Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Your Questions Answered

As you hopefully read in my Goals for 2019 post from yesterday, I am hoping to be more engaged with y’all in the coming year. While I enjoy putting together posts that contain highlights, tips for you to use, or styled photos, I’ve always prided myself on making sure to be real with you. Oftentimes I think I am doing a better job at this than I actually am. One way that I can be better about this is making sure to answer questions y’all may have for me. I asked for questions from y’all a few times on Instagram and compiled them here to share my answers for you here. The questions are all over the place but hopefully, provide you with a more personal look at my thoughts while sharing a little bit about me. 

Do you see yourself going back into the classroom?
Never say never, but in the near future, I don’t see myself going back into the classroom. While I am thankful for the grit I learned during my short tenure in the classroom, I am so much happier doing what I do now. Students deserve teachers who are genuinely passionate about their profession, and my passion was split between teaching and more creative endeavors, like blogging. Maybe one day I’ll consider it but that one day will likely be in the distant future. 

What was it like to balance grad school and your first year of teaching?
It’s hard to answer this since it was the only thing I knew while teaching. I don’t think that the graduate program I was in was all that taxing, but instead, it was tricky because I felt like if I ever felt like I had a break from teaching I should be spending that time focused on being a student. I definitely felt a bit of burnout with all things school related because of that. The other challenging aspect was that even as hired full-time teachers because we were grad students we still had professors in and out of our classrooms. That can be hard when you’re trying to gain credibility as a young teacher with students and parents alike. I am really glad that I got my masters when I did and that the program was offered since it would’ve been a lot harder to motivate myself to go back for another degree when I wasn’t already used to being in school. 

Any tips for someone who is starting an elementary education internship in January?
Write down everything. Anything you see being done in a classroom that you like or could see being used in an engaging way is worth saving. Take photos of rules, decorations, routines, anything since you’ll want as many ideas as possible when eventually setting up your own classroom and preparing for your own students. If you’re student teaching be consistent with the expectations already in place in a classroom and DO NOT try to uproot these to implement your own. A friend did this, and it did not turn out well and created a lot of tension between her and her cooperating teacher. Lastly, step away on the weekends. I was so bad about this at the beginning and would enter into the work week still mentally exhausted which was never good. It will all get done, but you have got to take a break. 

What was the biggest difference between undergrad and grad school?
I feel like the biggest difference between undergrad, and grad school was the workload. While in college being a student was my job. I took my assignments very seriously and gave most of them the amount of time they deserved. Since I was doing grad school at the same time as teaching, I didn’t think of grad school as my job as much. I did my assignments well enough but wouldn’t spend longer than needed doing them. I also felt like with grad school the amount of work wasn’t nearly as rigorous and I probably could have paid attention better in class, but I still ended with all A’s so I don’t regret those occasional Pinterest breaks or building an online resume during one of my summer classes. 

Where is the best place to get your hair done in Birmingham?
I’ve only gotten my hair cut once in Birmingham so far, and I went to Salon 43 One. I’d definitely go back there but would also be open to other suggestions. If you happen to be in Greenville, SC, please go to The Beautiful Co. because I miss it! 

What are your new year goals?
Check them out here

What advice do you have for college graduates?
Know that your first year out of college is an adjustment. Some of y’all may have a head start on this (we lived on campus all four years so even simply paying bills was a new-ish thing for me) but you will have a lot more responsibility and with that independence. I also can say that despite not being happy and having fun at my job I had a lot of fun my first year out. Join a kickball league or find something social to do regardless of if you know people where you live or not. Be inclusive and maybe even a little more outgoing than normal if you’re on the hunt for friends. Maybe I’ll do a whole post on this in the Spring since so many different ideas are coming to mind, but I don’t want them to come across as word vomit. 

What are some things that surprised you about changing career paths?
The biggest surprise for me was how at ease I was the night before the first day of my new job. I think that was one of the first of many telltale signs that I had made the right choice to switch. I am also surprised I got hired as silly as that sounds since I feel like all of the people in my office know so much more about the magazine industry than I do. Fortunately, everyone is incredibly friendly and more than willing to answer questions when I have them. 

Favorite things to do in Birmingham?
Eat. I really don’t feel like I’ve fully done Birmingham justice in fully exploring it, but I don’t plan to leave anytime soon so I’ll be able to continue to discover more that I love about the city. In the friend making process we had people over a lot, but now that we have established some friends maybe we will start to go out and explore more. Recently I’ve tried more great restaurants and bars, and hopefully, eventually I’ll feel like I’ve tried enough places to make my own Birmingham guide. 

I’m coming to Fairhope in July, what are some fun things to do? 
Welcome! For those of you that don’t know, I grew up in Fairhope, Alabama on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. I have a whole post about my favorite places in Fairhope here and would love for you to enjoy using it as a suggestion. 

I hope that was a fun way for y'all to learn a little bit more about me. If you ever have any questions feel free to email me or DM me on Instagram! 

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