Sunday, October 19, 2014

Woohoo First Post Yet

First let me begin by introducing myself to the world of blogging. I am a rookie blogger as you can probably tell from my blog design. Countless days have been spent to get a blog design that looks half way presentable. To tell you the truth I'm not sure that this blog is "good enough", but my motto is either sink or swim, so here goes nothing. I began this adventure first by making products to sell on teachers pay teachers and to use in my own classroom. This summer I spend A LOT of time designing products that I think are challenging products to facilitate learning. Most of my products began with 4th grade, due to the fact that I teach 4th grade. I decided I needed to make myself more marketable, so I have started designing products for 3rd and 5th grade as well. I'm so rude let me first introduce myself. My name is Jennifer Griffin I teach 4th grade in a small town in North Georgia. This is my second year in education and to 4th grade. I initially received my bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Go Mocs!)in Interior Design in 2008.
Interior Design was my first love and I still find myself drawn to anything designery (yes, I realize that is not a word, but as you will find out I make up words from time to time). I spent four years of my life in the design word to realize in the sleepy, blue collar, carpet dominated town I live in interior design was not my cup of tea. I had one of two choices, move to a larger town to pursue design or decide to get into a profession where I could have the chance to make a difference. Needless to say, I went into the field of education. I had many friends who were already teachers and I thought now that is a job that I have the chance to chance lives. There I found myself enrolling online at Liberty University and I received my Master's of Arts in Elementary Education in May of 2013.

I completed my student teaching all while taking a huge leap of faith and leaving a good paying job in design to work as a paraprofessional (at least I got paid to do my student teaching, I thought to myself). My pay was roughly cut $30,000 and I know the people around me had to think I had completely lost my marbles. Like I stated earlier I completed my student teaching in Kindergarten with a veteran teacher and I am so grateful for the lessons she taught me that year.
 I am currently working at the same school where I completed my student teaching. The school is considered to be an inner city, title I school (meaning the majority of our students are at or below poverty level). Talking about making a difference, I chose a school where the opportunities are endless. Last year I was so very spoiled, my class consisted of the top 23 students thereabout in the 4th grade. I had most of all the "challenge" kids and everyone passed their standardized test (PTL). This year is a completely different year. The terms IEP, EIP, RTI and so on were not part of my vocabulary last year and this year they are discussed freely. I have 27 students this year and my kids are from various backgrounds including race, ethnicity, home life and so on. 17 out of my 27 are EIP and therefore it has presented challenges to me from day one. We are entering week eleven of school, so I would say we have adjusted very well. I have my work cut out for me though. I believe eleven of my EIP are in math, whom automatically were determined as needing an EIP due to CRCT(last year's standardized test in Georgia) failure. The other six were failures in reading. YIKES!! Coming from a class full of high achievers to a group of lower children has definitely changed my teaching style and perspective. I am grateful for each and every one of them and though I want to pull my hair out most days I hope and pray those kids know that I love them dearly.

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