New (School) Year's Resolutions

I know New Year's resolutions are supposed to begin on January 1st, but I've always felt that the fresh start associated with the "New Year" really begins in the fall, with the beginning of a new school year.  So, in the spirit of my own personal New Year's Eve (the day before the first day of school), here are my  New (School) Year's Resolutions:

Resolution #1: Write more thank you notes.
There are so many people who do wonderful and generous things for me throughout the year.   I need to be better this year about writing a proper thank you note to let them know how much they mean to me.  I've stocked my desk with fun thank you notes and cards to make it easier to keep thank-yous a priority.

Resolution #2: Leave by 4:30pm (okay, 5:00pm at the latest) everyday.
I need a social life!  I can't just go to work, go home, go to bed, repeat.  This year I'm going to make it a point to leave at a reasonable hour every day.  (Unless report cards are due.  That's a different story!)

Resolution #3: Change student work on my bulletin boards more often. 
I need to just put students' writing up each week, even if it's just a quick-write, or I don't have time to make a cutesy heading with letters at the top of the board.  In the picture below, I didn't make a heading, list the standards I covered, or even keep the board consistent with the same assignment (which makes me cringe to look at it now) - but the important things is that the parents loved seeing their kids' work when volunteering in the classroom, and I got it done.  I didn't wait to make it perfect first - otherwise I would have the same work on the board for three months before I'd change it.  

Resolution #4: Do more art.
I love doing art with the kids.  It's probably one of my most favorite things, and yet I get caught up in covering all the material I need to get through by the end of the year, so art is always the first thing to go when I feel like I'm falling behind.   But the kids need it, it makes them happy.  And it makes me happy too.  And a happy teacher = happy students.

Resolution #5: Pray more often throughout the day - both with the kids and to myself.
I want to try to remember to turn to prayer instead of Starbucks when I get stressed or overwhelmed during the day.  One of the reasons I wanted to teach at a Catholic school in the first place was so I could help my students in their faith, so I need to remind myself to share the experience of spontaneous prayer with my students.  

Who knows how well (or for how long!) I'll be able to stay true to my resolutions!  Leave your own New School Year's resolutions in the comments section!

Personalized Notebooks

I love all things paper, especially things I can personalize. My fabulous sister ordered me a set of these May Designs notebooks for Christmas last year.

just happened to go to their website today ( and noticed the entire site is 40% off through August 10th!  It may be time for a few more... (After all, a girl can never have too many notebooks or too much stationary.)

Bulletin Board Borders

I love using a double border on my bulletin boards, with white on the inside and another color on the outside. It takes a little more time to put up though, especially since my teacher-OCD forces me to use a ruler to measure the spacing between each border so it's even.

After you've measured, you can put up the inside-border. (I really like using white for all my inside-borders.)

Here's a close-up:

Then staple up the outer border, simply following the edge of the bulletin board. 

Here's another close-up:

And voila!  You're done!