Catching Up & What’s Coming Up – Changes for Addicted To Teaching

May 9, 2023

May is always a hectic time of year for our family as we wrap up our son’s school year and complete state testing, as well as my own since I am a teacher. Even though I teach year round, many students are trying to finish before summer, while several are starting my course for either a summer activity or to play catch up for school before fall.

We are back at our home base this month to accomplish these tasks, some family business, and take care of doctor’s appointments since we will be traveling around until fall. Anytime we are at home base, it seems to be a busy time with seeing everyone and tackling projects while we have all the tools and helping hands.

Last week we added to the mix our nearly 16 year old doxie falling gravely ill from her kidney disease progressing, so we made the difficult decision to put her down while we were home. She is now laid to rest next to her sister, our doxie, Angel, that passed a few years ago, on the family property. It’s been an emotional week, and inspiration to write was even harder to come by.

I also started a YouTube channel for cooking in the RV since we are total foodies on a budget and my allergies are a battle, so that has been taking up time. I’ve only just started posting there, but I would love if you would subscribe to There Is Always Takeout.

Over the years, this blog that has evolved from purely teaching to all things life, which is prompting a change. My husband has a blog and website for our traveling family, so we have decided to join forces and combine blogs.

Over the next several days, we will be exporting blogs from Addicted to Teaching and importing them to Barnes On The Move since writing is more my thing and video is more his. This will allow us to work towards a common goal and share the load. I’d love if you’d take the time to click over to our travel page and subscribe and interact there! We are still going to keep our social media pages as well, so you can follow and interact there (details below).

So, you will see this page fade away from your inbox in the near future, but I will still be posting about Food on YouTube, TikTok & Instagram, and we will post about traveling and family on Facebook, TikTok & Instagram. I’d love if you would take the time to follow along on the new journey, but if you were only here for education, I certainly understand if you won’t be joining us there. I wish you all the best and thank you for your support on this blog over the years!

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find us on Facebook, TikTok & Instagram @barnesonmove or follow our adventures at

April teacher life

April 29, 2023

Another month has gone by and most teachers are keeping count to the last day of school–seriously, just ask! (I am a 12 month teacher, so my classroom is a revolving door of new and completing students–sadly no count for me!)

This month is full of activity. Many schools are beginning their 4th quarter, the last term of the year. Which means simultaneously trying to get students to finish strong, prepare for end of year and state testing, and stay focused since brains are often beginning into shutdown mode.

Evaluations are wrapping up and end of year meetings are taking place to finalize evaluations and lock in our status for the year.

And, for much of us, at least in North America, we are also dealing with Spring and all that the season entails, like allergies and germs.

Oh, and we are also starting to think about next year, as much for our students as for us.

Conversations with students are starting to revolve around expectations, goals, transitions for their upcoming grade. Much of the curriculum is amping up in complexity–simultaneously tying the year together and preparing for the next level of skills. Some students are progressing quickly, some are struggling…some are acting like they were just dropped in and have no idea what we have been doing all year.

My favorite part of these conversations with students is that there is less focus on what to do and correction. It is beginning to talk more about the why and how, escalating to ways they can expand, and even interject a bit of themselves into their work. This is great so we are able to spend more time with the students struggling, for a variety of reasons, and help them progress and prepare for the next year.

And, if you’re lucky, they are starting to see you as a real human being–not just the crazy person in raggedy clothes they bump into at the grocery store or home improvement store when you ran out real quick, hoping not to see anyone.

If it has been a challenging year, some teachers are beginning to look at their exit strategy. Other opportunities at their school, within their district, or an entirely different career field.

For successful teachers, they may be looking at presentations of offers to advance into leadership, either from within the classroom, or at a higher level.

No matter which choice they are looking at, it can all be challenging, especially if trying to make changes discretely.

Now is also the time to begin thinking about your materials. Begin sorting out what to keep, what to part with, what you will need to replenish for next year, how you may want to structure lessons and connections for next year. A journal can help gather these thoughts and have them to refer to in the last month when supply orders and packing are on a an already truncated to do list.

So, as we wind this month down, take a breath, enjoy the last few moments of quiet and connection. Next month, the wild ride begins of testing, packing, wrapping up, and planning promotion and retentions.

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Make Time For the Struggling Student

April 1, 2023

Our world can be such a paradox, especially when it comes to education. Every student is an individual, with knowledge, skills and struggles uniquely their own.

