2 Mistakes I Made in My 1st Month of Teaching


1} When I started my first teaching job, I made the biggest mistake by NOT ASKING QUESTIONS. Seems simple enough, but when you are starting as a new teacher you don’t know what questions to ask and it can really set you back and add a lot of stress. I was so excited I got the job, when it came to my first day I just clocked in and walked in the classroom and then what? I was faced with 16 toddlers and not 1 clue.. luckily for me, my co-teacher is amazing and was able to keep things smooth, until I got the hang of it. Some of you may not be so lucky to have help in the beginning so here are a list of things that I wish I would have asked:

  • What is a daily routine for the classroom?” Most classrooms have a typed daily by-the-hour routine that the director can give you, memorize it! TIP –  Ask if you can observe a day (if only for a couple of hours) in the classroom before your start date. Seeing how the classroom flows and having the schedule memorized will put you right on top.
  • How are lesson plans created for each class?” In my school, teachers use a program called ‘Tadpoles’ to create lesson plans-add daily reports and photos-notes-and portfolios… that sounds amazing and easy, it’s all-in-one! Well, it is amazing now that I know how to use it. My whole first month I was scrambling trying to figure out how to use all the functions on top of everything that goes into starting in a new classroom, really overwhelming. So learn from my mistake and do not be afraid to ask for a hands-on run down of how to use the programs, they won’t say no!
  • Can I get a potty-break?” Ahem! We all have to go and even though I am bubbly and extroverted, I always feel like an inconvenience when asking for something when I’m not yet comfortable at a new job. I refused to call up to the front office and ask for a potty break so obviously, after morning coffee-a bottle of water-and probably some juice during morning snack I HAD TO PEE! Yet there I was like, “No I’m good I’ll just wait until lunch” Looking back I imagine myself wiggling trying to hurry out of class and hope one of the two bathrooms was open and Whew! made it! Seriously, for your sake, just ask for a potty break- your bladder and sanity will thank you. Scary Thought…. What if both bathrooms were occupied after you waited until lunch?! *gasp*

2} Gossip Girl- No not the Netflix binge-worthy show. Gossip girl is what you want to avoid becoming at your new teaching job. You may not purposely be listening in the staff room or the passerby in the hallway but there will always be some staff members speaking on and on about their coworkers, and sure it can be entertaining but gossip is never smart to take part in- I highly suggest Netflix as your entertainment fix instead. The worst mistake you can make when starting your new teaching job is getting sucked into the drama between coworkers, take a few of my suggestions and keep them in the back of your mind when temptation to speak ill of a coworker comes to fruition.

  • When speaking to a fellow staff member, pretend you are being recorded. You would be impressed by how well you sensor yourself. *EVEN IF YOU’RE FRIENDS* Leave negative comments about others in your head or worse case scenario vent to your significant other when you get home [insert apology to boyfriend here]
  • It can bite you in the bottom- I am not perfect.. ah that took a lot to admit.. but no I am not perfect, I find myself complaining about a coworker not doing this or always doing that wrong, but by vocalizing that, in reality, I am only making myself look bad! Starting out, we are so focused on first impressions being the most important that we forget so are our lasting impressions… so smile, grin and bear it, do the best you can and don’t take work home with you.

There are many more I am sure that I made, but these two are going to change your professional life dramatically while starting at your new teaching job or turning around your behavior at the school you have become comfortable at. Never too late to make a good impression so smile at everyone and do your best!


-Tess the Teacher


Welcome Letter from the Teacher


Welcome to my page,

You will be seeing a lot of my life through here so you should know a little about me

[Name] Tessa  (first name basis, we’ve just met after all)

[Occupation] Toddler Teacher

[Relationship Status] Currently living my happily ever after with my boyfriend, Kory.    (oh it’s corny but hey, I dig it)

That’s enough of personal info right? Any who, let’s get this rolling…

For now, it’ll just be me and my thoughts coming together for a little one on one time, as any teacher knows that opportunity comes around pretty much never and we all need a little ‘me’ time.

My hope is to shed some light on the life of an early childhood educator and hopefully share and receive some great tips on: classroom management-developmental activities-fun crafts- and life tips in general.

My token blog “niche” will be everything I am passionate about and tips I have personally trial and error-ed so you won’t have to.

I would love to get to know you and as educators/women/people, we all need help in this one life we have to live so please, contact me with suggestions – questions – ideas – or a friendly hello!

Have a blessed day,

Tess the Teacher


How to Live on a Teacher’s Budget- Life Hacks / Budget Savers

accounting-black-budget-53621To help save some money on a tight budget, here are 3 (and a half) hacks I use to save some bucks:

Pack a Lunch:

This is something I recently began to do, and I have seen my bank account and myself becoming much healthier.

