got a call from the principal at Timberline HS, offering me the job for which I interviewed.

Whew!  I told you it was a good day!  Needless to say, there was Mexican food and margaritas consumed that evening in celebration. 

"Uh, I don't think we're in Arizona anymore!" If you look closely, you can see
aforementioned chihuahua looking a little unsure about her new surroundings.
Fast forward a couple of months, and I'm on the precipice of a new adventure.  New grade level.  New city.  New state.  New blog! I'm excited to learn and grow through this experience and to share it with you!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Please excuse the mess!

Please excuse the mess!  I'm renovating this site!  I'll be up and running by Wednesday, July 31st!