Teacher Essentials

Teacher Essentials

 

Hello and happy Saturday. I know that as teachers start working and gaining experience, and as the school year progresses, we start getting more and more supplies that we deem as essentials. This can seem overwhelming for a new teacher, but in reality, I think that if this is you’re first year, you’ll be fine if you have four things. The rest is clearly optional.

1. Blue, black, red, and green board markers

These are the most basic colors, and this is why I listed them first. If you have a whiteboard, you’ll need board markers, and there’s nothing better than to have your own. I like the four pack because I just can’t write with only one color. I feel that’s sad and also I’m a huge fan of color-coding in class.

2. Colorful board markers

I think these are essentials, especially if you teach younger students and you draw a lot. I also love using different colors because I feel that they make everything happier. Make sure to label yours so that they don’t get mysteriously lost. Also, remember that if you lend one it might as well be gone forever.

3. Thin markers/pens/whatever you like to write with

I love thin markers to use for grading, writing notes on agendas or filling out my grade book. Pens are sometimes too thin for me, so markers do a better job at being more noticeable. I have flare pens, but I’m kind of over them. Maybe I’ll change my mind at some point of the year, but for now I’ll do with my thin markers. And like I said before, label all your supplies.

4. Highlighters

Bright shiny pens aren’t enough. Sometimes you need highlighters. I use them to cross out items from my to-do list or lessons I have yet to execute. I also use them to draw big happy faces in my students’ works, and I think because they’re brighter, they have a greater impact. If you’re teaching students how to write, highlighters are also great for you to either trace the line where they have to write, or write something and have them go over it with a pencil.

Which essential you think is missing in this list? Let me know in the comments.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

 

YESvember Thankful Thursday Week 4

YESvember Thankful Thursday Week 4

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Hello and happy Thursday. Yesterday I got a phone call I totally wasn’t expected and it improved my mood by 1000%, which makes me even more excited to share this week’s happy thoughts. Let’s get started, shall we?

November 16th, 2017

#1714: Getting new stuff.

I am obsessed with online shopping, and sometimes I buy something and totally forget about it until it arrives and it’s double the joy. I don’t know what it was that I got because, again, I don’t really keep track of my purchases, but at least it made me happy, right?

November 17th, 2017

#1718: Flying by myself.

Here I’m talking about a trip I took to Cartagena with my sister, only the day I flew there she had class and couldn’t make it to the airport. That meant I was traveling alone and she would get there the following day. I had only traveled by plane completely by myself twice before and it was just like magic, really.

November 18th, 2017

#1723: Having lunch at La Brioche.

Listen up: if you go to Cartagena and have a sudden urge to eat a burger for lunch, go to La Brioche at Bocagrande. It is an absolutely fantastic place that I totally recommend and would visit again in a heartbeat.

November 19th, 2017

#1730: Zumba en la Plaza. 

Okay, this post is starting to look like a guide to Cartagena or something, but one of the things you MUST experience there is Zumba en la Plaza. I’m not sure if that is still happening, but it used to be almost like a tradition. Basically, every Sunday at 7pm in the Getsemani town square there is/was a Zumba class. I missed it the time I went to Cartagena with my friends from university, but I was sure going to be there when I went with my sister. And I did. And it was awesome. 

November 20th, 2017

#1733: Making plans for our next trip. 

Between 2017 and 2018 I was able to take my sister on some nice trips to touristic cities in Colombia, and it was a very cool experience. We spent three days in Cartagena at that time, which obviously meant that there were some things we could not do or see. So, obviously, as we made a list of what we’d missed, I was already thinking about going home and buying tickets for another time. I guess you’ll have to wait and see if there’s a second part of our Sisterventures in Cartagena.

What city or town makes you happy and why? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Thursday!

