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Honeymoon Guide: The Basics

Hi friends! In case you missed it over on Instagram, Kevin and I returned from our honeymoon about two weeks ago!  Upon return, I found my inbox flooded with questions about our trip. Rather than answer them repeatedly and individually, I figured it would be easier to compile them all in one place for you to check out. To keep things manageable for readers, in true Primary Party fashion (aka I tend to ramble), this is going to be a multi-part blog. In this first part, I am going to answer some of the questions that I got asked by many of you and give you an overview of our trip. In parts two and three, I will be giving you more info on Greece and Paris, respectively. Let’s dive in with a little Q&A!




How did you plan what to do and where to stay/did you use a travel agent?

The answer to this question is, yes, we did use a travel agent and that is how we planned out what to do! After we decided where we want to go, Kevin took on the task of planning the honeymoon, so he contacted an agent that a friend had used. They chatted on the phone about budget, where we wanted to go, what we wanted to do, etc. and she gave him some suggestions and ideas, then she sent an itinerary our way. We looked it over, changed and cut things that we didn’t love or that we felt would be too much (we wanted a good mix of relaxation and some planned things to do), and went from there! Honestly, we could have likely done it ourselves, but I personally had all too much going on at the time of wedding planning to tackle a trip too. Another perk of using an agent was that we ran into a few unexpected hiccups along the way, (like a 24-hour ferry strike in Greece) and it was great to have the peace of mind and someone to communicate with to take the stress out of the situations. Whether or not you choose to use a travel agent is totally up to you – I think planning can be done just as well either way!


How did you budget/save for a honeymoon AND a wedding?

This was a question I got asked quite a few times, not surprisingly, as weddings and honeymoons are expensive! I wish I had some magical trick to share about how we did it, but truthfully, I don’t. But here is what I can share…As far as the wedding itself went, we were very fortunate to have parents that were generous enough to help us in many ways. We took the budgets that they offered and figured out what types of wedding expenses they could cover (photographer, DJ, venue fee, etc.) and what we would need to contribute ourselves. From there, we saved and saved. Kevin is very good with saving, so he started both a honeymoon fund through an app called Qapital and a high-interest wedding savings account through Ally bank. I took some of each paycheck and direct deposited it into our wedding account, along with my Teachers Pay Teachers earnings from each month and any other outside income from tutoring, babysitting, etc. We were able to save up enough to cover what we needed to in about the twenty months that we were engaged. Then, we took some of our wedding gifts as spending money for the trip itself! Like I said, I have no secret tip or trick for you, just lots of saving…sorry!



How long did you travel for? How long did you spend in each place?

We travelled for two weeks total! The other two parts of this post will have specifics, but here is the basic breakdown of our trip:

Overnight flight Boston to Athens

One night in Athens

Ferry (ended up being a flight, more on that in part 2) Athens to Naxos

Three nights in Naxos

Ferry Naxos to Santorini

Four nights in Santorini

Flight Santorini to Paris

Four nights in Paris

Flight Paris to Boston


Were the hotels you stayed at all-inclusive? / How did you choose where to eat?

To answer the first question, no we did not stay anywhere all-inclusive for this vacation. Kev and I love to adventure and explore when we eat, so we stayed at places that only had breakfast included. Then, we ventured into the towns to try out local restaurants! To figure out where to eat, we asked the hotel or tour guides for recommendations, chatted with people we met on excursions about where they ate and loved, looked things up on Yelp or Google, or just popped into places that looked like a spot we may enjoy. We tried to avoid places near tourist spots (like the Eiffel Tower or right on the main pedestrian path in Oia) and venture to more authentic, off the beaten path spots. Our friend told us never to go anywhere with pictures on the menu or an English-only menu, because that often means it is a tourist trap, so we usually followed that rule! I think of all the spots we tried, we disliked two or three, and two of those were definitely sneaky tourist spots. Hey, we’re not perfect. 😉



How did you pack for your honeymoon?

The first thing you need to know about me is that I am a chronic over-packer. I will pack an outfit for every day and then 5 extras, just in case. In an attempt to avoid too much over-packing, here is what I did. First, I created an outline/itinerary of every day of the trip, both day and night. For each day, I asked myself: where will we be going? What will we be doing? Should my outfit be cute or functional (hopefully both!)? What type of shoes will I need? Any extra accessories for this day (like a cute hat?), and other questions along those lines. From there, I planned a specific outfit for that day and wrote it down on the itinerary I created. Now, I know you are probably thinking I am crazy, and you’re right, I am. But, this worked! It helped me to avoid the “maybe I will wear this…or maybe I’ll wear that…eh, I’ll just bring both!” situation that usually occurs when I pack. Once my daily outfits were planned, I made a list of other extras, like pajamas and bathing suits, that I would need and wrote those down too. As I packed, I checked things off the list to make sure I had it all. Oh, and don’t forget your adapters!

