In 2020, I Swear I Lived (Even In The Middle of A Pandemic)

2020 was quite the year-- Australian bushfires, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle quitting the royal family, COVID-19 pandemic, Kobe Bryant's death, Stock Market crash, among many, many other horrible things. Regardless of all of those things, I managed to look at life through an optimistic lens and make the most out of every situation. 


1. I landed my first job.

While I was finishing up my last college course virtually, I decided to take on a part-time job as a preschool teacher. Mostly, I worked with 3's, but once the pandemic hit I became more of a float. I learned that I had a love for children (older children to be exact). 

2. I changed my first poopy diaper. (And, probably my last.)

I'm honestly not sure if I want kids after being a preschool teacher, but I do know that each and every day working at the preschool was a learning experience. I also realized my love for teaching. 

3. I survived COVID-19.

In February, I got tested for the flu and my test result came back negative. 99.99% sure that I have COVID-19.

4. I completed my undergraduate career.

I graduated with Summa Cum Laude! I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to attend Cabrini University. 

5. I got accepted into several graduate programs. 

My top two picks were: Saint Leo University and the University of Southern California. I decided to go with Saint Leo University's M.S. in Psychology Program. I have finished two classes thus far, and have received A's in both of them. I am absolutely loving my classes-- they're fascinating! 

6. I landed my first full-time job.

As a fifth grade teacher! And, I love it! It's one of those jobs that doesn't feel like a job. It's really cool. 

7. I published research.

I can officially say I'm published! I published my research on the influence of athletic participation on academic performance in an undergraduate research journal. 

8. I purchased an annual pass to Walt Disney World.

The first thing on every new Floridian's To-Do List. I've definitely got my use out of it. 

9. I turned twenty-something and celebrated at my favorite Italian restaurant. 

My students are dying to know my age and that is the one thing I plan on keeping from them. So, this year, I turned twenty-something and celebrated with my signature meal: fettuccine alfredo and mozzarella sticks. 

10. I went to EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival.

One word: delicious! My boyfriend and I tried foods from several different countries. 

11. I became an after-school tutor at the school I work at.

I am trying to do the best I can and submerge myself in my school's culture. By being an afterschool tutor I have the opportunity to spend more time with my own students and work with some of the fourth graders. Not to mention, the curriculum lays out lesson plans, so I am learning a lot as I go.

12. I got a Florida Driver's License.

I am officially a Floridian! #Goals

13. I continued to volunteer at one of my favorite organizations.

I am in the midst of creating my own ESL class at my local church. I'll keep you all updated on that progress. 

14. I decorated my very own classroom.

It was super overwhelming! I am already beginning to plan my room theme for next year.

15. I fell in love with teaching.

Like I mentioned earlier, it's that kind of job that doesn't feel like a job. That's the coolest feeling ever.

16. I rode Splash Mountain.

If you know, you know.

17. I Rae Dunn'd my room.

My room looks super chic. Room Tour coming soon! 

18. I explored all four Disney Parks with my best friend.

Andres and I finally covered all four parks together. 

19. I kayaked with manatees.

Really cool experience. 10/10 would recommend. 

20. I voted.

For change.

This year was definitely not what I expected. However, I think it turned out better than I had planned. I graduated college with the highest honors, completed two graduate courses, and have a job that doesn't feel like a job. 

2020 Christmas Wish List

Wow-- it's been a longgg while since I posted on my blog! I have been super busy between teaching, taking grad classes, and volunteering. I haven't had much spare time on my hands. However, this past week, with my grad class coming to an end and my students about to go on Christmas Break, I've had a few extra minutes. 

In today's blog post, I'm sharing my 2020 Christmas Wish List. Check it out:


 


Jet Set Travel Large East/West Chain Strap Crossbody Bag | Michael Kors

As a teacher, I usually gravitate towards larger tote bags. However, I would like a smaller purse for when I go out on the weekends. This will hold my essentials-- without going overboard. Not to mention, it's super cute! I just love the color!

