Thursday, March 3, 2016

Happy Teacher Challenge: Day 2

30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge: Day 2

"Organize an area in your classroom that has become a bit chaotic (drawer, bookcase, your desk, etc.)."

Today's challenge was fun... I love to organize stuff! While my classroom is usually spotless at any one point in the day, and I had already cleaned out my storage closet last teacher planning day, I did have one area that needed attention... "that" drawer... a/k/a My Dirty Little Secret. That's right! I'm talkin' about the junk drawer in my desk. To say it needed attention is a bit of an understatement... it needed BUNCHES of love!!

So, during my planning period I got busy. I put together my super awesome new drawer organizer and started the purge and organizing. I think it turned out pretty snazzy. The challenging part of today's challenge will be sharing the embarrassing "before" picture... haha!

Please do not judge me too harshly... 

Rest In Peace
My Dirty Little Secret
August 2015 - March 2016

The loss of My Dirty Little Secret most definitely made me a HAPPY TEACHER.

Tomorrow... Day 3.

If you would like some more information on the 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge, please visit Presto Plans blog. :)

Kevin Richardson: The Lion Whisperer

We watched an amazing video in the classroom today as a special follow up treat to our Jacksonville Zoo field trip. I was so excited to be able to share and show the class one of the most amazing videos on lions and hyenas that I have had the joy to watch. 

The children loved it!! We talked about the habitat of lions, conservation, what kind of environment the African Plains are made up of, what it means for an animal to be endangered, and how we can make a difference. It was an inspiring classroom moment, and captured the minds and hearts of all of my amazing second graders. Not only did they applaud at the end of the video, but they talked about how learning that there may not be any lions living in the wild within the next 20 years made them sad and want to do something to ensure that the lions and their habitat are protected.

Here is the 15 minute video we watched in class today...

Kevin Richardson is truly an awe-inspiring individual... you can see more of his videos, read about his conservations efforts, and learn more about the plight of lions at

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Happy Teacher Challenge: Day 1

30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge : Day 1

"Pull a student aside to tell them how much they have improved or how proud you are of them."

Well, I blew today's challenge.......... RIGHT OUT OF THE WATER! 

Giving my students praise and compliments is something I already do daily, so I did not feel that today would be any different. I had three students in particular that I wanted to celebrate today for their hard work and amazing behavior, but before I even had the chance to pull these students aside, my whole class received a compliment from our Assistant Principal, Mrs. Hairston, that just had to be celebrated BIG time!

Over the past couple of weeks, my students have been working SUPER hard on their insect research papers... researching, filling out the graphic organizer, rough draft, editing, final draft... the whole sha-bang. Anyhow, today during our group planning we had to bring in our class research papers to share and grade according to the unit rubric. Well, Mrs. Hairston was so impressed with all the swonderfully~smarvelous work that my students had done on their research papers, that she said she thought she was looking at... drum roll, please... THIRD GRADE work!! My second graders were over the moon when they heard this!! They felt as though they had achieved so much... and rightfully so!!

Needless to say, I was able to celebrate the pride I have in my students in a major way today. And even with our whole class celebration, it still felt just as good to pull my three awesome students aside to let them know that I was a extra proud of the recent outstanding choices they had made both academically, and with their behavior.

Overall, today I was most definitely a HAPPY TEACHER.

Tomorrow... Day 2.

If you would like some more information on the 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge, please visit Presto Plans blog. :)

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Challenge Accepted!

While searching around Pinterest for classroom management tools, I came across this PIN from another blogger, Presto Plans Blog, about her 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge. Immediately intrigued, I read the post from tip to tail. I fell in love with not only this challenge, but the whole idea of it! 


Although I try to be a "positive Polly", and I am most definitely a social butterfly, sometimes I get lost in my day and cannot see the smiles right before me... that whole, "forest for the trees" thing. As I find myself now halfway through the third quarter, with the end of the school year sneaking up on me, "overwhelmed" seems to be the word of the day. This challenge comes at the perfect time.

With that said, I'm going to blog my hopefully (positive Polly) amazing stories from each day as I journey through this 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge. I cannot wait to share my happy teacher moments with you!

Tomorrow... DAY 1 :)

Teacher of the Year

Thank you so much to the Rotary Club of Mandarin for the amazing breakfast and recognition. It was absolutely wonderful to hear all the positive and supportive speeches from Rotary members and Principals about teachers and education. 

I'm feeling truly blessed and humbled.