PS: one of the best things I registered for was a luggage scale from Amazon…we used it at home once we were all packed and then moved things around (okay, from my suitcase to Kev’s), so that we wouldn’t need to open them back up in the airport! You can shop my luggage and honeymoon essentials in my Amazon storefront!



Okay, I think that covers all of the basic questions I got. If you are reading and find that you have unanswered questions, feel free to drop a comment below or send it my way via email or Instagram and I will try my best to get that answered! But now that you have some general information, let’s head to Greece!


The Primary Party Guide to Boston: Part 2- Things to Do

Hello again! Welcome to part TWO of The Primary Party Guide to Boston! If you are looking for places to eat/drink, check out part one! If you are looking for sights to see or activities to do, this post is for you. There is SO much to do in this great city! Keep in mind, some of them may be seasonal. Also, as a disclaimer, I’m not a HUGE museum person, so I don’t have a ton to say about those. I will tell you about the ones I have been to, but we prefer a sports game, nice dinner, etc. as our things to do! Here we go:


Esplanade Views

-Walk through the SoWa Open Market: okay, my first recommendation is seasonal, but this is truly one of my favorite things that happens in the city. SoWa runs from May-October and is something we do almost every other weekend in the summertime. There are three parts to SoWa. They are: 1. The vendor market (so many wonderful local businesses – candles, hats, shirts, plants, jewelry, etc! Kev usually grabs a hat from NineFiveLtd and our friend Erica has some amazing artwork from The Blank Canvas Co.). 2. The farmer’s market (again, so many great spots to try a sample and pick up some delish local food) and 3. The FOOD TRUCKS. Okay, this is my favorite part. On any given weekend, there are about 5-8 local food trucks parked in this section with so many great options to choose from for lunch. Grab some bites and take them over to the beer/wine tent and listen to some live music while you sip and eat. Bonus for SoWa: lots of cute dogs.

-If it’s near the holidays, check out the SoWa Winter Market: in the winter, they bring SoWa inside the building for a smaller scale version. No food trucks or farmer’s market, but many vendors for holiday shopping!

-Visit Fenway Park for a Red Sox Game: this is a MUST do for me in Boston. Fenway is such a historic park. Even if you don’t like baseball, it’s an experience to be there! Don’t forget to have a Fenway Frank or an Italian Sausage while you’re there! Maybe even an ice cream in a Red Sox helmet. Or both, you do you. I won’t judge.


Fenway from the first base line. There isn’t a bad seat in the park here!

-Head to TD Garden for a Bruins or Celtics Game: you can’t go wrong with either one, but personally, I love a good hockey game! Tickets aren’t always cheap, but we usually try the GameTime app for last minute resale seats!

-Check out one of the many local breweries: Harpoon, Sam Adams, Downeast Cider House, Trillium, Nightshift, Lamplighter, the list goes on! Many of these breweries have pop-ups around the city in the summer (like down by the Esplanade!).

-See a concert at Rockland Trust Bank Pavilion: this is our favorite spot for concerts, particularly in the summer. It is an open-air pavilion with water views and a perfect atmosphere to see a show!

-Take a walk or picnic on the Esplanade: grab some snacks and a blanket and have a picnic by the Charles, or simply take a walk or run (or even rent a City Bike) around the many paths!

Kayak on the Charles River: this is a great spring, summer, or fall activity. You can rent kayaks from a variety of spots along the river and enjoy an afternoon seeing the city from the water.


Kayaking makes for some great city views from the water

-Other concert spots: House of Blues Boston, the Wilbur, TD Garden (for bigger names)

-Grab tickets to a Boston on Broadway show in the theater district- so much fun and so many great shows come to town!

-Take a Duck Boat Tour: this is a quintessential Boston thing to do. The duck boat will bring you on a tour of the city by land, then take you into the Charles River!

-Walk the Freedom Trail: get ready for some walking, but again, this is a very Boston must-do! You will learn so much great history of the city and see sights along the way

-Grab a bite and wander around Faneuil Hall: walk through Quincy Market, a Boston landmark, and sample the many cuisines they offer. Then catch one of the street performers outside in Faneuil Hall. Beware, it’s very busy. A true tourist spot.