I did the math for you-(20 work days in a month-not including weekend munchies)

Lunch Total/ Day= $8 (Obviously fast food price aka Not Good for Me food)                 Lunch Total/Week=$45                                                                                                              Lunch Total/Month= $200

In this scenario you’re wasting around half of your lunch time (if not more) driving in your car, either going through drive-thru or grabbing something in the store, and driving back to work, just to scarf something down.

Now if we pack a lunch-Obviously differs based on what you pack-but for example, my last week of packing lunch:

Grocery List- Organic Spinach/Kale -$5 / Honey Ham Sandwich Slices – 2 for $5 / Honey Oat Bread – $3 / Organic Almond Milk- 2 for $5 / Mayo or Sandwich Spread – avg $3 / Bananas – $.50 per lb.

One week of food came to about $22 aka only $84 a month! Best part of it is I have a lot left over!


*other benefits include: not wasting precious lunch time to cool off from a crazy morning- knowing you’re getting exactly what you wanted and it is a heck of a lot healthier than that drive thru combo- and more money to you know, maybe pay some bills (on time!)*


Not going into too much detail here-but I have just one suggestion for this:

There is a large market for makeup choices . However, my go-to is always the e.l.f. makeup line. Mascara, brushes, concealer, and primer are all for under $5 and I find they are all quality products.

I understand that some people may prefer the higher end makeup, but as a teacher on a budget-something that works great and is inexpensive is rare to come by so I head straight to the e.l.f. section every time.

{& My Biggest Teacher Budget Hack is…}

Dollar Store

There is nearly no end to things you can get at the dollar store but for example here is a list of items I am always sure to grab at the dollar store rather than anywhere else,

-Paper Towels                                                                                                                                         -Conditioner (I use this for shaving, trust me it works amazingly and I can pick whichever scent I’d like)
-Witchhazel (I use an astringent for my face)
-Vitamin E oil (I use a face moisturizer-helps with wrinkles and for hair masks)
-Hand Sanitizer (Teachers get sick a lot so this helps to have on hand)
-Toothbrushes & Toothpaste
-Cards for every occasion ( I don’t like spending $5 on just a card, this is much more my speed)
-Cleaning supplies (for home and car)

& As a teacher I personally visit the office and school supply section right away. There are flash cards/notebooks/pens/poster board/stickers and everything a teacher or student may need.

These are just a few of my tips, but saving yourself a few bucks on item here and there really adds up, you will be pleasantly surprised to have the extra money in your account.

I know I don’t like being unsure if my card will be approved, I’m sure you do not either.

PS: An easy money saver trick: Put a penny away for each day for year ex: day 1 = 1 penny/day 2= 2 pennies/day 14= .14 cents/ day 365= 3.65 that you put aside. At the end of the year you will have nearly $700!

I have done this for a couple weeks.. and usually just tossing whatever change I have into a jar or an extra buck here or there, which makes no difference to me on a daily basis but after counting it I already have around $100 ! Couch change adds up!

Hope you enjoyed these easy to do – simple changes- money saving tips that I use.
My goal with this post is to show that saving money does not have to cramp your style.

Let me know if you have any more money saving tips in the comments or contact me!

Taught to Save,
by Tess


Born to Teach


In my personal experience, I know that I was born to teach.

I work with many teachers who come to the position of Teacher due to fulfilling a lifelong love and passion of educating children, the same as myself. I always knew this is where I wanted to spend 2/3rd of my life working. No doubt-No question

Now understand, I am not implying the teachers that simply found themselves in this position of educator as being faulty or less suited for this job, I believe the teachers that “are not born a teacher”, excel fantastically at the subject they are teaching and due to the fact they are so well informed and passionate about the subjects being taught, it brings life in their classroom.

Whether “born to teach” or “most knowledgeable of the subject” the children/ students have a wonderful opportunity to education whichever brand of teacher they encounter.

That is the best outcome-That is what an educator strives for.

Love to Teach-Teach to Love


My Cheat Sheet – Teacher Edition


Cheating is never okay.. Right teachers?

Well then let me re-word this, hmm Teacher’s Hack may be a better title.. Either way this book 1-2-3 Magic in the Classroom: Effective Discipline for Pre-K through Grade 8 2nd Edition really enlightened me on many ways to practice new classroom management styles

Whether you are interested in becoming a teacher, currently a parent to a Pre-k through 8th grade student(s), or a veteran educator, this book will shed some light on a new way to bring the classroom and yourself, a little peace.

When the children in your classroom are just out of hand and the day is not yours for the taking- take this book and skim through for some grasp at a little sanity. Inside this book you will discover the differences of start and stop behavior that every teacher encounters in the classroom and the best way to influence students to redirect to a more constructive learning behavior.

If you do end up giving this book a chance to influence you, please send me a message so we can gush about the great ideas that worked in our specific classrooms. The more trial and error, the more productive the classroom will be and in turn, the students will be able to prosper from a positive learning environment!

PS: Here are photos of my book to disperse any doubt about me loving this book-Look at the highlighting-Even us teachers have to do some homework


♥⇒Click Here for link to book⇐♥

Happy Reading



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