From the Minds of 2 Beginning Teachers

Things We've Learned This Year

  • Creativity is an imporatant skill.
  • Collaboration is necessary for survival.
  • I am not a teacher, I am a facilitator.
  • High expectations = Success
  • Professional development is precious.
  • Leadership drives teaching careers.


Check out our class blogs to review our 2nd and 3rd years of teaching.

Amber Ballard

Meredith Wilson

Our Favorite Things

  • Smore: Create virtual flyers. (Research links, videos, photos, and more)
  • GoAnimate: Create virtual cartoons quickly. (Assessment or pose problems)
  • Pixton: Create comic strips. (Assessment)
  • Prezi: Beautiful presentations (Students LOVE making these)
  • Disney Create: Create flip books, photo mash ups, comic strips, and more!
  • Wonderopolis: The Wonder of the Day
  • Photo of the Day: National Geographic (Higher-order thinking, questioning)
  • Moodle: Our sharing hub
  • EdTechTeacher: Great website aligned with technolgy learning goals.


Top 10 Things New Teachers Should Know

As beginning teachers, we learned so many lessons about managing our classrooms and this crazy lifestyle. This article has 10 tips for beginning teachers that we would say are pretty accurate.


What Kind of Teacher Are You?

Read these to find out what kind of teacher you are... Funny!

1. Crazy Teacher

This is the teacher whose class you don’t miss. The one that roller skates into class on the first day of school tossing out goodie bags of highlighters and breath mints, and swigs Mountain Dew right out of the 2-liter bottle before putting it back in her purse.

2. Talkative Teacher

While being talkative can stifle a student’s opportunity to learn—students do their best to keep the Talkative Teacher going: the more the teacher talks, the less students have to work. Winning!

3. Rebel Teacher

This is the one who mocks the principal when they turn their back, thumbs their nose at “the state,” and encourages students to stand on their desks and rip their SpringBoard book into pieces. Viva la rebel!

4. Fire-and-Brimstone

If you do not learn to read Chaucer or solve theorems with the same urgency as the Fire-and-Brimstone teacher, you’ll fail. At life.

5. Displaced College Professor

This is the K-12 teacher that grew up dreaming of teaching Emily Dickinson at Stanford, but instead teaches band at Mudhen Middle School, and hasn’t quite come to grips with it all.

6. The Over-Achiever

This is the teacher that has to have their class first at everything: first in fundraising, first to the lunchroom, first in reading goals, first in parent participation, and first to every PLC meeting–everything graded, in alphabetical order, with a “research-based strategy” ready to start the meeting. All in the name of education and “school spirit,” of course.

7. The Forgetful Teacher

The Forgetful Teacher forgets everything. That they scheduled an exam, to grade the exams, to go to the library, to collect field trip money, to give the questionnaire, and so on. This teacher is closely related to the “swimming in papers” teacher. In fact, they’re good friends.

8. Late Teacher

The Late Teacher is rarely punctual, but of course insists on better from their students. They start class late, hand back work late, and sometimes even arrive to school late, lugging papers and books while the students line up at the door.

9. Tech Addict

The Tech Addict loves technology—more than books, tests, and even their own children, they instead fawn over the latest gadgets. The Tech Addict is often guilty of unnecessarytechimplementationisis, a common ailment that arises when technology is used with little to no real learning gain, primarily for the sake of tech itself.

10. The Repetitive Teacher

The Repetitive Teacher, well, they repeat themselves over and over again, often shuffling around the words a bit for effect, but ultimately taking 10 minutes to explain one simple idea.

11. Long-term Sub

Ah, the difficult plight of the long-term sub. They are teachers but are not teachers, stuck in some awful limbo of establishing the classroom as “theirs,” or doing what they’re told and going home. Either way, they don’t get paid enough for that hot mess.

12. O Captain! My Captain!

This teacher sees themselves as the savior for the students, and invites melodrama at every opportunity, full of rhetorical appeal and unnecessary lectures on effort and the future.

13. The Swimming-in-Papers Teacher

The Swimming-in-Papers teacher loses essays, often forgets to hand back even graded work, and takes home a huge stack of On-Demand essays every evening with the noble intent of grading them all while watching Honey Boo Boo, never having discovered the miracle of the paper clip.

14. Get-off-my-lawn Teacher

Teaching was better back in their day. And so were the New York Yankees. No newfangled social media contraptions, standardized tests, or dagbern smartphones. Get off their lawn—and take your iPad with you.

15. Diet Coke Addict

Diet Coke is the new coffee, and the Diet Coke Addict will bring down a wildebeest with their bare hands to get their fix. Without it, they are irritable, forgetful, distractible, and fun to harass.

16. Cool Teacher

The Cool Teacher can remind you of the TMI teacher at times, but they stop just short of that. Rather, the Cool Teacher knows what’s cool—clothing, music, pop culture references, all of it. They #hashtag quiz grades and create Lil Wayne analogies to explain complex chemistry problems, treating their teaching career as a second chance to be the cool kid in school.

17. Overly-Authoritative Teacher

This teacher will nail you to the wall for even a poorly timed sigh. Classroom management is the foundation for a high-functioning learning environment. Now get with the program maggots!

18. Hippie Teacher

Made famous by Beavis and Butthead, the Hippie Teacher plays Neil Young in the classroom, wears flowing skirts or sports a shaggy beard, and is the only car in the parking lot with a carpeted dashboard. Peace, love, and moonbeams.

19. TMI Teacher

TMI teacher gives too much information to the students: favorite sitcoms, their facebook “friends,” or the source of their heartburn.

20. The Suck-Up

The Suck-Up lives for times when the principal or other teachers are in the room. The tone of the classroom changes dramatically when an administrator visits and they invent incredible clunky questions to try to demonstrate the “rigor” of their classroom, only to fail miserably as the students get lost in the confusion, and the principal is fooled nary a bit.


by Jeff Foxworthy

1. You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line.

2. You get a secret thrill out of laminating something.

3. You walk into a store and hear the words 'It's Ms/Mr. _________' and know you have been spotted.

4. You have 25 people that accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another.

5. You can eat a multi-course meal in under twenty-five minutes.

6. You've trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day: lunch and prep period.

7. You start saving other people's trash, because most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom.

8. You believe the teachers' lounge should be equipped with a margarita machine.

9. You want to slap the next person who says 'Must be nice to work 7 to 3 and have summers off.'

10. You believe chocolate is a food group.

11. You can tell if it's a full moon without ever looking outside.

12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says 'Boy, the kids sure are mellow today.'

13. You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public.

14. You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin.

15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.

16. You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own children.

17. You can't pass the school supply aisle without getting at least five items!

18. You ask your friends if the left hand turn he just made was a 'good choice or a bad choice.'

19. You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils.

20. You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer and finally,

21. You understand instantaneously why a child behaves a certain way after meeting the parents

Contact Us

Dana Elementary School

Amber Ballard, 2nd-3rd grade looping teacher, ballarda@henderson.k12.nc.us

Meredith Wilson, 1st grade teacher, mplount@henderson.k12.nc.us