-Shop on Newbury Street: this street has it all! From H&M to Tiffany and everything in between. A perfect place to wander and shop or even eat on one of the great patios in the nice weather.

-Visit the Museum of Science: a super fun indoor activity, especially for kids! Lots to do and learn here! I have been on many a field trip to the Museum of Science as a Boston teacher. 🙂

-Check out the New England Aquarium: again, another hot field trip spot for my students, but also a wonderful place to spend part of your day, particularly when it isn’t too nice outside.


A typical Sunday at SoWa…yum!

-Wander through the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA): if you’re into art, this is the spot for you! (was that a great sales pitch? I told you I don’t do museums. I went here once in college, but that’s about it…)

Public Garden/Boston Common – a pretty place to walk around and see the gorgeous views. Read a book, ride a swan boat, even ice skate on the Frog Pond in the winter!

Jillian’s Lucky Strike: Jillian’s is an awesome way to spend a rainy day or an evening with friends! It is a bar/restaurant that also has an entire floor of arcade games and bowling on the top floor!


Copley Square

Well, there you have it, some of my favorite things to do in Boston! Just like the food and drink list, this is not ALL that there is to do in the city, by far! These are just some of my favorites to do on weekends or to suggest to those who are visiting. Pair them with some of the food spots from part one, and you are sure to have an amazing visit to the city I call home!





The Primary Party Guide to Boston: Part 1- Food and Drinks

Hello friends! I feel like I say this every single time I blog, but long time, no blog! However, one of the most frequently asked questions I get on Instagram that isn’t teaching related has to do with the amazing city I live in and I have always wanted to compile my suggestions into one place, so here it goes.

I bring you: The Primary Party Guide to Boston! Well, part one, otherwise we would be here for a loooong time. [For part two: click here] This page of the guide is going to focus on my favorite part of the city: food and drinks! When people ask me what to do in Boston, my natural instinct is to give them places to eat because, honestly, food is my love language. Not just food, but the entire experience of going out to eat. I love it: the atmosphere, the drinks, the conversation, the meal itself. Dining out is one of the best things you can do in a new city, in my opinion. That being said, the places below are some of my favorites to frequent, whether it is on date night, grabbing drinks with friends, or when visitors come to town. I organized them by neighborhood for easiest access and have a few quick notes about each to give you an idea of what they are like! Enjoy!


Harpoon Brewery Spread


South End – our favorite neighborhood!

Cinquecento: unbelievable Italian (dare I say, better than the North End?!), great patio- think Italy vibes- in the summer

Coppa Enoteca: cozy (read: small) Italian spot – great bar to sit at for a romantic/date vibe

Beehive: our go-to when people come to town! Amazing cocktails, live jazz, great food (get the mussels if they are on the menu). Adorable patio in the summer that gives you all the city feels!

Shore Leave: a new spot in the city – fun, tiki cocktails and atmosphere. Asian fusion cuisine. Don’t be shocked when you feel like you’re walking into an apartment building stairway and have to go down a few flights…it’s in the basement!

Lion’s Tail: dark, moody vibe but great food and home to my FAVORITE cocktail in all of Boston – the Silk Road Daiquiri!

Picco: pizza, salad, ice cream. All of the good stuff. Outdoor seating in the summer!

Myers + Chang: my mouth is watering even writing this. The most amazing Asian food around with modern twists. The sweet and sour brussels sprouts and Mama Chang’s dumplings are my go-to orders!

Flour Bakery: delish egg sandwich and yummy treats (there are multiple locations around the city!)

South End Buttery: great brunch spot, also amazing grab and go food on the café side of the restaurant. The Buttery biscuit breakfast sandwich is the GOAT (add bacon AND avocado for a full experience)

Blackbird Donuts: Un.Real.Donuts. That’s it for me! (there are also locations in Fenway, Allston, and Cambridge)


Brookline-  second favorite neighborhood for food!

­-Burro Bar: unreal tacos and the best margs around. Enough said.

Barcelona Wine Bar: to be fair, this isn’t exclusively a Boston restaurant, but it is one of our favorite spots. Tapas, great wine list, perfect summer patio (there is also a South End location!)

The Abbey: extensive beer list, great food, cozy, local vibe

Publick House: awesome spot for craft beers, pub food, and make your own Mac and Cheese with allllll of the topping options (drool)

Livite: healthy spot for smoothies, juices, wraps

Otto Pizza: mashed potato bacon pizza. That is all I have to report.


