An Introduction

Hello!

I am so glad you've stopped by my new site! This first post is an introduction--a little about me and what I plan to discuss on this blog.

About Me
My name is Alison, and I live in the southeastern United States. I currently teach ninth and tenth grade English in an all-girls, independent school. After university in New England, I taught study skills and reading comprehension as part of a traveling teaching program for one year. I then taught English at an independent co-educational high school in the mid-Atlantic. I enjoyed teaching and loved the students, but decided to return to school for my master's degree in occupational therapy.  I thought this shift would provide me with a more predictable salary in a competitive field, as my husband was completing a national job search. I worked with older adults and children for five years until I started to grow weary of the quota-based schedule. I was also tired of having little to no time off and being treated like a cog in a machine. I love the field of occupational therapy, but I missed the school community, the school schedule, and the classroom. I am now using my occupational therapy skills (including multi-sensory activities and adapting lessons for learners of all abilities) to teaching.

So, what do I plan to discuss on this blog?

1. Teaching: I believe that students learn in a variety of ways, and it is a privilege to assist them in reaching their goals. I want them to appreciate (if not love) my content area, and I work to their strengths. Over the past semester, I have used Google Docs, Google Slides, Notability, and Kahoot in all of my classes (all students have both a MacBook and an iPad for school use). I have also used analog strategies, including gratitude logs and traditional grammar/vocabulary books. I am hoping to address some of the UN Sustainability Global Goals, in tandem with other technology strategies, such as Padlet. This is an ongoing journey for me, and I would appreciate any advice other teachers (or students!) are willing to give.

2. Bullet Journaling: I started my bullet journal last year, and I love it--the creativity, the flexibility, and the accountability. I have one journal that I use for both personal and school use. I use monthly spreads, weekly spreads, and my index daily. I also have journaling challenges and my Miracle Morning content. It seems like a lot, and some people might be worried about privacy. However, it works for me, and I plan on discussing why I think it is the most effective planning/writing system that I have used thus far.

3. Minimalism: "Minimalism" has become a trendy word in the past couple of years. In 2015, my husband and I donated or sold about 3/4 of our possessions before a 1,000 mile move. It was very freeing, and since then, I have been very interested in becoming a conscious consumer and budgeting for experiences (such as our seven week van trip over the summer) and not things. This lifestyle change has also allowed for my husband and I to lose a collective 50 pounds and spend more time together. A couple of the blogs that I follow are listed at the right top of the main blog page. I will be adding blogs in the coming weeks.

I hope to post at least once per week on one of the above topics. If you would like to email me, I can be reached at teachjournalblog@gmail.com.



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