Love, Miss Camila

Ten Must-Reads

Ten Must-Reads

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Hello and happy Wednesday. Back when I had my old blog, you know, the one only one of my best friends read (bless her heart), I had this entire page called “must-reads. Instead of posting a review, I would add the book to that page, so that my (nonexistent) readers would have a list they could consult. I’ve tried to keep this idea in this blog by using the “must read” tag, but I cannot say that I’ve been really consistent on that one. This is why, inspired by the video by Hailey in Bookland called Ten Books You Need to Read, I bring you my own list of ten must-reads. Let’s get started, shall we?

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green 

I read this book at twenty-five and I honestly wish I’d read it when I was eighteen. This coming of age novel is a reminder to loosen up, to relax and understand that not everything in life can be controlled, measured or anticipated, especially when it comes to love. It is also one of the few novels in this list that will make you laugh, so if you prefer something that is not so serious in style but that will make you think about deeper topics, you should check out this novel.

Every Exquisite Thing by Matthew Quick

This novel came to me at a moment in my life when I needed some tough love, and I’ve come to understand that books find us when we need them most and tell us things nobody else would. It is a book that I read at twenty-five, but that would have taught me a few lessons had I read it while at school. It is basically about the importance of finding and understanding ourselves before going into crazy quests in search of the unknown. Matthew Quick is featured twice in this list, and for good reason.

The Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling 

There’s this family friend who owns a bookstore, and she’s a total snob when it comes to reading. Once, when I was working there, she made a comment about how she didn’t understand why the Harry Potter books were so successful if they weren’t really “literature.” I had only recently started reading them, and she didn’t know this because I was almost certain that she expected me to agree with her. I asked if she’d actually read the books and if she’d paid attention to the writing style. I told her those books were very special, and they’d had the power to do what other books hadn’t: to encourage people who weren’t readers to read. I was as surprised as she was at my reply, but to me, the Harry Potter series is an absolute must. It is a ticket to a magical world, an escape from real life but also a different perspective on it.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman 

Maybe this is too personal because I love my grandmother and she is truly the love of my life, but maybe yours isn’t. I just feel that this book is so magic and powerful that everyone should read it. We all have that one person in our lives who will do anything for us and for whom we’ll do anything, that person who is stronger and braver than anybody else. This book is a testament to that. It is a love book, a love letter, just not the romantic kind of love we’re used to reading about. If you watched Big Fish and it made your heart do funny things, then this novel is for you.

The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson 

I think this book was a game changer for me in the sense that it opened my eyes to a whole world of YA I didn’t know existed because I was hiding behind fluffy contemporary romance. This is a book about trying to help fix someone’s life when ours is broken and we don’t want the world to see, and I can relate to that. I don’t know if this is an easy read for everyone, but it was a necessary one for me and one that you should pick up at some point in your life.

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

This book is about two people who meet because they want to help each other commit suicide. I had to say that before saying anything else because I know this is not a topic everyone will be comfortable reading about, especially when the whole plot of the novel revolves around it. But for me, it was such a necessary read and one that I did not expect at all since I go into books blindly. It is one of those books that I feel were underhyped and only a few people know about. Now you know about it, though. Use that knowledge wisely.

Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer 

Sometimes when explaining why my family does or doesn’t do certain things, I say “it’s a Jewish thing, you wouldn’t get it.” Well, this book probably won’t be as important to some people as it is to me since it alternates between the past when people lived in a shtetl, and the present when a man called Jonathan Safran Foer goes to where said shtetl was to find out about his ancestors. Like My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, this is a love letter to one’s family and one’s roots. It is a way of saying “I am who I am because you were who you were,” and that message is incredibly powerful.

The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick

This was another game-changer for me because it made me super aware of how neurotypical all the characters in books usually are. This is a novel that honestly should be adapted to movie format, or maybe it already was adapted and I don’t know. Even by reading the synopsis I couldn’t gather the right ideas to tell you what this book is about, other than a quest to find the truth when really a bunch of little truths are discovered along the way.

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S King 

Like The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley, this novel gave me a completely different look into what YA books can be. It is not a happy book and it certainly does not deal with the common topics of YA. This is a book about a girl whose best friend dies under weird circumstances and it is about how she deals with this and her dysfunctional life.