Allston/Brighton- our ‘hood!

Brighton Bodega: trendy spot with great tapas. The menu is constantly changing and offers a variety of options for everyone. Their non-traditional bao buns are to die for!

Devlin’s: our go-to summer spot. Best patio in Brighton! They have great cocktails and even better nachos. I don’t love eating inside, but if you’re looking for an outdoor spot in the area, this is for you!

Lulu’s: local place for yummy (and potentially boozy) brunch. They have trendy, fun [Instagram worthy] bites

Article 24: our trivia Tuesday favorite. They also have great brunch!

Fin’s Sushi: my favorite sushi around. The Christmas roll is where it’s at. Their chicken fried rice is Kev’s pick. Not my favorite place to eat IN, but great takeout if you’re staying in the area. They also have a few other locations throughout the city!

Playa Bowls: if you’ve seen my Instagram, you know my love affair with Playa Bowls. That’s all you need to know.

White Mountain Creamery: if you want to relive my college years (and, who am I kidding, my current years) visit this spot for amazing homemade ice cream! My rec: Cookie Monster or Coffee Oreo in a fresh waffle cone.

FoMu: non-dairy ice cream owned by one of my former student’s family! There are a few locations around the city

Flatbread Co. Pizza: a new place in the neighborhood! Pizza, drinks, and candlepin bowling! What more could you ask for?!

**bonus addition: Pino’s pizza for the world’s GREATEST late night pizza



Playa Bowls Nutella Bowl


Back Bay- near Newbury Street/the Prudential Center

Earl’s Kitchen and Bar: in the Prudential Center, sushi, Asian-fusion food (amazing tuna poke bowl!). Adorable outdoor/roof spot with a monthly rotating $5 cocktail

Jugos: tiny juice bar in Back Bay Station. Uh-ma-zing juices, smoothies, and bowls! My pit stop before all train travels

Citrus and Salt: super trendy (read: great photo ops) Mexican cuisine and perfectly named cocktails (example: “I didn’t text you, tequila did”)

Buttermilk and Bourbon: good cocktails, southern comfort food

Saltie Girl: Kev will tell you this is one of his favorites in Boston. Seafood, if you’re into it!

Eataly Boston: again, not exclusive to Boston, but this is a fun dining/shopping experience in the Prudential Center!

Clery’s: if you’re young and fun and looking for a hot, dark, loud basement to dance in on a Saturday night, this is for you (and no longer for me, sadly! Ha!)


Fenway- let’s talk Fenway. Honestly, because of who I am as a person, most of my recs around this area are for socializing, not for having the world’s most amazing meal. But some of my favorite/most fun spots are in Fenway!

Cheeky Monkey: a new-ish spot in the city! This bar has ping pong, shuffleboard, darts, etc. Lots of games and lots of fun! You can put your name on the wait list and they will text you when your game is ready, so you aren’t just waiting around! We love!

Hojoko: one of the most fun spots in the area for drinks! They have amazing cocktails and giant, to-share drinks if you are with friends. Great food too! Asian-fusion

Landsdowne Pub: definitely a “going out” place, not a dinner spot. There is always live music on weekends…along with a $5 cover and many college students…but this is a bar I refuse to outgrow.

Loretta’s Last Call: similar to Clery’s in the sense of young and fun, this bar is great if you’re in the mood to party and listen to some live country music

Game On: honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten more than French fries here, but it’s a fun sports bar, especially on game day! They have a ping-pong bar in the basement too that is a blast!

Tiger Mama: Asian-fusion (can you see that I clearly love Asian food?!), great cocktails

Tasty Burger: this one is a little bit of a joke, but also I’m very serious about a good burger and shake combo


Delish Cocktail from Tiger Mama


Seaport/Fort Point:

Legal Harborside Roof Deck: one of the best summertime spots in the city – be ready for a line though! But it’s worth it.

City Tap: awesome patio in the summer with fireplaces and great food/drinks. One of our go-to spots in that area

Bartaco: like Barcelona, this is another non-exclusive to Boston spots, but they have yummy tacos and margs and a great atmosphere!

Harpoon Brewery: this is an eat/drink/experience all in one! Do a brewery tour, grab a flight of different samples, and 100% eat a pretzel. A great rainy day spot if you happen to get one of those in the city!

Trillium Brewery: this is brand new in Fort Point! Head down for some great drinks!


