An Enjoyable Home Workspace

When you teach, working from home is the name of the name of the game. I try to limit my work from home. (I recently have adopted a new grading plan that requires I work from home one night a week–will post more when I see how it goes). Between my 2 blogs, an up-and-coming YouTube channel, and 90 students to keep grades for, making my home workspace was CRITICAL. Below is a tour of my workspace.

The key to my space is that it is both inspiring and enjoyable to me. I love the color pink, so I wanted my office space to be both fun and inviting to me. With my makeup blog and YouTube channel, I also wanted a pretty blogging room with nice backgrounds so when I film, I’m not getting boring white walls.

1: My desk. I keep all of my school supplies in the photo box on the desk. Over the desk is a picture of a daisy that I painted (it is getting replaced with this picture from HobbyLobby). Below is a set of storage drawers with my craft supplies in them. Reorganizing that is my project for Christmas break. As I am typing this, I forgot to tell the story of my desk. I found it on Facebook at this sketchy thrift shop in my town. I went there and it didn’t have a price tag and I got it for $7!!
2. I believe in pink canvas from HomeGoods–because, I believe in PINK!
3. My TV and wall dots. The photo frame there needs to be hung and it needs to get a new mat.
4. My dresser mirror area. This is where I keep overflow clothes from my bedroom.
5. “Sir Cadogan”. He was a knight in Harry Potter. My biggest inspiration in teaching, Mrs. Sonafelt, gave me this as a graduation gift because it sat on my desk all year when I co-taught with her senior year.
6. XOXO and Lamp.  The XOXO is from HobbyLobby. The lamp is a cheap lamp that my mom had in her house. I took it, spray painted it silver, and then added the lampshade from WalMart.
7. The bed (had to push all the clothes to the end). There is a second bedspread that matches the damask patterned pillow. I just got lucky that the XOXO sign on my desk matches the LOVE pillow on the bed.
8. Desk again (:
9. Pictures of me and friends that I have around the room.
10. The basket on my dresser has all of my PoshMark shipping supplies in them. I like to send my PoshMark packages out in pretty packages. I stocked up on these pretty pink shipping packages from Target for $1.00 each. There are free packages from USPS behind them that I use for bigger packages.

That is my “pink room” as I call it. I hope it inspires you to go out and make a fun office space! Maybe it’s overwhelming to your eyes and you have decided on a stark white office space! Either way, it is important to find a place you can work from home that is designated for WORK and not where you sit and enjoy yourself. Keeping work and play separate is a huge help in maintaining your mental health during busy times of the year and lowering your stress levels.

–Miss Wyoming

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Dealing with Parents and Grade Complaints

Parents and Grade Complaints.001

Do you ever have parents email you complaining about their child’s grade? “Why does my child have a C in your class? She is not a C student!” “Why did you give my child this grade?” These are some of the common complaints from parents about their child’s grade. The bottom line is: It’s never the child’s fault. It’s always the teacher GIVING the grade, not the student EARNING the grade.

I recently found the magic formula to squashing these complaints and it is only one word long: PHOTOCOPYING.

I kid you not…..it’s that easy! If you are having an issue with a parent complaining about grade and you feel the student is not being honest about the quality of their work, collect their papers, writing, and whatever else you feel are contributing to poor grades and photocopy them! I like to send a parent an email stating the follow:

Dear Mr. or Mrs. BlahBlah:

Thank you for your concern about your student’s grade. I have printed a copy of your child’s progress report off and attached photocopies of his/her work to the back of it. I have highlighted the assignments that I feel have brought his/her grade down. In class, we stress (neat handwriting, complete sentences, putting the question in the answer, or whatever else you are focusing on in class). As you will see on these assignments, I do not feel that (student name) is performing to his or her best abilities. I let (student) know that I was sending this email home in addition to the copies of their work. Hopefully between the three of us, we can figure out how to get your student back on track and following the directions to get complete scores on his/her work. If you have any further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Sincerely,

Your Child’s Teacher Who Isn’t Giving Them Bad Grades

In the past, I found this has nipped the problem in the bud. Parents like to assume teachers do not assess the quality of the child’s work but assigned grades either randomly or by picking favorites? They also assume that their student is more educated than their teacher. When you send home physical proof that their child has either not been honest about their work or their child is not following directions, it’s a huge wake up call to the parents and often it proves to them that school work is ultimately a child’s responsibility and not a teacher’s.

I hope this was helpful to anyone who is getting stressed by parents. Parents are people too and naturally they are both defensive and trustworthy of their children. Sometimes it takes proof that their child is attempting to “skate by” to get them on your page. I promise they will respect you more for it!

Happy Teaching,

Ms. Wyoming

Fast Classroom Management Tips

Good afternoon,

As I sit listening to my neighbor’s classroom scream and yell when they are supposed to be doing work, it occurs to me that as a first year teacher, I am sure my classroom sounded like this many days. It is now my third year teaching and I feel that my classroom management is on the way to being more “locked down”. Below are some fast classroom management tips to get your students motivated, but also keep them behaved.

  1. Seating chart—Spend time on your seating chart once you get to know your students. This can make or break a class.
  2. Set your expectations early–I met my students in the hall the first day and told them that once they traveled through my door, they were to be silent.
  3. Have work for them when they walk in the door–The second your students walk in the door, they should have work to do. This might be sometime as simple as reading or it may be a warm-up. Make sure your directions are clear and easy to follow so they are not asking questions.
  4. Make an example–I like to lay out my expectations and then make an example. This means the first student to upset these expectation gets a consequence. I don’t go easy because its’ the “first time they’ve messed up”. Once the rest of the class sees you are serious, they will understand your expectations are set in stone.
  5. Offer some flexibility and movement in your class stucture–Seriously, brain breaks are a real thing! If you as an adult cannot sit through a staff meeting without checking your phone and email, how can a student be expected to sit through your class and not get bored?

Happy Teaching!

-MIss Wyoming

Visit Me at my New Site!

Hello, everyone!

This website is still getting a lot of hits….I think because of that really awesome pin I have about interview tips.

To get up-to-date information about what is happening in my classroom and book reviews, please visit me at:

theliteraryowlblog.wordpress.com

Thanks!