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

This book is about many things, really, but one of those is the disappearance of our main character’s younger brother. Look, I have a younger sister who is my baby even though she’s only two years younger than me, and this book just made me think about her in such a way that I bawled my eyes out. I bought her the physical version of the book even though she’s not much of a fiction reader, and now I’m telling you, this was the first book I read that I truly considered a “must,” and I think you should pick it up.

Have you read any of these books? Do you agree with me? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

10-Minute Makeup

10-Minute Makeup

Hello and happy Saturday. You know when things start to get busy for me because I post almost exclusively “quick and easy” makeup looks. The truth is, when I’m in a hurry, I try to find options that take me little time but that still show that I put something on my face, you know? Even if I’m only wearing one shade of eyeshadow and a lippie, I want these to be noticeable. I think that’s pretty clear in today’s look, which I accomplished by following these steps:

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Primer
  2. Foundation
  3. Concealer
  4. Powder
  5. Eyebrows
  6. Matte brown (crease)
  7. Black eyeshadow (top lash line)
  8. Mascara
  9. Contour
  10. Blush
  11. Red lipliner
  12. Red liquid lipstick

I love the effect of black eyeshadow as eyeliner. I think it looks smokey but at the same time, it’s defined and easier to apply than liquid liner. What do you prefer? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Monday!

Love, Miss Camila

High School Teacher Tag

High School Teacher Tag

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Hello and happy Saturday. Today I’m going to be answering the High School Teacher Tag, so I’m not going to make this intro super long. Let’s get started, shall we?

 

 

1. How many years have you been teaching?

This is my third official year as a school teacher.

2. What grades/classes have you taught?

I’ve taught pre-k and kindergarten English and science, first grade English, and ninth and tenth grade English.

3. What are you currently teaching?

Trick question. actually, because right now I’m on vacation. For the purposes of this post, though, I’ll say I teach ninth and tenth grade English.

4. How many students in your classes?

26 to 31. I had 111 students total.

5. What has been your biggest class?

31 students. Complete chaos. Do not recommend under any circumstances.

6. What has been your smallest class?

Eleven students. Absolute heaven. Would totally recommend.

7. What is your ideal class size?

Fifteen to twenty is nice because you get enough variety and diversity without having an entire circus in your class.

8. What’s your favorite online resource?

Kahoot. I have a post on it, if you want to check it out, which you totally should.

9. Describe your perfect classroom.

I think this question refers to the physical space. My perfect classroom would have a nice carpeted area, enough space for desks to be well-distributed so that I can walk around while students work, a TV, smart board or a projector, and lots of storage space as well as big bookshelves.

10. What’s your favorite part about teaching?

I love seeing my students learn, like being a part of their developmental process is just amazing for me.

11. What’s your favorite thing to teach?

I love teaching everything related to animals. Ecosystems, animal species, you name it, I’m your girl.

12. What’s your least favorite thing to teach?

As a language student, I love to learn about grammar, but as a teacher I know it can be boring. I had a tough time figuring out how to teach the passive voice to my ninth graders, but if you read my recent post on it, you’ll see we did fine.

13. What is some advice that you would give to a beginning teacher, someone who is thinking about going into teaching, or someone who is already teaching?

Try to relax a bit and be open to learning. Ask for help when needed and when convenient, but also know when to rely on what you know and what you think is best. Observe veteran teachers if you can because that’s always helpful when you’re trying to figure out what to do and what not to do. Be ready to mess up, but learn from your mistakes and move forward. I kept a journal of what I did each day in class my first year and it gave me a lot of insight for the following year in terms of things I should have done or things I shouldn’t have. It also made planning my second year way easier.

