Episode 31: New Year, Same Me!

brain breaks class jobs podcast Jan 03, 2023

I am NOT one for New Year's Resolutions (because I hate feeling like a failure) but I am ALL for dropping things that aren't working in my classroom and continuing and enhancing things that are 🔥🔥🔥🔥!

Resources & Links:

Here is the classroom norms resource I mentioned in the episode. I talk about it in this blog!

This is Claudia Elliott's Growing with Proficiency The Podcast episode 13 where I shared about community and building relationships.

Don't forget to take a Selfie Brain Break. Here is the Selfie Brain Breaks + Mannequin Challenge Blog.

The YouTube Mannequin Challenge that you should definitely do with your students!

Connect with me:

My Blog

My YouTube

My Instagram

My Website 

My TPT store

This episode is available on Spotify and Apple podcasts! Subscribe so you're notified of new episodes!

I have a special invitation for you too!  I would love to support and inspire you to introduce classroom jobs to your classroom! I'm doing a free workshop on January 11th at 7pm CDT on Instagram with the amazing John Sifert! If you're not on Instagram and would rather join us on Facebook or Youtube we will be live streaming to my channel at 7:45 CDT that same night!

There are still spots available in BOTH of my Group Coaching Sessions starting this month! Both cohorts are limited to 12 participants so if you're interested, snag your spot now! Just visit this link: tinyurl.com/yaycoaching




Welcome to Teaching la vida loca, a podcast for World Language Teachers seeking inspiration, unapologetic authenticity, and guidance in centering joy and facilitating language acquisition for the people who matter most our students, I'm your host, Annabelle. Most people call me La maestra loca. And I'm an educator just like you, and inspiring teachers is what I do. 

New Year Feelings 

Hi there and welcome to episode 31 of teaching la vida loca this one's going to be short and sweet. I just wanted to give you permission to feel all the feels first and foremost. If you were feeling like your break wasn't long enough, or that you didn't have enough rest, or perhaps you were all go, go go and not enough rest, or perhaps you had tons of rest and tons of Pajama Time. And it still wasn't quite enough. All of those feelings are valid. I had to go back to school today. It's January 2, I had a lot of people tell me what? you're supposed to be like observing the first today. It's like a holiday for banks and post offices and stuff. But I was like, well, it wasn't for me. So, it was a record's day though. So, I didn't have students. And that's a first for me, I've always worked at schools where I've gone straight back into school with students right away. And so, we actually have another day tomorrow, no students, but it's a full day of meetings and PD. But I'm still grateful for the time. 

It's OK To Change Things 

Without students, regardless of all of that, I can still be grateful to not have students and feel like I'm not ready to go to school. So, that's the first thing I wanted to talk to you about. The second thing I wanted to talk to you about is give yourself permission to change things. I am not a person who does New Year's resolutions. I do a one-word resolution, I learned this from Meredith. And the idea is like you just pick one word to guide yourself in the new year. So, my one-word resolution for 2023 is joy. As you know, if you know me at all, you know that I already seek to center joy in my classroom and in my life in general. But I want to be more intentional about it than ever this year, and not allow imposter syndrome, which Yes, I have, in an extreme way, not allow imposter syndrome or anything else damper the joy for me. So, I think that that's something that's guiding me throughout the year, but I don't necessarily have a resolution. 

Classroom Norms

So, even though I don't believe in New Year's resolutions, I do believe that the new year is a great time since you've already had the break, to re-introduce your classroom norms, remind students what they put in place from the first in the first place. If you didn't norm your classes at the beginning of the year, and you want to do that, I'm going to link to a resource in a blog that's free to guide you through that process. Because what a better time than now there's not a better time. But if you've already done that, like reminding students of what those are not, just elementary students all ages, and then easing in and getting rid of things that weren't working. So, for me, my rejoinder wall wasn't working, I had this idea of changing things up and it's not working. So, I'm going to do go back to doing what I used to do, which is a rejoinder of the week. I got rid of my rejoinder wall today. I replaced my out of bounds word wall and moved it to a totally different part of the room where I feel like it's more equitable for everybody to see. I felt like there were tricky spots in the room where some students couldn't see it. And there are things that I'm keeping, I'm keeping classroom jobs and also starting centers. Classroom jobs was revolutionary for me, it was completely changed my classroom, and in a really positive way allows me to focus on community, focus on building relationships. And I talked about it in Claudia Elliot's episode 13 of her podcast, but I am so jazzed about classroom jobs, I'm actually reintroducing them and allowing students to apply for new jobs in the new year. 