Other Spots:

Yvonne’s: Financial District – great cocktails and trendy vibe

Painted Burro: Somerville – sister restaurant of Burro Bar, see above for details

Nightshift Brewery: Everett – a fun spot to hang out, grab a drink, have some food from a food truck, play some corn hole. They also have pop ups around the city during the summer months- be sure to check for those!

Little Big Diner: Newton Center – amazing ramen! They don’t do take-out or reservations, though!

Pier6: Charlestown – perfect summer spot right on the water! Great views of the city skyline!

Mike’s Pastry: North End – this is a classic Boston touristy thing to do, but their cannoli are delicious!

-There are also a variety of food/drink pop ups seasonally throughout the city! Be on the lookout for those!



Tacos to Share from Bartaco

Well, what do you think? Did you find a place that you plan to check out? If not, well, I don’t know what you’re looking for! Just kidding! But, you can’t go wrong with any of the above spots. And this certainly isn’t an exhaustive list of places we love…just our favs! As always, feel free to reach out and ask about others, send recommendations my way, or just let me know which you visited and loved!

Oh, and if you are looking for things to do, check out Part Two of the Primary Party Guide to Boston!

Happy exploring!




Using Showbie Pro in the Classroom

Hey friends! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Remember that time I set a goal to blog twice a month? Well it’s March and here we are. Anyway, I wanted to share an awesome new technology that I’ve been using in my classroom with you. It’s called Showbie and it is uh-ma-zing! First off, something I love about Showbie is that it’s FREE for educators to use (up to a certain number of assignments), or you can purchase Showbie PRO if you plan to use it full time with your students. I have been using it for about a month now, and it has been such a game changer for my students (and me!). We have been using it for our partner projects that we began recently, so I’m going to tell you all about that.

How I use Showbie Pro in the Classroom.png

To get started with Showbie, I made an account and created a classroom. I actually teach both fourth grade classes, so I easily created a classroom for both 4A and 4B. Each class was given a code that I could easily share with students so that they could login using their Google accounts. To get ready for our partner projects, I uploaded the Powerpoint Presentation that I used with my class so that they could have all the information in one place, the rubric that I would be using to grade their projects, so they could make sure they had all of the components they needed, and the assignment planning sheet (just in case someone lost theirs – teachers, I know you feel me on this one!). With all of this in one place and ready to go, I presented Showbie to my students and they created their logins, which seriously only took 5 minutes. The best part is that there was no time on my end creating individual student logins for 35 different students (again, you all know that feeling). After that, we were ready to start working!


Our partner projects were an assignment to create a Powerpoint about a topic they were studying and it was something that we would be working on over a few class periods. When we picked up where we left off later in the week, the inevitable “I forget our topic!” or “Where did you tell us to look for that again?” and “What pages was that on?” questions came up. This is where having all of my materials on Showbie really saved me. All I had to do was direct my students to Showbie for the Powerpoint with all that information. Those questions quickly turned into, “Oh right! This is awesome!” and “This is so cool to have it all right here for us!” No really, my fourth graders ACTUALLY said those things. And I certainly was thinking them.

Once my students started to complete their projects, they were able to easily submit them right into the Showbie discussion board. All they needed to do was click the assignment and add directly from Google Drive. No more, “should I share this with you?” followed by mistyped email addresses or having to dig through my inbox to find 20 different links to projects! Seriously, a game changer for all of us.

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This was our first assignment using Showbie Pro, but it will definitely be a staple in my classroom now! Anything that saves me and my students time and makes our lives a little easier is a no-brainer for me.

If you’re interested in trying out Showbie for yourself, you can sign up for free at or get Showbie Pro for just $99 (regular price $149) using coupon code showbie499 until March 31, 2019! Let me know when you sign up so we can Showbie together!



Five Key Tips for First Year Teachers


One of the questions I get most frequently is, “what advice would you give to new teachers?” There are so many little tips I would give and things I’ve learned along the way, but I’ve rounded up my 5 biggest pieces of advice to share below. If you are a first-year teacher, an education major, or even just someone considering going into teaching- read on!

1. Be Flexible

This is my absolute number one piece of advice for all new teachers! The need and ability to be flexible was something I learned quickly, but not necessarily easily. I am such a planner and when I plan something, I want it to go exactly as expected every single time. News flash…it won’t. Sometimes you have a fire drill in the middle of something that you allotted a particular amount of time on. Sometimes an activity you think would be engaging and exciting is a total flop. Sometimes you don’t get to every last thing on your lesson plan in one day because your students are enjoying another activity and you opted to spend more time with it. Sometimes a student decides they want bangs in a middle of an activity when they’re cutting with scissors. THAT’S OKAY! Okay, well, maybe not that last one, but it might happen. As a first-year teacher, it’s hard to accept the fact that these lesson plans you’ve meticulously crafted may need to be switched up, but learn to roll with it! Things will get done, even if it’s not exactly as you expected.

