Sunday, October 6, 2013

Media Fast Journey

Hey everyone!

I have been playing around with the idea of a media fast for some time. This morning, our pastor spoke about the state of distraction we often find ourselves in, and how that limits our ability to hear from God.  I knew that was my cue to kick this thing off, so I have decided on a 30 day media fast.

I will be fasting from tomorrow, October 7th, until Wednesday, November 6th.  I will fast from the following types of media:

-All TV and movies
-All music except Praise and Worship music
-All books except prior commitments that I have made (book clubs, small groups)
-Internet except work-related (lesson planning, grading, etc. I will check my work email throughout the school day, and my personal email once at lunch and once before bedtime.)
-Phone:  My commitment here is to not be carrying my phone around 24/7.  I will check my phone for messages in the morning, at lunch, and before bed, and otherwise will use it as needed for meaningful/necessary communication.

So why am I doing this? I have some specific goals in mind and some more general ones. 

1. To relax and de-stress. I find that constantly staring at a screen (phone, computer, tv) gives me a headache and increases stress levels and distraction. I want to be PRESENT and enjoy life.

2. To hear from God. I want to clearly hear from God about some specific things and I need to be sure that I am listening.  I also feel that I will have more TIME to work on that vertical relationship with God if I cut out some distractions.

3. To make time for family, work, and other important commitments.  I often complain about my lack of TIME to get things done. I would like to spend more time with my family (and not in front of a screen!), to be able to spend more time on work-related projects if necessary, and to create/maintain meaningful friendships outside of social media.
What do I expect?

I expect this to be challenging for me.  I think fasting from movies and TV will be more of a minor inconvenience, but I expect the internet (FACEBOOK!) will be the biggest challenge for me.  Not only do I enjoy keeping up with everyone, but I have found it increasingly convenient to communicate with friends solely through Facebook even though I see those friends throughout the week at church, work, and other locations.  This is definitely a negative for me, as someone who struggles with social anxiety, and I don't want Facebook/social media to allow me to hide behind a screen and not work on maintaining real life relationships in real life settings.  So, in addition to staying away from Facebook, I am also challenging myself to be proactive in pursuing face to face interaction with people. 

If you want, feel free to leave encouragement as I take this journey, or if you're feeling brave, jump in for yourself!  I don't think anyone would get to the end of a journey such as this and feel like it was a waste of time.  I am expecting great things!  I will try to post a short daily update with something I learned, struggled with, or experienced each day.   

I appreciate your support and prayers! 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Classroom Decorating!

Bring on the decorating!  Before and after pictures of my new classroom! 

On the bright side, I have this amazing mural right outside my door!

Old-school chalkboard-

Painted bulletin board that looks like an upside-down German flag.....

Bookshelves and student desks!

What in the world is THIS?

And a lovely chair!

After a few days of hard work, this is what my classroom looks like now!

First, I went to Lowe's and got panel board to cover the old chalkboard and function as a dry erase board!  (2 - 4'x8' sheets @ $13 a sheet, not bad at all! Held up with industrial strength Velcro)

Information station for missing work, tardies, and absent binder (look for more information about each of these in another post!)

The all-important Word Wall (Pared de Palabras)! 

A few ceiling decorations and bean bags- and you can see a little bit of the newly covered bulletin board (wrapping paper!).  The white strips are leftover pieces of panel board that I posted around the room to use as sentence strips for the kids to write on.  This area will also serve as a writing station (found a use for the overhead projector!) The students can complete a writing assignment on the overhead and flash it up on the wall for the class to evaluate :)

A little window decoration-  Party streamers, fishing line, and small command hooks!  Tie the fishing line between 2 command hooks, tape the streamers to the fishing line, twist them down to the bottom, and then tape them to fishing line/command hooks at the bottom. 

Reading corner-  bought the bench on Craigslist for $20 and recovered it and painted the legs. Bean bags are yard sale specials!

Canvas bins to dress up the A/C unit :)

And, an overall view of the classroom. Not a huge fan of traditional row seating but it might be my best option for now.
And just for fun... this is how I moved my filing cabinet across the room without scratching up the freshly waxed floors :)  Happy Decorating everyone! 

Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to Eat, Pray, Teach Spanish.  I have decided to start this blog to follow my journey as a High School Spanish teacher.  This will be my 5th year teaching Spanish, so I finally feel like I have enough time to blog!  

My goal for this blog is to meet other teachers and share ideas.  I am always looking at other teachers' blogs for inspiration and I have noticed that there aren't really that many that are geared towards high school teachers, and even fewer for High School Spanish. 

I have found tons of great ideas over the past 4 years and have even come up with a few of my own, so why not share?  I hope you find this blog useful, or if nothing else, entertaining! 

Perhaps we could start by sharing some of our main goals for the 13-14 school year!

I have been looking over Harry Wong's "The First Days of School" book (I know, I know), but one good thing that I would like to implement is trying at least one or two new things each year.  This will prevent that terrible feeling of being stuck in a rut.  So my goals for this year are to take a risk, don't be afraid to get involved, and try something new! Specifically, I would like to start my year by implementing some new procedures that I hope will be helpful in making things run a little more smoothly in my classroom.  Also, I'm at a new school this year, so that is something scary all by itself!  I'm excited for the challenge.  What are your goals for this year?