I would like to tag all of you in this one, so pick a question or two to answer in the comments below. If you want to ask a question of your own, please do so, I’d be glad to answer it.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

YESvember 2019 Thankful Thursday Week 3

YESvember 2019 Thankful Thursday Week 3

Copy of THROWBACK THURSDAY.pngHello and happy Thursday. I always get excited to share these happy thoughts with you because it’s nice to look back and remember moments in my life that were relevant enough for me to put them down on paper. If you’re new to this blog or this series, hi, my name is Camila and I have a notebook where every day I write thoughts that made me happy. I am now recalling the happy thoughts from 2017 and will progress to other years as I keep writing these posts. Let’s get started, shall we?

November 11th, 2017

#1687: Finishing my planning and even creating some nice products. 

Unlike other teachers, I enjoy lesson planning and I get so invested in the process that I even create resources for my own students, which I sell on my TpT store. You will see that often at least one of these thoughts is work-related and that’s because I love my job as a teacher, and even when I’m not in a classroom giving class, doing teaching-related stuff brings me joy.

November 12th, 2017

#1694: Watching videos of ’90 Day Fiancé’

Sorry about the poor grammar here, but you got what I meant. I still sometimes get caught in the 90-Day Fiancé drama, although not as much as I did in the past. Because the show wasn’t really a big deal in Colombia, I would watch clips of it on YouTube via TLC because that’s how desperate I was to watch it. My favorite person is Anfisa and yes, you can fight me on that one.

November 13th, 2017

#1697: Watching episode 1 of Fuller House.

Again, I don’t think this is grammatically correct, but what are we going to do? Yes, I’ve watched every episode of Fuller House there is and yes, I cried in the first one. Is it better than Full House? No, but at least it’s entertaining and the episodes are short, so it’s good for binge-watching.

November 14th, 2017

#1704: A more relaxed Tuesday than I’d anticipated. 

Remember in a previous post that I talked about how I had to come up with a choreography for the Christmas show at school? I’m pretty sure this Tuesday the kids were rehearsing for said Christmas show, and even if rehearsals are stressful and time-consuming, I’ll take those over teaching an actual class when we’re this close to the holiday break.

November 15th, 2017

#1709: Successfully working on another Skype exchange. 

Don’t be dirty-minded, these Skype exchanges were for my students. We managed to do this video conference with a teacher who lives in the States and her class of Spanish learners, and it was beautiful. The kids sang, we took pictures, and everybody had a great time.

What has made you happy this week? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Thursday!

Love, Miss Camila

 

BookTubers I Follow

BookTubers I Follow

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Hello and happy Wednesday. You don’t have to be super observant or follow me very closely to notice that lately, I’ve had more time to read and to blog. This has also meant that I’ve had more time to get back into BookTube, despite the entire post I made on no longer following BookTubers anymore. The truth is, even when I wasn’t following any, I liked to sometimes go to their channels and watch the videos they’d uploaded recently. Today, I’m back to fully embracing the BookTube life again, but not like before, when every book that anyone talked about would go straight to my wishlist. I have come to terms with the fact that I have my own books and my own rhythm and that I can just watch BookTube for entertainment purposes and not necessarily bookish guidance. And watching them is also fun to get ideas for posts, like the one that went up last week. I am following five BookTubers and I want to share the reasons why I do with you. Let’s get started, shall we?

BookswithEmilyFox

Let me start by saying that the books Emily reads are for the most part very different from the ones I read. This is awesome because I don’t feel compelled to even check out any book she mentions, but I still enjoy listening to her talk about them. It’s probably weird, but who cares? We each have our reasons to follow certain people. I guess I enjoy the consistency of her videos, too. I know I can expect TBRs at the beginning of every month and wrap-ups at the end, and I love that Emily usually reads big books and that she shops at Book Outlet more than I do. She mostly reads sci-fi, horror, and thrillers, so if you’re into that, you should check her out.