2. Cultivate Relationships

This one is important in so many areas. First and foremost, build relationships with your students. Find out their likes and dislikes, learn about their families, find out what their dog’s name is. These things will help you build trust and strong connections to create a loving and safe learning environment. Secondly, develop relationships with parents. I firmly believe in the mentality that parents and teachers should be a team. We are here for their children and we should trust and work together. Keep lines of communication open and be honest with parents. Trust me, things will go smoother if you have them in your corner. Lastly, establish relationships with your colleagues. The best things I have learned have come from other teachers. From little pieces of school culture that you may only know after having been there for a while, to understanding a brand new curriculum, all the way to ideas on lessons or classroom management, don’t be afraid to reach out to your colleagues! Likewise, don’t forget about the non-teachers who work in your school! Establish relationships with your custodian, your office staff, and your admin team – they help to keep your school running seamlessly (and it never hurts when you need a favor later on. 🙂

3. It’s Okay Not to Know

Again, this was another lesson I learned the hard way. My first year teaching, I walked the line between asking for help FAR too often and not asking enough when I should. I was teaching with established teachers and didn’t want to feel like the “weak link” on our team. But, guess what? No one expects you to know everything the second you walk through the door! You are learning just as much as your students are throughout the year and, in most cases, other teachers are there to help you! Find a mentor teacher that you feel comfortable with and pick their brain. Ask questions when you aren’t sure what to do. Take suggestions and criticism (I’ll admit, this one was and still is tough for me!). Don’t be afraid to say you need help. We tell these things to our students (“mistakes are proof that you are trying” anyone?), so allow yourself the grace to learn and make mistakes too.


4. Don’t Try to Do It All

In our classrooms, it can often feel like there are one hundred different things going on at any given moment right in front of us. Nevermind all the things that sit on our to-do lists, the ideas we get from the internet, or the activities we see other teachers doing in their classrooms down the hall that are swirling around in our heads. It can be easy to want to do TOO MUCH. It can be easy to try to do too much, and then end up doing those things only halfway and ineffectively. As a first-year teacher, it’s okay not to do it all. Try picking one or two things you want to focus on and work on doing them WELL. Really go all in on them. For me, my first year was all about mastering the curriculum. Maybe I wasn’t going off script in a natural way like the veteran teacher next to me and rather was trying to stick to what the book said. Maybe my classroom wasn’t the cutest or neatest one compared to a woman teaching there for eight years before me. But five years in, I could likely teach my curriculum with my eyes closed, adding and taking away things that best fit my class based on the year and differentiating activities for my students with ease – and I owe that to spending the first year getting to know my curriculum in depth. My “cute” and organized classroom came in bits and pieces year by year. It’s okay to build up rather than dive in all at once!

5. Reflect on Your Year

When I was a student at Boston College, one of the things they said over and over (and over and over) was to reflect on your practice. This has guided my teaching as I have moved on from year to year. Of course, as a student, my reflections were long, tedious, and time consuming (think: journals and papers with specifications and guidelines). However, reflection doesn’t mean you need to sit down and write a page long essay about a lesson. If that works for you, great! But as a teacher, my primary forms of reflection are short, quick notes. If a lesson goes well, I write down what I did to make it successful or an idea that may have popped into my head for next time. If it does not, I write what didn’t work and make notes about how to fix it. I jot down notes about differentiation, about how I could have made a lesson more culturally responsive, things to make sure I do next year before a unit comes up, about EVERYTHING. I also reflect in the form of conversations with my team. If we are all teaching the same lesson and something doesn’t click for my students, I ask them how it went in their room, what they did that I could try, and so on. The same goes for when we knock something out of the park. Sharing and talking with others is a big form of my practice and something that has had huge benefits on my teaching! Reflecting is key to becoming a better educator.

To help you reflect, I’ve created a short and sweet reflection sheet for you! You can choose to reflect daily, weekly, or by lesson! GRAB THE FREEBIE HERE!



See, I told you I have alot of advice for new teachers! These five, however, are the biggest and best things that I wish someone told me before I stepped foot in my classroom. Above all, though, enjoy it. You’re only a first year teacher once!


And, as always, if you need any more guidance, have questions, or just want to REFLECT on that first year teaching- reach out to me! I’m here to help!