For some, those struggles may required education plans to help them demonstrate their learning and show just how capable and intelligent they truly are. For others, those struggles could have nothing to do with academics, but interfere with them nonetheless.

But, a school environment also has very rigid structure and requirement that can sometimes contradict the student’s learning needs, and stifle their emotional or social needs.

We also see this in the everyday world as adults–embrace our individuality while also trying to fit into society’s everchanging norms.

I won’t dive into that subject today, but focus, instead on how we can support the student that is still learning how to fit into the world because they are still learning who they are and what they are capable of.

History is riddled with stories about people, including children, who didn’t fit an image of what they should be. It took them time to find who they were as a person and what their unique talents are.

The prodigal son that left and returned after having squandered his inheritance, being celebrated by dad and despised by the sibling that stayed and worked.

David, who was weak and yet killed Goliath with a sling and a stone, then became a great King.

Albert Einstein who didn’t speak until he was 5 years old, but went on to win a Nobel Prize.

Oprah Winfrey who was born into poverty and endured unspeakable acts as a child, only to grow up into the entrepreneur and philanthropist she is today.

So, how can we do the same thing with our students, even if on a much smaller scale?

TALK TIMES Students are humans that have stresses and worries of their own and they need a chance to talk about them, whether to seek advice and guidance, or to just vent out loud. Allowing some free talk time with peers throughout the week for a few minutes can be good. Sincerely checking in on them and asking about their game last night or their vacation after a break and listening gives them this chance and shows them they are valuable and someone wants to hear them. If they have deeper concerns, be sure to have access to a guidance counselor they can talk to as well, and let them know that sometimes we all need help and need to talk to someone.

MENU ACTIVITIES When it comes to learning strategies and demonstrating mastery of a skill, allowing students to choose from a variety of options that fit their comfort zone, interests, or skillset will allow them to truly show what they know and measure the skill you are looking for. Sometimes in life there is only one way to do something–a driver’s test requires driving an actual car on an actual road; standardized testing requires answering questions on a computer most times–but sometimes there are other options. Be open to alternatives so you can really see your student shine. This also helps when there are certain things that need to be done a particular way, they learn how to do that as well, but can concede that they will still have other times to show their individuality in their work.

OPEN OFFICE TIMES Having a time for a student to stop by your classroom, your zoom room, or call you (if you are not in a physical school campus with them) can create opportunities for students to reach out with questions if they aren’t comfortable during class time. It will also make them more likely to reach out if they don’t think they will be bothering you. I’ve used this technique for years and have had students pop in to say hi, chat about an issue they couldn’t bring up in class, ask a quick question on an assignment, or even get hands on time for a project they were completely lost on or didn’t have resources or space to work on at home and used my classroom. This is an additional step that truly shows students they are valuable and their unique learning style is okay and you will still support them.

LISTENING Not all students want an answer or solution, sometimes they just want to be heard without judgement and acknowledged by someone that their feelings or thoughts are okay. By actively listening to them–repeating what they said, acknowledging their feeling or thought–can go a long way in helping them work through a situation. I’ve had students in my room crying over a break up, and saying with an eye roll ” I know, I know, I’m young and it isn’t real love yet” and I let them know that if it is real to them, then it is real. My life experience level is different than theirs and not a fair comparison. I’ve had students also come in and feel they weren’t being challenged in class, they were placed based on test scores in remedial class but had been ill or lost a family member during testing and weren’t focused. So we talked about what we could do to challenge them and help them grow as a student, or even appeal on their behalf to change their course level with evidence of their learning.

RESPECT This is always my #1 unbreakable rule in my classroom, and life in general. If we show respect to everyone and everything, all the other rules and guidelines pretty much take care of themselves. Respecting a student and their situation, thoughts, feelings, or work is crucial to their development of both self-esteem and social etiquette. We won’t always agree with them, but we can still respect them and learn from them. I am not the person I was 16 years ago when I went searching for my first teaching job out of college, and part of that is because I learned, not only from professional training, but from my students. And that respect was acknowledged and reciprocated by my students and their families more often than not.