Still Be Yourself 

So, this new year, even if you're a person who's like, Oh, I'm too tired. I don't want there to be a new me. If you're like me, and that that's okay. You can still allow yourself to try new things and get rid of things that just weren't working in your classroom or didn't make sense. And you don't have to explain it. If some kids asked to say, Yeah, I'm not sure that that was working like I wanted it to so we're just going to try something new. You don't have to worry about justifying something if it doesn't feel right or if it's draining to your energy in general. Drop it and start something new. And I just want to acknowledge for a second that I know that that can be hard. If you spent a lot of time in the years setting something up or creating some sort of word wall or creating a bulletin board that now you're taking down because it just didn't work. That's okay. 

Selfie Brain Break 

Before I go, I think it's time for all Brain Break. It's been a while since I've done that, and so take a selfie with her students in the new year. Take a selfie of them being silly or looking taller, because isn’t it crazy that you come back from break and somehow, they look older and taller and bigger? Because they do. It's really weird, especially in elementary. I'm like what happened? It's been two weeks and they sprout and they're giants. So, take a new selfie. If you haven't done it in a while. Selfie Brain Breaks are wonderful. I blogged about selfie brain breaks in the same blog that I blogged about mannequin challenges. They were really in when I blogged about it. I actually think that we're already getting old when I blogged about it but doesn't matter. I love still doing mannequin challenges. My students love it. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, I encourage you to go click on the blog in the show notes. Read about it. And then I want you to try mannequin challenge, or a selfie brain break with your students. I'll link to a YouTube video of a mannequin challenge as well for you. I can't if you ever post on social if you have like permission to post her students, please tag me because I would love to see your selfies with students because there's so fun. And the kids are adorable. And some of them the way they try and hide their face or do these cute little Tik Tok poses. I know that makes no sense. I'm not a Tik Tok or I'm trying I have an account y'all I suck at it. Any Tik Tok pointers like some of them, I don't know. Okay, that's the end of the brain break idea. I hope you love it.

Come Join Me & John 

One last thing before I go if you're listening to this before January 11, I want to invite you to a live workshop that John Seifert and I are doing together at 7pm Central Standard Time on Instagram. Or if you're not on Instagram and you are a YouTuber or a Facebook person, you can join us live at 7:45pm Central Standard Time, we're going to be sharing all about classroom jobs and how and why they are transformative for the world language classroom and classroom in general. We'll be sharing some of our favorite classroom jobs as well as we'll be sharing what you can do to start implementing class jobs in your classroom tomorrow. Again, this episode has been about out with the old, in with the new, don't be afraid to try new things. Don't be afraid to get rid of what's not working. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have started using classroom jobs as here. And how much has allowed me to really connect with my students and not worry about all the extra little things that I do from class to class. I don't worry about any of those because now I have students to do that for me. I can focus on what's most important, building community, building relationships, and connecting with kids. So, if you're interested in learning more about this, I encourage you to come to our free workshop again on Instagram, it's gonna be 7pm. And on Facebook, it'll be 7:45pm Central Standard Time on January 11. We would love to have you. I'm super excited to help you move in this direction of transforming your class with classroom jobs. The session title is Creating Community and Cutting the Chaos. And that's literally what classroom jobs have done for me this year. We'd love to see you there. I hope you're doing well. Happy New Year teacher and thank you so much for listening and supporting me on this podcasting journey. I know that there are lots of mistakes in this one but one of my promises on this podcast is to be authentically me. And so, with all the awkward pauses and slurs I'm gonna post it anyways because that's what I promised to be authentically mean no matter what. And that's what you should be to and so grateful for you and until next time, I'll be teaching la vida loca and I am confident you will be too. Take care teacher!

Stay connected with tips, tricks, and inspiration!

Join my mailing list to receive tips, tricks, strategies, activities, and inspiration straight to your inbox!

Get inspired!