Everybody warns you that your first year of work life is going to be tragic and completely overwhelming. So far, my first year teaching is far from tragic but it is so easy to become frantic and overscheduled in the few hours of free time you manage to find in an effort to invest in old relationships and simultaneously foster new ones. The single biggest goal of managing my day-to-day scheduling has been to build in rest as I’m tempted to commit every minute of my time to maintaining and progressing all at once. I’ll be writing a lot more about my pursuit of rest in the coming weeks but today I’m sharing about my reading: one way that I’m making simple and small choices that create space.
Lately I have been so into reading that I have three books going at a time. I had noticed that I had developed the bad habit of turning to Netflix when it was time to really relax and I decided there were better ways to occupy my time and my brain. So I finally really committed to conquering my giant stack of books that I’ve always sworn would get to someday.
At this minute I’m reading these three books and loving them. I've developed the discipline of reading almost every night for 30 minutes before bed at minimum and trying to completely eliminate screen time as I wind down for the night. I’m rotating through one fiction, one cookbook (yep for real), and one Christian living book.
First, I’ll be writing more about the crazy inspiration I’ve received from Dinner: A Love Story later but my mom and I have totally fangirled about this. I’m reading it cover to cover, soaking in every piece of advice this genius but very real woman is giving. In any season you are in, this is the book to give you the motivation to commit to family dinner, whether your family is 2 or 12 members strong.
My novel right now is the perfect story to escape into. It’s such a poignant love story mixed with the tragedy of World War II. That combination would be so cliche if it wasn’t for the quick witted and deeply poetic writing that has enchanted me from the first sentence. This one is all the hype said it would be.
Lastly, I’ve incorporated Present Over Perfect into my quiet time and I am probably deeply convicted by every other sentence. It is as packed with wisdom as it comforting. I love her unique but patient voice. If you are a busy working woman, you probably need this message as much as I did.
Ben and I had the most fabulous and RELAXING weekend visiting the lake with Ben's brother Andrew and his wife Becca. We had been going a mile a minute for the past few weeks as we dealt with the back-to-school rush (SLO's are ruining our lives), so this weekend was exactly what the doctor ordered. Becca's grandparents live in an absolutely adorable home perched right on the channel and graciously let us borrow their home and their boats for the weekend. Can I just say that floating on a lake with nothing to do and nowhere to go might be my new favorite thing?
I had never been to the lake before so the lighthouses charmed me, the boat riding in choppy water cracked me up, and the peaceful and generally nautical atmosphere made me rethink my life goals just a little :)
Here is a small Lookbook from our weekend, and since we are DEFINITELY going back I would love to hear your recommendations for can't-miss-spots in the Lake Erie area in the comments. Enjoy!
Well it’s Labor Day weekend and I have officially made it through my first month of teaching. Teaching elementary music is simultaneously exactly what I imagined and nothing like I expected. There have been so many happy surprises. I love the kids more than I ever thought I could in such a short time and the relationships I am building with my staff are my lifeline throughout the crazy days. There have also been unexpected challenges; like figuring out how in the world to approach your first experience with SLO’s and what kind magic it takes to make the laminator work.
During these first few weeks, I’ve come upon a few practices that make it all a little bit easier. They say every teacher has her own secret strategies for getting thorough the day while also planning for a successful year. I know I will develop so many more as I live and learn along with my students, but these are my first few.
Actually that’s not true, I like the song just fine. It’s the game that’s the problem. The kids absolutely love it for the same reasons I hate it. There’s running and racing and always a touch of chaos. The noise level is so difficult to manage with my population of kids that it stresses me out and I dread teaching it. So guess what? I stopped. Now, I’m using tools and songs that work for me (like Dinah <3) and leaving out the ones I hate. This makes me a more engaged and joyful teacher.
I had the good fortune to learn how to teach music from the very best of the best. But now, I have to start making my teaching my own. It has been crazy, and messy, and wonderful so far.
Have any new teacher tips? Share them with me in the comments!
Welcome! I'm a brand new wife, first year music teacher, Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I start off a whole new life.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."