GRACE Students will make mistakes, lose their cool, refuse to work, or be mean sometimes. But we are the same way. Having grace when someone snaps or doesn’t work is crucial to changing the negative behavior into a positive outcome and learning from it. When a student is frustrated and yells out that something is stupid in class. Instead of getting onto them for the outburst, quietly go to them and give them a pass to a quiet place to regroup, or if it won’t escalate things, invite them into the hallway or office for a quick check in. Acknowledge and give them a chance to clarify. “It sounds like you are upset about something. What’s going on?” Let them vent, then ask what they should have done instead of yelling out and let them do that. Also, clearly state your forgiveness and your support for their success, and invite them to tell you another way next time they have an issue.

I can’t stress enough that our role as educators is to educate students, but that isn’t always just “reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic”, sometimes that will also be building character and helping them become who they are meant to be. Take the time to see them as individuals and be there for them, it can make a world of difference to them, and they can make a difference in the world.

And remember to do this for everyone, not just students in your classroom. Helping someone in need can have a huge impact in their world as an individual, and the world around them as a whole. If their struggle is beyond your expertise, then be there with them and guide them to someone that can help them through their struggles, don’t ignore it and let it grow to something uncontrollable. Be a helper, even in the little ways.

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tik Tok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or our adventures at, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

Thoughts From a Teacher’s Life – March

March 25, 2023

As I am writing this at the end of my Spring Break week off, having gone from hot weather, to freezing weather, and back to hot weather again, I am reflecting on how fast time goes by. When I was little, I would wish for a day or an event to get here faster. I did that once in front of my grandmother and she told me not to wish time away, the older I got the faster it would move. I have absolutely found that to be true as I have gotten older, and I think that has to do with how much we fit into our daily life, or how big our world gets around us as we grow.

In this season of transition, it is no different in the classroom. As the weather changes, so do the students and how they work and act.

Since it’s a Spring Break month most years, it starts off with students eagerly anticipating the holiday and talking about plans, whether to travel or sleep. By the end of the month and after the break, it finds us gearing up for that one last push through the last quarter and into summer.

Students have settled into their social groups and the classroom culture has leveled off, so most days flow with a great routine at this point. They are really getting the hang of being a <insert grade level here>’er and can manage most routine tasks pretty well.

In middle school, my specialty, the sixth graders are shaking out of that elementary mentality and can handle a lot more independence and make better decisions, but are becoming more hormonal and losing their minds. The seventh graders are starting to become a bit more human again, getting past the enraged hormonal creature that has consumed them for the last year and turning into pretty awesome people. The eighth graders are a bit more confident in who they are now, but have a middle school version of senioritis and can’t stop talking about how they can wear what they want or do what they want next year in high school. For those that applied for choice or specialty programs for next year, they are also getting their letters of acceptance, or rejection, and preparing for that transition as well.

At this point in the month, St. Patrick’s Day has passed so the pinching has stopped and the bruises are starting to heal as the green “temporary” hair dye is starting to finally wash out.

There are a few that are becoming nostalgic, already seeing all the changes coming into their life as the school year wraps up, testing, dances, award ceremonies, graduations, preparation for next year–and they are asking more questions.

As they figure out who they are, friendships end, begin, or even strengthen, as do relationships of who is “dating” who. But they do everything in groups, so how it’s even dating is beyond me, other than the nickname for their contact card in their phone.

As you prepare your classroom for the last quarter, I would suggest getting ahead on your lesson plans for the rest of the school year and have them at least drafted out and the master copy in a folder for copy day. This helps so much as you navigate through testing and awards and activities that consume so much time. Don’t forget to have a few games or refresher activities at the ready for those extended hold times to keep them engaged.

This is also a great time of year to start taking inventory of what you have or haven’t used in your classroom supplies, lesson materials, and decorations. You can also start decluttering some of these items and have ready for new teachers that will be coming in.

If you are thinking of a career change or a subject/grade/school change, this is also the time to take inventory of your wants and needs and what is out there. Jobs will start opening up soon and you may be getting your letters of intent to stay or go soon.

Formal evaluations are also in full swing, so if you haven’t done yours yet, be sure to get it wrapped up quickly! If you have already done it, ay for you! Now sit back and enjoy the ride until summer!

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader or our adventures at, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

Are Non-Traditional Schooling Options For You?

February 18, 2023

I have had a lot of conversations with other parents lately and have been researching for our own family about schooling for our kiddo. Many of us are wondering about options. For so long, we could only choose between public school and private school, with little to no influence over things, even if we were actively involved in the PTA or the school.