Black and White Polk-A-Dot Apple Watch Band | Kate Spade

I've been wanting a new Apple Watch band for quite some time now. I currently have a white Apple Watch band and it has definitely seen its days-- mine is starting to look kinda gross. If you have any cleaning tips, please comment them below. 

AirPods with Charging Case | Apple

When I'm working out in the morning, I don't want to disturb my family members with my loud Alexa speaker. Having AirPods will allow me to do my workouts during my preferred hour of the day in a comfortable manner.

Extreme Length Mascara + Las Primer | Honest Beauty

#IJustNeedANewMascara

January to December 2021 Planner | Rae Dunn

At the start of every school year, I purchase a Lilly Pulitzer planner. They're great. However, this year, I've decided to try something different. Being a full-time elementary school teacher, a full-time graduate student, an after school tutor, and a volunteer... I need a planner that is lightweight that I can carry around with me everywhere. This will help me keep track of all of my events and extracurriculars. 

Bracelet Holder | Rae Dunn by Magenta

I'm not going to lie-- I've definitely been collecting Rae Dunn "stuff." I'm planning on doing a room tour in the near future. I would love to get a bracelet holder to place on my vanity.

Fluff Yeah Slide Slipper | UGG

Do these fuzzy slippers even need an explanation?

Workout Tank Tops by Icyzone

In Florida it gets hot. I like to wear tanks like this when I am hiking, walking around the Magic Kingdom, and working out. Not to mention, these look super soft and lightweight.

I am so happy to be back in the blogging game! I've missed it dearly. I am hoping to have 2-3 more blog posts for you over Christmas Break. 

Life Update | Grad School, Back To Work Full-Time, and More

It's been a few weeks since I've posted on here. I've been super busy finalizing some paperwork for grad school, preparing my classroom, developing curriculum, among many other things. I am so glad I finally have some time on my hands to blog and share what I've been up to with y'all.

This past weekend I should have been in Pennsylvania graduating.

I have mixed emotions about attending my graduation. Fortunately and unfortunately, because I graduated early I don't really know anyone else graduating. On another note, it's one of my proudest achievements! I wish I would have gone for the experience. Because of Pennsylvania's 14-day quarantine, I would not have been able to return to Florida in time for the first day of school. (I'll talk more about my new career soon!)

I'm furthering my education in psychology.

I applied to three schools: Capella University, the University of Southern California, and St. Leo University. I got into all three schools, but one in particular fits me and my goals a little bit better than the others. I am so excited to announce that I will be attending St. Leo University to obtain my MS in Psychology. I start classes in a couple of weeks. My goal is to complete the program by August 2022. We'll see where I go from there-- maybe my PhD? 

I'm starting my first full-time job as a 5th grade teacher.

In January, I took on my first job as a preschool teacher. I mostly worked with 3-year-olds, but once the pandemic hit, I became more of a float. I really enjoyed working with kids so decided to apply for a teaching position within the community. I am so excited-- and a little nervous-- but more so excited. Last Monday, August 3rd, I started putting my classroom together. It took about a week to clean out curriculum boxes, move furniture, and decorate. 

One of my favorite parts about this position is that I will be working in a private school so I will have more flexibility with curriculum and lesson plans. I am so excited to share knowledge with my students. I am planning on doing more blog posts on my life as a teacher. Stay tuned!

Let's talk about Taylor Swift's album folklore.

I. Am. Obsessed. I woke up at 4 a.m. to listen to the album and have absolutely no regrets. Some of my favorite songs are "the 1," "cardigan," "august," and "invisible string." It's so inspiring! I've been listening to it on repeat. 

My new blog schedule.

With my busy schedule, I am still hoping to uphold my blog. I am planning on posting every other week. Let me know what y'all want to see more of-- grad school, teaching, etc. 

I hope everyone is staying safe! 

Cricut DIYs For Your Classroom

A few weeks ago, my sister purchased the Cricut Explore Air 2. (Side note: I think it's the coolest thing ever!) She has been so kind in helping me put together a few things for myself and my classroom. Thank you so much, Natalie! My classroom is going to look adorable!

