Today's topic is all about your first year of teaching. I have been teaching for 15 years! I am not sure I remember much about my first year other than it was a blur and pretty rough in the management area. 

At the end of student teaching in December 2002,  a 4th grade position became open because the current teacher was moving to a Title 1 position. The administrator asked me if I would like the position and of course I said "Yes!" However, I was student teaching ELA and Social Studies and the position was Math and Science. Ouch! Thank goodness for the support I had that year! The former teacher came into the room many times to help me teach Math, and I had a wonderful assistant who helped me keep up with paperwork, student progress and much more. But I do remember walking into a new room of new students and not establishing rules and procedures with these students. I knew they already had them in place and assumed they would work with me. I was so wrong and learned my lesson! I surely learned so much in those long 5 months that college definitely didn't prepare me for. The real thing is the real deal and those experiences were growing experiences for me as a professional. 

I can now look back and see how much I have grown as an educator. Even at year 15, I am still looking for new approaches to take with my students to keep them engaged and achieving success. 

A few tips I would give new teachers is 

#1 Establish your Rules and Expectations- Establish your Classroom Rules together so students are held accountable and take ownership. Set high expectations with a No Excuse policy. 

#2 Take a deep breath at the end of the day and reflect on what went well and something to improve on. 

#3 Collaborate with other teachers on lessons, behavior management techniques, etc..

#4 Take time for yourself/family each evening!

Here are the upcoming topics and hosts of these awesome blog topics! 

I am so excited a couple of teachers of Instagram that I have followed for many years, Life In Fifth Grade and  Teaching in Room 6,  are hosting blog topics each week this summer! I can remember when I blogged consistently and when blogging was one of the only outlets to share teaching approaches, activities, and resources with others. That feels like many years ago!! LOL!  I definitely don't blog frequently and have honestly not even updated my blog in the last year or so.  Last year, I think I wrote only one blog post :( Today with a plethora of social media outlets, we can share and collaborate a lot easier especially with hashtags. Hashtags make for one very happy teacher! #hastaghappyteacher

Today's topic is an Introduction or All About Me. 

I'm Erica Shepherd a 4th grade teacher. I have been teaching for 15 years. I began teaching a 4th/5th grade Math and Science for 3 years. I earned my ESL certification and then began teaching ESL to Kinder-1st graders for 3 years. Then because a 4th grade teacher was needed and I missed the classroom, I moved back to 4th grade and have been there ever since. So, for 9 years I have taught ELA and Social Studies, but this coming year I will be self contained teaching ALL subjects. I am so nervous about teaching 4th grade Common Core Math, but am so excited to bring together social and academic learning throughout the day with a new approach.  I am hopeful that as a self-contained teacher and taking on the Responsive Classroom approach this coming year that my classroom climate will flourish and my students will achieve high academic success. 

I am married and have 4 boys. Yes, four boys who keep me extremely busy or at least when they are not playing Fornite! I love to exercise and workout. The last few months I have been working out super hard and watching my diet and I am so excited about the results I am achieving. With 4 boys there's no time for me to go to a gym, so all of my exercise is done at home with workout DVDs, (Jillian Michaels) is my favorite, lifting weights, using my husband's workout bench, and running. I try to get my boys participating as much as possible and occasionally they will run with me in the evenings. Yesterday, I signed our family up for membership to the New Orleans Running and Track Club and my oldest son and I ran in a 2 mile race for the Summer Series. Next year, I turn 40 and one of my goals is to run a half marathon. 

I also love to read! So, I joined a Book Club two years ago with some amazing friends and have read more than I ever had. Our book choice for this month is All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire. It just came in the mail yesterday, so I am excited to get started. 

Now that I am moving into my 15th year of teaching and my 3rd year at a new school, I am excited to continue to grow as an educator and step outside my comfort zone. 

So, that's enough about me. You can check out the hosts' to learn more about them and use the hashtag #teachertidbittuesday on Instagram and Facebook to find all the posts and read along. 

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