But there is so much more out there, if you dig, know what questions to ask, and ask enough questions to find answers. I am by no means an expert, I’m barely above a novice outside of public school. But I wanted to give you a starting point on resources and options. This information is entirely based on my home state of Florida. If you live in a different state, please research your own state as these can vary greatly.

If you choose an option outside of public or private school, in Florida, you can still have your child involved in extracurricular activities at the local school, so don’t think that they won’t have access, they can!

If you are military, know these options do exist for you, as well, based on your home of record, so the on base DOD school isn’t your only option either.

If you are a nomadic or full-time RV family, but have a home as a home base, you may also be able to use these options, but it will depend on your situation–you will need a physical home in the school district and a utility bill or lease agreement with whomever you stay with when at home.

PUBLIC SCHOOL This is the most common option. For many, this is the best choice since it is free and provides supervision for your child during the day while you are working. Students will need to complete learning within predetermined time limits based on the school calendar, academic learning maps from the school district, and other state mandated lessons (health, bullying, smoking, etc.) that are worked into the curriculum. Class sizes and school assignment will be based on state guidelines. Students will participate in state standardized testing and will be placed in class levels based on these scores. While you do have the option to opt out, it can be difficult to do so and there can be challenges, such as limited opportunity to advanced classes. If this is something you are interested in doing, research your state, find the opt out coalition and talk to them, and openly communicate with your teacher and guidance counselor so proper documentation can be kept for promotion.

PRIVATE SCHOOL This option is often the alternative families choose when they don’t want to opt for public school. Many private schools are based on religion, so faith-based education is incorporated into their daily learning. There is often a tuition involved with this option. However, some private schools do also accept government funding for education for incorporating certain aspects, such as state standardized testing, scholarships for students that can’t afford tuition, and other public school requirements. When choosing a school, be sure to ask questions about their funding and state compliances so you know if this is something you will need to consider. From some friends I know that chose private schools that did these things, they often felt like it was just like public school, except they could have religion and were paying tuition for it.

VIRTUAL SCHOOL This option means your child will do all of their education via online classes. In our state, there are both full time and flex options, and there are school district virtual schools as well as a separate school district that is entirely virtual. In full time, they will have structured times, days and classes to take and follow a school calendar with deadlines–it is a public school so will follow similar aspects of private school, including state testing and mandated lessons. The flex options allow you to choose which classes, how many at a time, and when your child will work, reaching out for support from their teacher as needed, or to comply with communication requirements. So long as you meet the grade level requirements to complete/graduate from that level you have control. There will be course records and transcripts and state standards for you to keep on file and show documentation of complying with requirements. You can also decide on state testing options as well, but be sure to communicate with the virtual guidance counselor and your school district’s home school options to be clear.

HOMESCHOOLING If you are able to keep your child at home with you or a family member, this is the option that many choose. You are able to teach your children the content you’d like, in the time span you’d like, in a method that works with their learning style. There are a variety of curriculums to use, most require purchase, or you can create your own. This method often requires annual certification to be signed off on by a certified teacher or a homeschool liaison.

UNSCHOOLING (FLORIDA) This is a fairly new option and is gaining in popularity. This option is set up as a private school to which your provide minimal documentation to register, then you can enroll in a virtual school’s flex program. Because it is a private school, state standardized testing isn’t required and you only have to meet the minimum academic requirements. As of the date of this article, there is no fee for this, although donations are accepted since it is a small operation. As it gains in popularity, this could change.

RECORD KEEPING I recommend keeping excellent records, no matter which form of education you choose. The term used in the education system will be “portfolio”. Documentation of learning, grades, communications, etc. This is especially important if you are choosing one of the non-traditional methods other than public or private school. This can be a simple binder showing what was learned and when, scores, and work samples, at a minimum. Keeping a paper and digital copy is also recommended, so if you need to provide emailed documentation or there is a digital storage failure, you are prepared in both cases.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to withdraw your student from their current academic setting and enroll in the new option, or provide a letter of intent to the local district. Should you relocate to a new state or district as your permanent home of record, be sure to also update both the old and new districts with the information. This will save you time and headaches in the future.

Start Early!! I can’t stress this enough. Schools are always planning a semester ahead, this is a good idea for you, as well. If you are looking for changes the next fall, start exploring and getting set up in the spring before school is out for summer–this will make contacting people easier and save you the beginning of year crowds for those that do wait, or had to wait.