Check them out below:


Monday Through Friday Folders

When I was working as a preschool teacher, my co-teacher and I organized our lesson plans in Monday through Friday folders. It worked out great! I decided to implement this organization technique into my current teaching career. The labels are not only going to help me stay organized throughout the year, but they look so cute! Bonus: the folders were only 99 cents from Target. This is a great way to spice up your lesson planning folders on a budget.


New and Used Pencil Buckets

I've seen these everywhere on Pinterest. However, because of current conditions, I decided to put my own spin on the cups. Instead of saying "Dull" and "Sharp" on the buckets, I put "New" and "Used." This will help me differentiate between the pencils that have been used and the ones that have not. At the end of the day, I will be able to take the pencils that have been used and sanitize them for the next day. And, again, these buckets were only $1 at Hobby Lobby. Steal!



Popsicle Sticks Bucket

Like I mentioned earlier, these buckets were only $1 from Hobby Lobby. I picked up this pink one because... I thought it was cute tbh. I designed this label in Picmonkey and absolutely love it. I'm going to use it to hold popsicle sticks for brain breaks.


Starbucks Reusable Cup

My sister was so sweet and surprised me with this DIY. I absolutely love the way it turned out. I'm going to use this everyday!


I am hoping to share some more DIYs with you all in the future. Let me know what y'all would like to see!



5th Grade Teacher Amazon Wish List

I am super excited to announce that I landed my first full-time job as a 5th grade teacher at a private school. Throughout my undergraduate career, I volunteered for an organization that promoted emotional, intellectual, and social growth for at-risk migrant children. I absolutely loved my experience working with this organization and the children. Because of my love for working with the children, I decided to pursue a full-time teaching career. 

Here's my 5th Grade Teacher Amazon Wish List:


Hello Sunshine Teacher Planner

One of the main things I need is a teacher planner. (If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know!) I saw this one on Amazon-- it has everything I need. Or, at least, I think I need. I also love the  cover. It's so fun!

*Update: I purchased the Big Happy Teacher Planner. I am thrilled with my decision! I love that I can purchase inserts and stickers to help me maximize time and space. I am hoping to get my hands on this sticker packet before the school year starts.


I have heard such great things about these pens. I am so excited to get my hands on these. I hear they are perfect for grading.

*Update: I picked a huge pack up at Sam's Club. I can see what all of the hype is about. I can't wait to use these to grade papers. 

Lilly Pulitzer Clipboard Folio

While browsing Amazon for clipboards, I came across this one from Lilly Pulitzer. I am obsessed! I love the colorful pattern. It also has a pad folio inside for all of my PD notes. Yes, please!!

3 Tier Stackable Letter Trays

This will definitely come in handy when organizing papers. I can use it for students to turn in homework, tests, etc. Or, I can use it on my desk to store papers that I need to copy or papers I need to grade. I definitely plan on ordering a few of these if my school doesn't already provide them.

Scotch Thermal Laminator Combo Pack

I recently joined a Facebook Group called Not So Wimpy 5th Grade Teachers. I stated that I was a first-year teacher and was in need of some recommendations for things I should purchase. More than 50% of responders suggested I purchase a laminator to keep at home. 

Paper Mate InkJoy Gel Pens

These pens will be great for planning. They're super smooth.

Apple USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

I'm sure my IT Department will have one of these, but if not, I plan on purchasing my own. This will allow my to connect my personal laptop with projector/smart board.

Sproutbrite Classroom Decoration Banner Poster Pack - Growth Mindset Wall Display

And, of course, as a first-year teacher, I am in need of some decor. With my background in psychology, I've learned a lot about the importance of growth mindsets and want my students to know what it means to have one. This poster would look super cute in my classroom.


*Update: I went to Hobby Lobby today and wrote down a few more things that I want for my classroom. They have the cutest signs and door decorations. I'm hoping to pick some stuff up within the next few weeks and share a haul with y'all.

I am so excited to be a 5th Grade teacher. Throughout the rest of the summer, I plan on doing more blog posts revolving around my career.