Hailey in Bookland

I talked about Hailey in my previous post since it was based on a video of hers. I like her attitude and her energy, and I think that’s what made me want to check out her channel when I was watching an episode of Bookmarked. Bookmarked is a live chat she does with Zoë and Hannah, whose channels I’ll be talking about in a second. It’s every week and they talk about bookish things for about an hour. Anyway, here’s where I discovered Hailey and then after exploring her channel, I realized she did weekly reading vlogs, which I think are what I enjoy most about her. I like how she combines her daily life with reading and writing, and how she inserts hauls and unboxings into the videos. I enjoy her vlogs more than I do her regular videos, but I still watch those.

readbyzoe

Zoë is not as consistent with her uploads as Hailey and Emily, which for some reason makes me even more excited when I see she has a new video up. I love her 24-hour readathons, especially because I don’t think I’d ever be able to do one myself so it’s cool to see someone else reading so much. Also, out of all the BookTubers, I think my taste aligns the most with Zoë’s because she’s into contemporary romance, but she also reads some fantasy here and there.

A Clockwork Reader

If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, watch one of Hannah’s videos and you’ll be completely at ease with her voice. Her videos are just so relaxed and soothing, and she’s one of those people who give the impression of always knowing what they’re talking about, and as a teacher, I admire that. I want to say that Hannah leans more toward fantasy, so the reviews she gives about contemporary novels are very useful because they’re more unbiased, I think. I love that she posts tags and challenges, although again, she’s not super consistent.

Book Roast 

G from Book Roast is more of an old-school BookTuber, or maybe I feel that way because I used to watch her videos years ago. Since then, she’s changed her repertoire, and now she mostly does weekly vlogs and unboxings, which usually are Harry Potter or fantasy-themed. I love unboxings, especially when I know I could never get the subscription boxes she gets because they’re Europe-based, but a girl can dream, right?

Do you follow any BookTubers? Tell me about them in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

On-The-Go Makeup Look

On-The-Go Makeup Look

Hello and happy Monday. Look at my fresh, healthy, alive face. It’s the face of someone who totally didn’t want to do her makeup but still put some on. This is my very quick, very simple “on-the-go” makeup look, and these are the steps I followed to achieve it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Primer
  2. Foundation
  3. Concealer
  4. Powder
  5. Eyebrows
  6. Contour
  7. Blush
  8. Blush (eyelid)
  9. Mascara
  10. Lipgloss
  11. Dewy setting spray

What step in your makeup routine is the most important?

Happy Monday!

Love, Miss Camila

 

 

Five Things I Learned Working With Teens

Five Things I Learned Working With Teens

100th day (1).pngHello and happy Saturday. The time has come for me to sit down and reflect upon my findings as a high school teacher, especially after having taught young kids before and being put in a situation in which I really had no choice but to take a job I wasn’t sure I could tackle. Here are five things I learned while working with teens. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. Teens want attention from the teacher

If you’ve taught younger kids, then you for sure have been struck by and avalanche while sitting down by your desk minding your own business. You know, little kids wanting to hug you or touch your hair or tell you how much they love you. Well, teenagers won’t do that for sure, but they’ll do things to grab your attention, just like little kids do. I got kids complimenting my makeup and wardrobe, or asking me whether I’d heard this song or this artist. I had kids around my desk, just making conversation or asking random questions. And once I was by my desk and they had to fill out some pages from their workbook, and I noticed they were forming a circle around my desk. They weren’t talking, just doing what I’d asked them to do, but they were around me, just like little kids.

2. Teens like little kid stuff (sometimes)

I’m not telling you to become a kindergarten teacher with them because they’ll probably think you’re ridiculous, but there are things I used to do with my babies that worked with teens as well. I’ve told you about some already, like the rewards and candy I gave them, or the contests we used to have in class. Even the happy face system is something I doubted would work, but it did. Find which movies they liked when they were younger and play them. They’ll love it.

3. Teaching high school is not for everyone

I’ve said some of the good, so now let’s transition to some of the bad, okay? This is something that really shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it sort of did, at least to me. I always thought that I would be great teaching any grade or level, but that my preference were younger kids. I realized that it wasn’t just a matter of preference, but of skill and attitude. There are some skills high school teachers need to have and that I don’t, but besides that, I honestly don’t really like teenagers that much and I know some people do. My heart wasn’t in it, but I think in other circumstances I’d still hate it. Teaching high school isn’t for me.