For the sake of length, I kept this pretty brief and focus on a preview of major options. Be sure to do your own independent research on enrollment for your county, graduation requirements, testing coordination and opting out, as well as specifics to your child’s grade level and any special needs they have. My first draft, I tried to include it all and it was just too much for one post.

None of this information is privileged and it is all available by public record and able to locate by a simple internet search, if you ask the right questions. This is by no means a comprehensive reference, but more a starting point to help you have more meaningful conversations with your family or your child’s school as you explore options. As with any information, things can change from year to year. Be sure to research further with your school district and the Department of Education so you have a complete picture.

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Thoughts From a Teacher’s Life – February

February 15, 2023

Whew, we are past Valentine’s Day and I hope that you have all survived, or are healing well.

If you have never taught, or never taken over a class midyear, here’s an analogy: It’s like walking into a den of lions to train them for a circus, but they have been starved for a week and you were soaking in a raw meat bath all day.

It can be intense, to say the least.

This shortest month of the year is packed with the holiday of love. Sure to distract from even the most engaging of lessons as students go through the life cycle of crushes. Do they like me? Are we “dating” (i.e., publicly being seen together as a we/us/they instead of individually, whether any actual dates take place)? Then there are the over the top gifts between sweethearts and friends. The inevitable school policy dictating how and where deliveries will go and be stored. And, let’s not forget, the lost class time sobbing in the bathroom or visiting the nurse or counselor as they recover from their broken heart.

And then we have the President’s Day 3 day weekend. Yay. A break!

Keeping the students focused around the drama this month can be a challenge. But the sweet little Valentine cards and trinkets that some students give you–either as a big production so everyone knows, discretely placed on your desk when no one is looking, or lingers after everyone else left so no one knows they actually like their teacher.

I always find gifts from students to be something cherished, especially in middle school and as their Reading/Language Arts teacher that no one liked. Most of my students came from low income families, so gifting wasn’t always possible. Some items, I could tell, were secondhand items they found for me or were passing on. The handmade items crafted from the heart, whether they had artistic ability or not made me misty-eyed, knowing the effort and thought put into it. I don’t remember if it was Valentine’s or not, but I’ll never forget the student that brought me a Dr Pepper (my favorite) that he had bought and kept sitting on his dresser all weekend to bring me. He had only enough money for one when he went to the store, and, as much as he wanted one for himself, he opted to save it for me instead. I still get tears in my eyes thinking of it, especially since he recently contacted me and told me he was graduating, in spite of having dropped out.

Instead of fighting against what their focus is this month, how can you incorporate it into the learning and help them engage and retain their skills.

I’d love to know if you are the teacher that decorates and embraces the holiday or does not. Comment below or find me on social media and let me know!

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find us on Facebook @BarnesOnMove, Tiktok & Instagram @BarnesOnMove OR @BarnesOnMove2, or our website

Thoughts From A Teacher’s Life – January

February 4, 2023

I know, it’s February, and I am writing about January, but it’s just that kind of month in the education world.

You’re coming out of a holiday break where you more than likely overate or filled your schedule too full. Or you went entirely the other direction and binge watched Netflix series you were behind on, going days on end living off of what survived in your fridge and wearing the same pajamas. There’s very little in between.

Then throw in that most school districts pay teachers on the end of the pay period, right before vacation, but don’t pay you again until the end of January, the end of the next pay period. That means that, if you didn’t think to put it into savings and leave it alone for a very long 5-week month, your car is on fumes and your pantry and fridge looks like something after the onset of a Zombie Apocalypse.

If you’re not an educator, you are thinking I am crazy.

If you are an educator, I could here your resounding YESSS from here.

So, as we return the first week of January, we are trying to contend with all these things, those waning New Year’s Resolutions we set, along with preparing for a new semester.

Back to school in January means sleepy kiddos that are out of their routines that we need to get back into their zone. We need to review what we covered last semester since they will promise you they learned absolutely nothing in your classroom. We also will welcome in new students that moved over the break, got schedule changes, or are starting a new class if your course is only one semester.

It’s like starting a new school year all over again, except, since you have already done one semester, you may know them and their habits, are already in your routines and your room is set up. Compare to a hangover, of sorts.

As you are dealing with all of these things, you are also dealing with yo-yo weather, no matter where you live. Parents and students trying to locate lost winter garments, trips to the lost and found box, or worse, creating a lost and found spot in your own room that resembles a department store after a sale and everything is everywhere.

