July 10, 2013

Liebster Award

I about jumped out of my chair when I saw a message stating that I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Kheila and Jess from Two Friends in First , Bria from Teaching in Organized Chaos, and Stacey from A Ray of Kindergarten Sunshine!!! I took German in high school and immediately recognized liebster, a word that derives from the word liebe… meaning love! Liebster also means sweet, darling, and beloved.
To accept the nomination I must:
1. Link back to the blog that nominated me
2. Nominate 5-11 blogs with fewer than 200 followers
3. Answer the questions posted for me by my nominator
4. Share 11 random facts about myself
5. Create 11 questions for my nominees
6. Contact my nominees and let them know I nominated them

Questions for me from Kheila and Jess:
1. Why did you start blogging?
During the winter months, I decided that I was going to take the plunge and start blogging myself. I was truly so inspired by other well-known bloggers that it quickly became a dream of mine. I still hear about the opportunities blogging can bring… Whether it be simply sharing ideas, meeting up with fellow teachers, getting nominated for awards (LIKE THIS), or receiving an invitation to speak at a convention… all of which I am truly passionate about! 

2. Where did you go to college? 
I went to Kent State University and had an absolute BLAST! I was the first person in my family to graduate from college (aunts, uncles, cousins, and all)! I really feel that KSU prepared me with a well-rounded constructivist approach to teaching. I am lucky to have had five semesters of field experience before venturing into my very own classroom.
3. What advice would you give new teachers?
As a new teacher myself, I would give four small pieces of advice/encouragement…
  • Surround yourself with teachers you aspire to be one day… I believe it is essential to watch and learn from other teachers. I am always observing fabulous teachers (even if it's watching them chat with a student in the hallway) and borrowing the little things that help make a difference in my own classroom. And for those phenomenal bloggers… I read up on their posts & take in the innovative ideas they so kindly share.
  • Share your ideas… "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." -Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions… I was always that student who asked quesitons. I always tell myself that if I don't ask, I will never know the answer.
  • Give your kiddos kudos… Our job can be challenging, but think about it from a student's perspective. Being a first grader is a job in itself. My munchkins work just as hard to listen and apply what they've learned as I do planning meaningful learning experiences.
4. What superhero power would you like to have for a day?
This would probably be a question I would ask one of my firsties, but never thought about it for myself. After watching Jumper, my answer is teleporting. I would love to go around the world in just one day!

5. Who is your favorite musical artist/band?
This is hard because I listen to all types of music. I am always pushing buttons in the car to get The Weepies to play. Click to hear the MOST played song on my iPod from the movie Morning Glory! They are folky & quaint!

6. What is your favorite sport and sports team?
I am a water lover, so swimming! I swam and danced competitively all throughout high school. Then, I coached swimming for five years in addition to gymnastics too.
My favorite sports team… CLEVELAND CAVALIERS hands down!!! In an earlier post, I snapped a photo at the draft party where we drafted Bennett (my last name). I am pumped to put that jersey on! (:

7. What are the sweet and salty snacks you can't live without?
Sweet… Twizzlers. YUM!
Salty… Does popcorn count? I cannot live without it.

8. Do you have any children?
No children… yet. I am not married either, but cannot wait to go down both roads one day! I do have a four-legged kitty boy named Boo however.

9. If you didn't teach, What would you want to do?
I have always said that if I wasn't a teacher, I would probably be an occupational therapist. Helping other to learn how to help themselves makes me a very happy person.

10. What is your favorite clothing store?
How funny that I just posted the answer to this! My top pick would have to be TJ Maxx. People ask me where I bought an outfit and nine chances out of ten, I got it at TJ's. The best thing about this store is that there are not many duplicates. I am a one-of-a-kind bargain shopper!!!

11. What is a famous quote that you love?
On my Pinterest homepage, I share a quote that really shows my love of learning through discovery…
"Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn." -O. Fred Donaldson

Questions for me from Bria:
1. Why did you become a teacher?
My instinct tells me to say, "Because I love kids" but I know better. As a kid myself, I really liked showing and helping other people. I read my 6th grade report card a little while ago, and the teacher commented, "Britney will be a great teacher one day!" I enjoy being a part of the development of children- as both a person and a student. The end of the year is so sad, yet so rewarding for me.

2. What is your favorite picture book?
My favorite picture book (out of all the picture books that I have read SO far) is Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth. I want an all-knowing panda named Stillwater… Really though, there are such amazing lessons to be learned in this book.

