Monday, September 6, 2010

Win A Back to School Treasure Chest

Hello, all!

I'm extremely excited to introduce my second blog giveaway.  After the success of my first contest last week, I've been looking forward to hosting a second.  So, why wait?!

With another school year among us, I have designed this contest with teachers in mind.  However, you do not have to be a teacher to enter. 

This is the second consecutive year I am not returning to a classroom (and third consecutive year not returning to a history classroom).  I have mixed emotions - most days, I really don't care. There are a lot of perks to not teaching.  But every once in a while, I'll be part of a conversation, overhear something, or stumble upon a memory that makes me wish I was going back.

As a teacher, I always loved the beginning of a new year.  Anticipating the kids I'd be working with, having an opportunity to revamp things from the year before, and starting with a "clean slate."  Ultimately, I loved thinking about how I was going to improve - what I would do even better than the year before.

I'd start going into work in early August.  I took so much pride in my room - every isolated detail had to be perfect when the kids walked in that first day.  Recently, I found the file with pictures from my old room.  This is what it looked like my last year as a 7th grade social studies teacher:

 Teaching was fun.  I honestly loved my job.  I enjoyed the kids.  I enjoyed coming up with new, creative ways to present information that had never been done before.  And I loved my co-workers.  I had the BEST team.

My Decade Day Bulletin Board
I was trying to think of my favorite moment as a teacher.  I ended up thinking of five.  And since this is my blog, I get to share them all: 

1. The Knighting Ceremony: After completing a series of tasks representing the stages of knighthood, each student was dubbed a knight in a formal accolade.
2. The Holiday Culture Fair: Students boarded a plane and flew around the world to celebrate five different holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and Chinese New Year.
3. My Black History Unit: When I was ten, I saw a movie on TV called The Ernest Green Story. Years later, I used that same film to teach kids about integration and the right for everyone to receive a free and appropriate public education.
4. Decade Day: I turned my classroom into a 1950s Malt Shop to teach about the decade.  The kids completed a "menu" of questions and celebrated with an ice cream sundae.  They LOVED it!!!
5. Italian Food Day: Seriously, is there a better way to end a unit on the Italian Renaissance than with a gourmet Italian feast? I think not!

Which brings me to my newest contest:

What is your absolute favorite school memory? (As a teacher or a student)

Here's how to enter:

1.  In the comments section below, post an answer to the question stated above.

2.  If you do not have one of the approved accounts accepted by Blogspot (Aim, Live Journal, etc.), select "Name/Url" from the drop down menu.  Type your name (full, first name only, or make up a screen name - I don't care - your choice) and click submit.  If you have a website, you may type that in the URL section, but that is optional.  You can also post anonymously.

3.  Click "post comment."

4.  After doing so, you must fill out and submit the entry form below.  Otherwise, your registration will not be received.

Okay, so what can you win???

This "Teaching is a Work of Heart" Treasure Chest!!!!  It contains over thirty (30) items and has more than $150 in value!  SWEET!!!

Some of the items include:
  • A Handbook for Classroom Instruction that Works (Marazano, et al.)
  • The Essential 55 by Ron Clark
  • Winning Strategies for Classroom Management by Carol Cummings
  • Transparencies (good for copy machines and laser printers)
  • Ten miniature white boards
  • The Book of Magnetic Poetry
  • Electronic Timer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • CD featuring the classical music of Mozart
  • Inflatable Beach Ball
  • Comprehension Cubes
  • Classroom Management Signs
  • Basketball net with nerf ball (great for review games)
  • Sentence Strips
  • 5 See It, Hear It, STOP IT bracelets and 2 decals (created in memory of Alex Harrison in support of anti-bullying efforts)
  • Tons of stickers and post-it notes
  • Tons of supplies, including highlighters, pencils, glue sticks, and more!
ADDITIONALLY, you can receive extra entries by doing any or all of the following:
  • Advertise this contest on your blog (+5 entries)  
  • Advertise this contest on Facebook (+3 entries) 
  • Advertise or retweet this contest on Twitter (+2 entries)   
  • I'll also add an entry if you become a follower of my twitter feed and/or my blog  
Entries must be received by 11:59 PM on Friday, September 10. At that time, will automatically generate a winner. The winner will be announced on Saturday afternoon.  The prize will be shipped out (or possibly delivered) by the end of the month.

This is a great contest for teachers.  However, if you are not a teacher, you should still enter.  Consider giving the prize to a teacher you know.  Perhaps you have a friend or relative who teaches.  Parents: You could give the prize to your child's teacher, or a teacher from the past you  really enjoyed.  Students: Think about it - is there a better way to get on your teacher's good side then walking in and handing them this awesome collection of goodies.  Think about it...

Thank you in advance for participating. Good luck to everyone!

This contest is now closed.


  1. Good times in 4th period social studies in 7th grade. Chase smashing the tick with his textbook, the Renaissance Faire, the dead cockroach in the desk, and all the girls being sent out of the room except for Theresa, leaving Theresa and all the boys to be told how obnoxious they were. Yes

  2. Favorite school memory as a teacher- The first day of school is always my favorite. The kids are always afraid of you at first, and then you spend the day getting to know each other with fun icebreakers, games, and, of course, the creation of "Classroom Rules." I like to create these WITH my students, so they have a say. I let my kids come up with a few rules for ME, as a teacher, and they had a field day! When they got over the initial shock of the "Teacher Rules," they really felt comfortable with me. Building that structure the first day allows you to set up expectations as well as a respect for one another. It's AWESOME!