Oh, and did I mention, you may have forgotten all of their names, too?

I worked so hard to learn student names that go with the correct student faces and then the holiday rush usually cleared the mind of the names. I never forget their faces, and, luckily, I am Southern, so I can get away with “kiddo”, “hun”, “sweetie”, and other such endearing terms that show them I care and they are important, without revealing I have forgotten their name. It took me several years, but I learned to take a picture of the classroom for a “seating chart” and have their photo and name together, then review them the day before they came back. Works great, until they change the schedule, or you have multiple sets of twins.

But, something happens to the kids over break. The reality of the next year starts setting in and many of them start to mature a bit from who they were last semester. They know your idiosyncrasies and either know what you expect, or work adamantly to get on that last nerve you resolved to do away with.

This is the point in the year where they know what they are doing and can do many things automatically. They are excited about their own resolutions and what this year will hold for them.

Since middle school is where I have spent my career, this is where I start to see the timid and shy 6th graders gain confidence. The awkward and bored 7th graders find themselves and something they value and begin focusing. the arrogant 8th graders become leaders to the younger students in an effort to earn good karma since their next step is as a high school freshman, and it will be their last fresh start of their childhood. It’s a magical transition I look forward to, and gear my lessons, activities and projects towards. I am sure there are similar experiences for both elementary age and high school age, as well.

But, in spite of those stocking stuffers of fancy colorful pens, post its or a replenishment of pencils, it won’t take long before they have run out of supplies and are hitting the classroom supply station.

And, just when they are getting into a routine, the excitement of a 3 day weekend and all the festivities of Martin Luther King Jr Day are kicking in, throwing us out of our rhythm again. That is, if you found it with all the mid-year testing schedules.

Education is a constant ebb and flow of change and transition, but something about January seems to emphasize it a bit more.

It’s a refreshing feeling to get to the end of the month and settle back into a routine…just in time for February to roll in and the Valentine’s Day insanity to begin.

But that’s a blog for next month…

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Welcoming New Students Midyear

January 30, 2023

While the calendar may tell us it is a new year, it is the middle of the school year and the start of a new semester. This is also a time of year that families may transition to a new location or a new school, so there is bound to be a shift to your student roster.

You may also teach a one semester class, so a complete overhaul in your roster is on the agenda.

These can cause a shift in the dynamics of your classroom by introducing or removing new players. This can also mean a shift in teaching if you teach thematically, or if they may not have been up to the same pacing at their prior school as your classroom is.

Before you stress, let’s talk about some of the things you can do to prepare in advance for these transitions. The bonus is, these can also be at the ready for the beginning of the year!

WELCOME KIT This is something that can be made in advance and several copies kept on hand. This should include your welcome letter home, some activities to do to get to know them and what they know about your content.

LETTER HOME Include a brief description of your classroom syllabus, expectations, how you do things–if you can make a video with a QR code, even better! Then they can see you and you can give them a tour of the room and them around. Keep it brief–under 5 minutes is best. Also include information on how they can contact you, how to check grades, what to do if they are absent, etc.

SURVEY This should be about the student. What name do they go by, who do they live with, how do they like you to communicate with them in class, at home, contact parents, interests, and what they think you should know about them.

PHONE CALL/CONFERENCE Within the first week, make contact home! Introduce yourself, ask if they got the welcome kit and letter, if they have questions and what you can do to help with the transition. Make sure you both have each other’s contact info, whether that’s email or a Google voice number for texting/calling (never use your personal one, keep life separate!).

WELOME TEAM Creating a welcome team at your school or classroom can be a great way to have a unified plan across the campus for when new students come in, especially if you live in a transient area. Inviting students as ambassadors to show them around, especially those that have been new students themselves, can really help create an inviting and helpful bond as they adjust, even having lunch bunch meetings to talk about how they are adapting or issues they may be dealing with and need help with, or even an intervention. Let them attend these as long as they need to and allow them to decide when they no longer need the support.

DON’T DO’S Whatever you do, don’t make the student feel like they are under a microscope. Avoid the introductions publicly, the forced sharing. It’s awkward enough being new, this can make it worse. Creating opportunities for them to interact is different and okay, just don’t force them into it in the first day.