3. Who inspires you the most?
My grandmother inspires me the most. In an earlier post, I wrote about my nana's recent brain bleed and stroke. However… If you were to ask me this question five years ago, the answer still would have been the same. My nana is a true believer in education! Resiliency, creative, generous, and LOUD are just a few of the many words that best describe her. She used to tell me, "I love you more than all the stars in the sky," and I would reply with an "I love you more" phrase. So now… whenever we see each other, we just say...
4. If you could meet a famous person who has already died, who would it be and why?
As a child, I was really obsessed with Marilyn Monroe. She seems both sweet and sassy with a lot of great advice for women!

5. What is your favorite candy?

6. What is your favorite holiday you celebrate in your classroom?
I actually really enjoyed celebrating St. Nicholas Day in my classroom this past year. My grandmother and I made a shoe for each student out of paper & yarn. After I gave each of my firsties an empty shoe, we went in another room to read a story. When we came back to the classroom, St. Nicholas dropped off some special goodies! BUT it didn't stop there… my kiddos each got a dressed bear from special helpers in the North Pole.

7. Why did you start your blog?
I think it hit me when all I could talk about was my classroom to coworkers, friends, and family. Blogging is such a great way to communicate with people who really want to listen… about teaching that is. (:

8. What is one thing in your closet you could never give away?
In my closet… I would definitely say my "baby bear" blanket. I was a thumb sucker and blanket hugger back in the day. I could never give away something that brought such comfort to me as a child.

9. What is your favorite beverage?
I love me some grape juice!

10. What are three things that you love about the state you live in?
Three things I love about Ohio…
1) the sports' fans
2) the valleys and plains
3) the weather (NOT all the time, but we do get EVERY season!)

11. What is your favorite thing in your classroom?
I ADORE my book nook!!! It is the perfect place to gather. Here is a bit blurry photo of my book nook in August 2012… My OH MY!
11 Questions for me from Stacey:
1. How long have you been teaching?
This will be my second year teaching!

2. Did you always want to be a teaching? If not, what did you want to do?
I actually entered into college with physical training as my major (now I can laugh HAHA!). I was in denial about becoming a teacher… but within the first semester I came to my senses and switched to ECED!

3. What is your favorite thing about teaching?
Making personal connections with my students is by far my favorite thing about teaching. I treat my firsties like real people with real lives… I make sure they know that I have a life outside of the classroom too! I feel that it is important to understand on a deeper level who each child is and get to know them beyond academics alone.

4. How long have you been blogging for?
I have blogged since December 2012!!! I just now feel that I am getting the hang of it.

5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, no expense spared, where would you go?
My gut says Africa. I have always been interested in the diversity offered there and would love to go on a safari! Who wouldn't?!

6. Do you have a favorite techie tool or any techie advice? If yes, what is it?
I own an iPad that I do not use personally whatsoever… BUT I do plan to use it in my classroom this school year as we have just implemented a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy.

7. What is your favorite dessert?
I love popcorn and ice cream. Cold Stone is my guilty pleasure. DELICIOUS!

8. What is your favorite movie of all time?
It is a tie between 27 Dresses and Because I Said So!

9. What is your favorite holiday?
The spirit of Christmas makes me all warm and fuzzy inside… My grandmother dresses up as Mrs. Claus each year for the village she lives in. I used to be her elf!

10. Are you a dog person or a cat person?
I am most certainly a cat person. Not many people are these days… I love my kitty, Boo.
11. What is your favorite toy or doll from your childhood?
I remember having a mock Target cash register… My grandfather would play store with me. I wanted to be a cashier who scanned things… My papa would always make me count back the change (NOBODY does that anymore)!

11 random facts about myself…
1. I am the oldest of three girls.
2. I named my car Zoey.
3. I have my passport, but have never traveled outside the USA.
4. I want to visit San Fran again soon.
5. I grew up with 10 pets.
6. I LOVE ketchup, but HATE tomatoes.
7. I've only had jobs where I worked with children.
8. I am allergic to the adhesive on bandaids.
9. I've only applied to two colleges (1 for undergrad & 1 for masters).
10. I want to adopt one day.
11. The number 3 freaks me out… especially the number 33.

11 questions for my nominees:
1. How did you decide on your blog name?
2. What is the funniest thing that has happened to you at school?
3. When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
4. Where do you blog the best?
5. What is your biggest fear?
6. If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?
7. What is a food that you cannot live without?
8. Are you a morning or night person?
9. What is something on your bucket list that you plan to do sooner than later?
10. How do you celebrate your favorite holiday?
11. What is a motto you live by or would like to live by?

My nominees in no particular order:
Mrs. G at Teach on a Limb

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