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Tips for Before a Teacher Meetup from an Introvert!

Happy Saturday! If you are on the Pacific Coast, you may have heard, signed  up, or planned on signing up for the meet up we have coming up in February! If you're anything like me, you may have anxiety about meeting new people, putting yourself out there, and the unknown of a meet up. I have been to 5 meet ups (two of which were in TPT Vegas), and have always been SUPER nervous and considered not going on occasion, for fear of the whole social aspect. Now that I am helping with the planning of an event, I know there are people coming who may have social anxiety just talking about it. As the resident introvert of the planning committee, I wanted to share my top four tips to maximizing and ENJOYING the event in the best way. 

This was KEY for me. I was originally planning on taking Sarah  with me to my very first meet up. She is my outgoing, friendly, energetic friend. And she pushes me to tiptoe/bust out of my comfort zone. That first meet up, I ended up having to go alone (poor Sarah had broken her ankle in Ecuador and was a no-go). More on that later. In Vegas, I was thrilled to have her with me, even if she did (literally) throw me in front of Deanna Jump saying "SHE IS YOUR BIGGEST FAN!" Hey, would I have met her without her doing it? Probably not. Thanks, Sarah.

These pictures ONLY happened with prodding from Sarah....
This is hard for me. Like, REALLY hard. I like to plan. I like to know what I am jumping into. But, sometimes, fun also happens in spontaneity. Make plans to be okay with the host's plans. When you make a new friend, and they want to go do something after the event, get your new friends together and do it! Happy Hour, here we come!!
Use the event hashtags, find the Facebook groups, spread the word that you are attending. Chances are, there are others who are attending who are JUST as nervous as you. This is a way to make a friend ahead of time, in case you can't do #1. Ask around to see if anyone else is needing a roommate, knows of good spots in case you arrive early, etc. This is a great way to get the conversation going prior to the event. 
I, personally, have NEVER regretted going to teacher meetups. Teachers are a special breed, and really do value meeting other educators. People are at this event to be friendly and meet/make friends. When you walk in, take a deep breath and smile. You've got this!!!

If you are looking to attend our meetup in Sacramento, we have a few spots available still. Click this link to find the original post.

5 Ways to Save Money in the Classroom

Hello, friends!
If you are like me, you are still (financially) recovering from the expenses of Christmas... BUT, if you're like pretty much ANY teacher across the planet, you spend much of your own money on your classroom.. Today, I am bringing you some of my favorite ways to save money in the classroom

Take inventory of your actual supplies.
So many times, I find myself buying glue gun sticks, Flair pens, and tape, when I actually have a stockpile of them in my classroom, at home, or even in my car! By taking an inventory (and writing it down, or documenting by taking pictures), it will help you from spending unnecessarily. Your wallet will thank you. ;)

Look for needed items online (Craigslist, Garage sale listings, eBay, etc).
Chances are, one man's trash is another man's treasure. Take advantage of the fact that MANY teachers (especially after the gift-giving season) are trying to get rid of things they may not need in their own classrooms anymore. This also applies to furniture that can be re-purposed for use in your classroom. 
Keep an eye out for the "freebie" section. That is where some of your best finds may appear. As always, take someone with you when you go to pick up your item. Safety first.

Make a wish list.
If you have awesome families like the ones at my school, they are more likely than not WILLING to contribute to the success of their students' education. If there are items you need for a lesson, event, or field trip that you need, making a wishlist online or posting one on your door is a way to visually let parents know what you'd like. I personally do not like to ask, but I don't mind having a list handy for those opportunities when parents want to know ways they can help. Just make sure you thank them. Let them know their kindness is appreciated!!

Become a member of NAEIR.
Oh. My. Goodness. This fall, through several Periscope broadcasts by several teacher friends, I learned of NAEIR. This is an amazing organization that provides DEEP discounts on thousands of items to be used in your classroom. You have to apply to prove that you work for a non-profit (your school), and that the items bought will be used in your classroom (not for gifts, prizes, personal use at home, etc). Once you're in, begin spending! It'll be fun, I promise. I was able to buy SEVERAL needed items for my classroom for $28. This included several base 10 sets, stamps, stamp pads, flair pens, post-its and MORE! The only requirement is that you spend $25/order to cover shipping. That's it! It's definitely worth checking out to see if what you need is available! Inventory changes daily, so check it out!
Use your teacher discount to your advantage!!!
SO many stores that sell what you need in your classroom also offer teacher discounts. One of my favorites is Michael's Arts & Crafts. I NEVER go to Michael's without my teacher I.D. JoAnn Fabric will also offer teacher discounts on your purchases. For a complete list, visit Gift Card Granny, who has a list of 81 discounts!!

I hope this has helped you start your year off right! Wishing you a frugal, fantastic 2016!! 

Currently: January

Hello, friends! Welcome to 2016! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I am linking up, once again, with Farley for Currently! This happens to be one of my favorite linkys every month, because it is a time of reflection and looking forward!
Without further ado:
Listening: Not only is Winter Break a great time to get some of that rest we are needing, but it is a great time to Netflix binge a series... And I just started my newest obsession, Melissa and Joey, after I finished re-watching one of my all-time faves, Hart of Dixie. Seriously, I am a surefire sucker for cheesy, cornball rom-coms! 

Loving: With that said, I have truly appreciated some down time. Unlike many of the schools in our area, I don't go back for another week. I have just enough time to get a haircut, go to the dentist, make a quick trip to Disneyland, and clean my house....

Thinking: I am excited at the beginning of each new year to imagine the possibilities of a fresh new start. I have so much I would like to learn, do, and see in 2016, so I am excited to do so. :)

Wanting: I had to take down Christmas decor today. (WOMP, WOMP!) So, now, I am working on 
redecorating the mantle and the top of my baby grand. I have a few hymns I would like to print and frame above the piano, but I am a bit stumped on the mantle.. Any thoughts?

Needing: Oh. Em. Gee. I need to tackle my clothing piles, dressers, storage, closets, and more. How did I GET so much clothing? I am thinking that Goodwill will be glad to see me when I finish, as their inventory could grow significantly. But seriously, I REALLY need to go through my stuff. Purging time!

One Word: Last year, my word was THRIVE. I really felt good about how I saw that come about in my life. This year, my word is GLOW. I would like to help light the way for others, and feel light about the things I do. I know glow can be so many things, and, to be honest, that excites me!

I can't wait to hear from you and what your plans for the month and year are. I hope you'll link up as well!! Happy New Year!