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find us on Facebook @BarnesOnMove, Tiktok & Instagram @BarnesOnMove OR @BarnesOnMove2, or our website

Never Quit On a Bad Day

January 21, 2023

I remember being told these words early on in my teaching career. It had been a rough year with a rough group of kids. It was time to put in our intent letters (letters telling administration we want to stay at the school and subject for the next school year). I was contemplating leaving education and was venting to my mentor, seeking guidance and wisdom.

She told me there would always be years where the kids came to me behind academically and with life issues that were more important than the education I was trying to give them. I wasn’t going to solve their problems and I may not see them learning what I taught, let alone improving their test scores, but that wasn’t worth quitting over.

She said to come back anyway. The next group could be better, and would definitely be different. I could try new approaches and techniques and use what I learned in this difficult year to not only make me a better person and refine my own craft, but be a better person and teacher for the students coming to me and present learning in a different way.

I listened to what she said. I came back.

That next year, I was moved up 2 grades and had kids I had before that were so excited to be in my class again. It made a huge difference.

And I did try new techniques and refined my craft. Not only was I a better person, I was a better teacher and got to improve on what I’d started with students I already had a connection with.

Years later, I still apply this to my life–not only my career, but my hobbies and personal experiences, even relationships.

I even apply this to RV life and travel. If we have a bad experience, we figure out why and continue on. Even on the worst days, there is still more I want to see, do, share, experience, and accomplish.

I share this morsel of wisdom when I see someone having a bad day.

Some listen and have a similar experience. Some listen but nothing changes and they do eventually leave. Some don’t listen and leave anyway. I’m not responsible for what they do with it, but I’ve done my part in sharing this notion.

If you’re having a bad day, week, month or year, I hope this little nugget helps you persevere to a better time when you can make a decision based on the whole experience, not just a negative.

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find us on Facebook @BarnesOnMove, Tiktok & Instagram @BarnesOnMove OR @BarnesOnMove2, or our website

My Daily Bucket List That Keeps Me Productive

December 16, 2022

A neatly made bed means I’ve done something today!

On this eve of winter break, my thoughts are turning to New Years and the resolutions and habits I want to change, start or stop. I like to use breaks as a chance to change these habits and establish routines for when I go back to work. One of the things I found is to have a daily bucket list of things that must get done every day, at some point.

This concept came about slowly and I’ve been doing it off and on for awhile, until I finally made it official last year as part of my new year. I have many of these as tasks on a checklist to help me.

Some are things that must get done, some are things I often avoid or don’t have to do daily, but have found it’s much quicker if I do. Some of them are weekly tasks, but I have a spot for them daily and just rotate what I do.

It doesn’t take long to get messy, but a few minutes each day can clear this off and make sure we don’t forget something that needs done.

This daily list includes the basic hygiene things like brushing teeth, taking medicines, getting dressed and brushing my hair. This also includes making my bed. But I also include things like clearing counters, washing the dishes, sweeping the floors, working out, taking the dogs out for walks, taking a nap and daily devotions and prayers. I rotate in other chores like paying bills, mopping, laundry, groceries and meal prep and decluttering that don’t need done daily but do need done regularly.

After awhile, they become automatic and I don’t always need a checklist, but it helps on those mopey days to still feel like I did something.

About a year and a half ago, I started incorporating this into work and created a task list for work items and it has made a huge difference, whether it is a busy or a slow day. I blogged about it in September of 2021, check it out here Using Your Inbox As a Task List to find out more.

It doesn’t matter if you are a teacher, corporate worker, stay at home parent, self-employed, entrepreneur, retired or a college student–routines help us be productive, which sets a positive tone for our lives. Finding a routine, however small, is beneficial. It also leads to productivity and accomplishing all the goals you set out for. Don’t be afraid to do this with children either, since it can help them become independent and take things off of your list. Start small with just one or two things, then check in with yourself once a week or month and see how it’s going and what tweaks you may need to make to improve the process.

I’d love to know more about your goals or resolutions, or trouble areas you struggle with. Like and comment here, of find me on Social Media! I’m on Instagram and TikTok, and you can follow our travel journey on Facebook and TikTok.

Like or comment below, and share with others to support the blog. I post weekly about teaching, traveling and family. Until next time, you can find me on Tiktok @sonya.BOMSquadleader , on Instagram at sonya_barnes_a2t , or our adventures at, Facebook & TikTok at @BarnesOnMove

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