I never thought of sharing this idea until a friend of mine told me she had never thought of using photo books this way.

Every year, I photograph my classroom once it’s put together for the new year. I take more as I change parts of my room through the year. Finally, I pack everything up and take pictures of my jam packed closets.

Then, I head over to Walgreens.com and upload the photos. Once they are uploaded, I turn them into a small photo book. The downside is the small book can only take 25 photos. If you go with the larger bound book, there are more options.

I use this over the summer and throughout the school year to do a lot of things!

    Reflect on my use of space. Did it work? What do I need to change? What did I really like and want to keep? What made my life easier or more difficult? My desk is a perfect example! It has changed every year. I just can’t get it just right…
    Reflect on how my classroom has changed year to year and why I made those changes, like my class library in the images below (top – most recent image).
    Think about what I may need to purchase or find for the following year based on what I used and what I put in my closets/cabinets.
    Explaining an area or concept in my classroom (always easier with visuals).
    Where does this go? Do I want it to stay there? (This is helpful when I’m setting up for the new year and I can look back at where it was the year before.)
    and more!
  • This photo book is a lifesaver for me! It makes reflecting, setting up, and tearing down so much simpler for me. It gives me a clear idea and a concrete image to work from.
  • Want to know how I did it? Check out my how-to below! Also!!! If you’re seeing this post right away, you’re in luck! Walgreens has a half off coupon code right now until June 22, 2019 – JUNEBOOK which brought my total from $6.99 to $3.49!
    1. Load your photos at Walgreens.com
      Select the size and style photo book you want (don’t forget to check their deals tab for coupons!)
      Pick the 25 photos (or more depending on the size book you picked) and select create
      In the editing panel, put your photos in the order you want. I typically go chronologically from when the room is set up to the room torn down for summer.
      Review your book and checkout!
      Pick it up and use to make your life easier!

    Creatively yours,

    Teaching In Public

    Teacher Tip – Save Time, Sanity, and Money!

    Posted in Mental Health

    I Silently Screamed “Help!” And My Husband Answered

    The end of the school year is extra exhausting. Add in family drama, difficult admin and parents, and being pregnant? To say my anxiety and stress have been on the rise is an understatement.

    I’ve been struggling with whether or not I could cope with it on my own. At times, my anxiety gives me anxiety. Who would have guessed?! I get in my head and wonder I need help, need to use my coping skills, or am just over exaggerating.

    Even with baths, naps, cuddling with the dogs, and other relaxation activities, it’s been tough. The stress and anxiety started coming through as irritation, crying, melancholy attitudes, sarcasm, etc.

    Two weeks ago, my loving husband picked up on my increased anxiety and became the voice of reason. “Why don’t you call your therapist and schedule an appointment? Maybe she can help you work through some of the family stuff.”

    Those two sentences were like a lifeline. I was drowning in my own mind and the life vest was thrown. That was enough to tell me it wasn’t me overreacting but rather me needing help through some difficult times.

    The first time I called to start therapy was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I saw her for almost a year and she dismissed me after making a lot of progress. She helped me get off anxiety medicine so we could begin trying to get pregnant. She helped me create boundaries with toxic people and so much more.

    So, I took my hubs’ advice and called to schedule an appointment. Of course, it’s been almost a year so I had to go through the process as if I’m a new patient. A week later, they finally called and I have an appointment next week.

    I am so thankful to have the option of therapy and a husband who loves and respects my needs. This time of year is always especially stressful like I explained in my last post but with added stressors, it’s become a little too much.l to deal with on my own.

    Thankful,

    Teaching In Public

    Posted in Mental Health

    End of the school year! Yay! But what about THOSE students… and teachers?

    The end of the school year is messy. It’s not all Pinterest perfect with countdowns, perfect behavior, presents galore, and tears in everyone’s eyes.

    To students with trauma, it’s a deadline, a dreaded end of security. Somehow, in all the countdowns and year in review activities, some forget about the kids who act out but don’t really want the year to end.

    My husband was one of those kids. He was a capable student who purposely failed classes so he could attend summer school or after school programs. He was the kid who went from house to house until both parents gave up and he was raised by an equally crazy relative who wouldn’t drive him places, but him things, or listen when school called. He’s the kid who went into the military as a getaway.

    We forget about those kids.

    But.

    We also forget about those teachers. The teachers who struggle with mental health, who get depressed or feel useless over the summer, who get overwhelmed with all the paperwork and end of year expectations. Those teachers aren’t the first to pack their room or leave for the summer.

    They sometimes sit in their room not knowing what to do next… the class diagram? Inventory? Check out paperwork? Purge outdated materials? Sign observation forms? Make phone calls? Lock up materials? Wipe down surfaces? Clean out binders? Check over lockers? Label furniture? Roll-up posters?

    It can be overwhelming to go from having a clear purpose every day to having time off where you don’t need to grade or plan or communicate… and even though the entire year builds to this point, it still feels sudden. Like you’re walking forever and then there’s nothing under you.

    They make plans, lists, use their coping skills, tackle the problems at hand, try to remain calm, try to not spiral, and smile through it.

    The end of the year is already so stressful but students and teachers with trauma and/or mental illnesses are having an even tougher time right now. Not to mention, those who deal with new trauma or stress outside of the normal chaos that is the end of the year.

    I am one of THOSE teachers and I am not okay. (I will be okay but I’m not there yet.)

    One of those teachers,

    Teaching In Public