Hi! I’m Erin.

  • Where do you find the majority of your teaching resources?

-I find the majority of my teaching resources online, but there isn’t one specific resource I go to the most often. Several teaching resources I use the most frequently are determined by my district’s adopted curriculum. While I use supplemental resources from all over, there are some underlying online and text book procedures I follow as a result of what our school has implemented.  With that being said, I love using Pinterest (I know, I know…me and every other teacher and mom on the planet), Teachers Pay Teachers, a variety of elementary school blogs run by teachers, and good old Google. Exploring new avenues by sorting through websites found in searches on Google and lists on Diigo, have been the way I’ve found some of my favorite classroom materials and ideas. This method sounds a bit “old school”, but it helps me generate new ideas and break up the monotony of visiting the same websites and using the same resources.

  • Who do you look to for support and research for new ideas?

-I look to a few people for support and research for new ideas, a close colleague of mine who is also a third grade teacher. We made a lot of decisions together, which allows us to constantly bounce ideas off of each other, and develop new and fun ways to reach out students. In addition, we use common assessments in our 3rd grade at FTS, so we consistently work collaboratively in order to make sure our standards are mastered, and that our student needs are met. My family is also a great place to look for support and help develop my ideas, because my parents and my husband are also teachers. My husband is an amazing listener, and I bounce all of my ideas off of him. He always gives me a fresh perspective, and his solution to a problem usually has a different approach than mine, which is a great asset when brainstorming.

  • What challenges do you face as you try to incorporate new ideas and research with your students? 

-While I do have freedom and space to create and develop ideas for my classroom, there are some expectations I need to fulfill because I’m part of a team. Besides this obvious roadblock that many teachers encounter, incorporating new ideas and research is difficult when you’re prepared for, and have done the leg work for something already.  For example, I might create a center for math that I felt was really amazing practice. I create, cut, laminate, instruct, show a routine…and then in a professional development a few months later I find an even better way to carry out that lesson or center for my students using a totally different technique. Keeping what I already had made would be the easiest solution, but the path of least resistance is not always the best one for our students. It takes a lot of time, planning, and motivation to constantly evolve, but dedicating time to research, and striving to change in order to implement best practices in our classroom is part of what we signed up for as educators.

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11 thoughts on “Hi! I’m Erin.

  1. Hi Erin,

    I feel your pain. My district and the new curriculum push have really limited what we can and can’t do. Meaning that everyone in all departments need to stay together, give the same assessments and keep an identical grade book. I really admire you work ethic being an elementary teacher. While I have fallen into middle school, I students taught second grade. You have to teacher all subjects and your planning time is very limited. Like you, my spouse is also a teacher. She is a great complement being a Language Arts teacher as I am more of a science/math teacher. I think the biggest support is a colleague or spouse that we can bounce ideas off of.

    Dan

  2. Hi Erin,
    I love that you also find great ideas on Pinterest. As a mom of a young toddler, it is great for that as well! I admire that you too incorportate new ideas into your teaching frequently. I look forward to see how you integrate technology into your elementary classroom!
    Brooke

  3. Hi Erin
    Thanks for your video. As a former 3rd grade teacher, I found myself getting a little bit frustrated as far as state testing was concerned. The student’s day was very much regimented and sketched out for them. I found that our creativity was limited with all the new demands. I was wondering if you have been seeing some of the same restrictions in your district and your state?

  4. Hi Erin,

    What a great thing to be able to rely on so much of your family for teaching support!

    I can completely understand the point you were making in the final paragraph. Lack of time is just one of those recurring obstacles that teachers deal with in just about every aspect of our profession. There never seems to be enough of it. Keeping up with new instructional strategies and fresh ideas, while necessary, is also time consuming. I would say it has been the toughest aspect of fully integrating technology into my curriculum that I have encountered. A few years ago, I decided to take on this goal by implementing one blended learning course for my students. Even though the more you integrate technology, the easier it gets, it still takes a very large time commitment. I think learning from peers in this type of course helps us learn and collect a large amount of relevant information in a shorter amount of time.

  5. Hi Jacqueline! I totally get working hard on something only to realize that there’s a better way! Last week I created a lesson in Nearpod, and soon realized that the tool was not a good choice for meeting the needs of the activity. I do my best to reflect on what went well and what didn’t, but that too takes time. Maybe this is because I’m a librarian, but I often feel like teaching is liken to a race- kids are forced to rush through learning without enough time to really get it! I just wish it all could slow down a bit.

  6. Hi, Erin,
    Many people think that teachers can just pull out a file for a content area, or a unit and do the same thing every year. With changing curriculum, new instructional strategies and students with different needs, every year is different. With the addition of the technology piece that is in constant evolution, the challenge is even greater. I like how you said, “the path of least resistance is not always the best one for our students.” We can never let “good enough” be what we do and that is a huge challenge for so many teacher with regard to time. It is something My colleagues and I struggle with daily! Great post, Erin!

  7. Hi, Erin,
    Many people think that teachers can just pull out a file for a content area, or a unit and do the same thing every year. With changing curriculum, new instructional strategies and students with different needs, every year is different. With the addition of the technology piece that is in constant evolution, the challenge is even greater. I like how you said, “the path of least resistance is not always the best one for our students.” We can never let “good enough” be what we do and that is a huge challenge for so many teacher with regard to time. It is something My colleagues and I struggle with daily! Great post, Erin!

    Not sure why my other comment said anonymous?

  8. Hi Erin, It must be nice to share with your spouse! Always to have someone to bounce ideas off of and who understands exactly what you are dealing with. I also love looking at and finding ideas on Pinterest. I forget about Teachers Pay Teachers but I know that is a great resource as well. -Trisha

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