Hello fellow teacher bloggers! I have spent the last four days pouring over all of your wonderful sites during every spare minute I could find. I've followed several lifestyle and photography blogs using google reader, and I'm pretty sure I did a search a few months ago for "teaching blogs" that turned up pretty slim results. Obviously I didn't dig very hard! My teacher blog binge this week began with a link from a Responsive Classroom article, and my, what a chain of dominoes that set off! I have been so inspired looking at all of the projects everyone else has been doing to get ready for the new school year. I also can't believe that many schools have already started! Makes me thankful that I still have a couple more weeks even before the teacher work week, though I know I'll be singing a different tune in May.
This will be my fourth year teaching fifth grade; that part of my blog title is true. My name isn't really Mrs. Smith, however. I'm ready to quit lurking on all of the blogs I read and start contributing to this community, but the very introverted part of me just can't relinquish too much privacy, including my real name. Plus, Smith sort of rhymes with fifth, and I like that. :)
One of the mantras I picked up early on is "work smarter, not harder." I really try to live by that idea, since time is such a sparse commodity, while still striving to provide the most meaningful learning experience possible for each student who walks into my classroom. I'm not a "cutesy" teacher... I'd never survive in kindergarten! While I like to think my classroom is attractive, neat, and organized, it could never measure up to some of the awesome themed rooms and displays I've oggled over on some other teacher blogs. I always to to weigh the benefits to students against the amount of time I might put into any project; if there's a faster, but just as beneficial way to do something, you can bet I'm on board. That also means that I've gotten pretty good about not spending much money on my classroom even though I teach in a school with a high percentage of low income families. Many of the ideas I'm planning on sharing here are low budget projects or lesson materials that I've put together myself.
My vision for this blog is for it to be a place to record my thoughts and reflections throughout the year, and I also hope that I can contribute a little bit to the supportive community of teachers that I've been peeping in on recently. I'm looking forward to making some new friends!