    Favorite memory as a student- I would have to say Mr. L's senior English class was one of the most memorable semesters. There is something about a teacher who is so passionate about what he does that makes you feel inspired. That class is what made me want to be a teacher.

  3. One of the best memories I have of being a student was when my 10th grade Biology teacher read us Oh! The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. He was so good to us and inspired us to be our best. He also read How the Grinch Stole Christmas ;-)

    An earlier memory I have was from first grade. My teacher was going on maternity leave and all the kids put a book together for her with what we wanted her to have and what she should name the baby. I wanted her to have a girl and name her Olivia :-) To think that child is now 22 years old is a little scary!

  4. Growing up I had many great teachers. I had many "not so great" teachers as well, but at this point in my life, I try not to pay them any recollection. As for the truly outstanding educators, I am thankful because they instilled skills and confidence that have enabled me to be who I am.

    It is hard for me to remember one solid memory as a student that stands out from the rest. Honestly, I have many. In fifth grade, we were all taken on a week long field trip to some camp - for the life of me, I can't remember the name, though I believe it was in Ohio. All five fifth grade teachers took a week off from their lives - their husbands, children, hobbies, activities, etc. so that we could have that experience. In 8th grade, I was taken on a 4 day trip to Washington D.C. Again, many of the teachers accompanied us, sacrificing their own personal needs to enhance the education of us students. I am thankful for these committed individuals, because nowadays, I feel too many teachers have the wrong attitude. It is a profession that gets them home by 4:00, gives them summers off, and still collect a pretty sweet paycheck. I do not think ALL teachers are like this, but I am very disturbed those who are remain in these positions. There are a lot of unemployed people out there who would do a better job.

  5. My favorite memory as a teacher continues to be getting that first e-mail from a parent thanking you for all your efforts. To me, it meant the kid was obviously talking about my class at home, and older kids really don't put a lot of effort to do that unless they have something to say. And to think a parent would take time to contact a teacher for something POSITIVE really made my day. It came at the perfect time, too.

    By the way, I am really enjoying your blog, Paul. You have some great resources in the teacher section, and great links for kids. The variety of anti-bullying stories you have linked is very helpful as well. I'm looking forward to reading more of your posts throughout the year.

  6. At times, morale gets very low in my building. It's common and it sucks, but at the same time, it is very hard to be beaten up constantly and still walk in with a smile on your face.

    So one year it was like the lowest it has ever been. Then came teacher appreciation week. Our administrators made sure we had the most amazing week ever - everything from gourmet breakfasts in the morning, lunches, deliveries, personal thank you notes - we got it all. Not that this is what teaching is about, but it was so nice to really feel appreciated. Those deeds went a very long way and you could see the attitude change in everyone almost instantly. It also made us much more willing to work with administration instead of viewing them as the enemy.

    I really enjoyed that week because I felt my hard work, late nights, weekend preperations, and everything else I do that exhausts me was being recognized. I don't need to be recognized, but it really does make a differene when you feel your work is valued and not always criticized.

  7. My favorite memory as a teacher would have to be when I was working as a classroom aide in a seventh grade social studies class. The teacher was talking about influential people in the world and put some initials on the board. For the sake of privacy I will only say that the student then asked "who is JFK?" (said phonetically). I practically cried from laughing so hard, but it really hit home that we have such an important job as teachers. Not only do we teach the basics, but we teach kids about the world they live in and the people that helped build it.

    I am no longer employed with that district and now in my new school district I always remember that day when morale is low and I need a pick-me-up. It is hard to keep going sometimes when it seems that everything you do in the classroom is either wrong or simply not enough. That day in that awesome seventh grade class is one that I will always remember and it gets me through those tough days.

  8. My favorite memory from school comes from the fifth grade. My teacher allowed me to do her bulletin boards and do some peer tutoring in reading. She also allowed be to help in one of our kindergarten and first grade classrooms. My fifth grade teacher is the reason why I decided to become a teacher. I love and miss you Ms. Wicker!

    I should also add that she also scolded me about hunching over in my chair. She said that if I kept at it that I would have a hunched back like hers. Til this day I still have pretty goo posture.

  9. My greatest moment as a teacher was on August 20, 2008 when, at the last possible second, I GOT A JOB!!!!!!!! Not a subbing job, not an aide, but an actual teaching job - my own classroom. WITH A SALARY AND BENEFITS!!!!!!! After 4 years, I never thought it was happening. I also realize that I am one of the lucky ones. These days, landing a teaching contract is harder than winning the lottery. Honestly. Most people don't realize it - I don't even think teachers who have had secure positions for over five years realize how dramatically the market has changed since they seeked employment. So, as much as I'm not working where I want to be, or making the salary I'd love to make, I am still grateful. Because too many AMAZING educators are out there sitting at home, working meaningless jobs, or seeking a new career altogether.

    And I LOVE this blog!

  10. I am sad that I missed this blog due to technical complications....looking forward to I can actually participate this time!


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