4. Teens are manipulative

Over the course of three months I had students cry to me about grades, talking to my boss about situations they deemed “unfair” before talking to me about them, I had students speak in Spanish to me during the English class even though I repeatedly told them to speak in English as a sign of respect. I had students lie to me about assignments they hadn’t handed in when they were supposed to, and all sorts of situations that I’d never had to deal with. I’m not saying all teenagers are like this and I’m not saying they act this way all the time, but sometimes they’re ready to spot a naive soul, maybe a young inexperienced teacher, like they thought I was, to get an easy grade in a subject.

5. They’re not all going to like you 

I think it’s easy being liked by young kids. I think it’s easy enjoying the classes you teach them, and I think that was a big shock for me, if not the biggest. I do think if students like you they’ll enjoy more the classes and they’ll learn more efficiently, so I make it a priority to become the teacher they like because of the content of my classes and the way I deliver my lessons, but also because of the kind of person I try to be. There were students that didn’t like me, though, and in a way I just settled with that fact and didn’t give it much thought after.

What are some other things you believe I missed in this post? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

NetGalley Reads: The French Impressionist

NetGalley Reads: The French Impressionist

NETFLIX TALK_.pngHello and happy Friday. I’m super distracted this morning, but that needs to change right now because today I bring you a NetGalley rant. NetGalley in a way is like online dating. There are these books that you wouldn’t be too impressed about based on the cover and description, but then you read and you’re absolutely amazed. And there are this shiny pretty covers that are super promising but that don’t amount to anything. That being said, I’m always happy to have access to free books and to be able to share my thoughts on them with you.

I read The French Impressionist by Rebecca Bischoff between October 14th and October 19th, 2019 and gave it one star. The basic premise of this book, and what we find out on the very first page is that the main character has lied so that she could travel to France during the summer. She’s staying with this family she refers to as “her new family” and as the first chapters progress we are told that she is actually running away from her home in the States and that, although she has somehow tricked a bunch of people to believe she’s only going to spend the summer abroad, her plan is to stay in France forever.

At first, I thought we would have some sort of magic realism thrown into the plot because the main character, whose name is Rosemary, is staying with a family of artists and in her room, there’s this mural that sometimes lights up. It’s not magical realism, but more of the beginnings of a mystery plot that sadly isn’t well developed. I think this is one of those stories that had a lot of potential but the author just made all the wrong choices.

We find out that Rosemary has set up this whole plan to escape her house because her mother is extremely controlling, to the point where, at the age of fifteen, Rosemary has never been around guys her age. Although I liked that plotline and the whole idea of her plan to be free, it was hard to believe that we were dealing with a fifteen-year-old. I think she could’ve been eighteen and the story would’ve worked much better.

I’m inclined to believe this is a debut novel considering some mistakes the author made. For example, we were told what the main character was going through, but it wasn’t like we were experiencing it with her. The main character has some sort of speech pathology, and her diagnosis isn’t even specified until much later in the book, which was odd, but also could have been that the author added this fact to make the story interesting and mentioned a speech pathology after a quick Wikipedia search. Besides that, given her condition, Rosemary cannot pronounce her name properly. We are told this, but we are never told how she pronounces her name or why is her pronunciation incorrect. By the way the whole “communication disorder” was handled, I don’t think this novel is own voices, so I cannot speak about the representation in this aspect.

I thought this book was plain bad and I was going to give it two stars, but then the main character decides she will lie about her mom’s boyfriend abusing her so that she can stay in France forever, and we all know that’s the kind of thing I can’t accept. I don’t even understand how a platform like NetGalley would promote a book with this kind of plot. It is plain wrong and it sends a horrible message to all readers, especially those within the young adult age range. Additionally, the main character’s best friend has cerebral palsy and the way Rosemary talks about her is just disgusting, making fun of her friend’s disabilities. Seriously NetGalley, you can do better.

Do you have any recommendations for stories based on big shady schemes? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila