Friday, August 10, 2012

Blogging changes lives…really!

Blogging has changed my life.  Literally.  And in a BIG way!  I’m excited to share some news with you.  I am making a change…well, lots of changes really.

*I’m changing districts.
*I’m changing grade.
*I’m changing program model.

Here’s the info…since I started to blog, I almost immediately started following the blog of a 2nd grade dual language teacher.  I bet you follow her blog too!  Krista @ The Second Grade Super Kids.  Well it was exciting when I realized she was practically a neighbor of mine, and is also from the Chicago area.
We were able to meet during the summer and…

#1 – she’s amazing!
#2 – she’s inspiring! 

After talking with Krista I found myself wishing more than anything that I was part of a dual language program.  For those of you in the bilingual education know – I was teaching in a transitional program.  But dual language was calling my name!

So, I decided to see if the perfect position would present itself.  I wouldn’t change for anything but the perfect position!  I had such a wonderful teammate, and support system at my school.  These were the people who helped me figure out how to teach!  It’s hard to leave them behind and venture into the unknown!

BUT, the perfect position did present itself as a 5th grade dual language position.  Even better, I’m going to be working at a school with a staff that believes in dual language and has an established methodology and vision.  (EXCITING!)  To top it all off, I’ll be working at the same school as Krista.  She’s no longer just a bloggy friend, she’s a colleague and a friend. 

So from bilingual 2nd grade to 5th grade dual language I go!

See!  Blogging changes lives!  There is no doubt if I hadn’t started blogging I wouldn’t have been on the path that led me to this opportunity. 

Here are some pics of my new classroom as I found it:
from the doorwayfrom the back cornerfrom the back wallfrom opposite wall
from my deskfrom my desk1
from the front
All these pics mean I’m linking up to Miss Nelson’s linky – Before & After!   Isn't that a good idea.  I've always loved before & after pics...and as a teacher nothing beats classroom before & afters!

Today I had to empty out my old classroom.  I think today might have been the second day in the ENTIRE summer that it actually rained, and all day!  BUT after a few trips I was able to move all of my things to my garage.  You’ll remember I spent a lot of time this summer organizing my classroom library – well all those books and fancy labels are in my garage until further notice. 

Remember my back to school packets?  I thought I was being smart, creating a product and getting myself set for the beginning of the school year.  Well, feedback has been great, I’m really proud of them and was looking forward to using one in my classroom…but all that’s out the window too now!  Fifth grade teachers how do you start the school year?!

It’s worth it though!  I’m excited to read real literature with my 5th graders.  I’ve already picked up these book from the library and have 12 more on hold!  Can you tell I’m excited about reading some “real” books!!?!  I’m so looking forward to the conversations my students and I will share in Spanish and English! (HUGE GRIN!)
What this all really means though, is that my blog is going to have to change its look again!  I have to think of a clever name…any suggestions? 

Any tips for 5th grade?  I will take all tips and advice!  Behavior management suggestions?  Does the clip chart work?  Incentives for 5th graders.  I’m not sure bling will be as tempting as it was for my little guys. 

Last thing in this l-o-n-g post.  This Saturday is my husband's and my 5th anniversary!  CRAZY!  We’ll be going on vacation to northern Minnesota (exciting, I know!) for a week – just in time for me to be freaking out about not being in my classroom…but I’m going to try and keep it together and remember that no matter how much preparing I do, I’ll feel unprepared on the first day of school this year…at least I’ll keep telling myself that.

Mrs. Castro Pin It


  1. WOW! I am so happy for both of you! I admire your blogs (Krista and yours)
    I will be missing you as a primary grades teacher. But you both are going to be in the same school teaching dual language! I am so jealous :)
    When can I go to visit you?

  2. Congratulations!! Good luck and I look forward to hearing more about it!

  3. Congratulations! That's awesome, Laura! I'm so excited for you and can't wait to hear all about your journey!
    Ms. Kerri and her Krazy Kindergarten

  4. Wow, Laura! How amazing that the perfect spot opened up :) So happy for you!

    We read Cajas de Carton in my high school Spanish class!

    Good luck figuring out the 5th grade stuff! I would think they'd still love bling ;)


  5. Oh my gosh - that story just gave me goosebumplies!!!!!! I love it - perhaps you'll start a blog together too!?!?!

    Love it!!!! Congrats! :)

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

  6. You found the promised land-- dual language =). I am so happy for you!

  7. I am SOOOOO excited for you too! You and Krista will definitely be a dynamic dual duo! On that note of alliteration, how about "Quintessential" in Quinto (or something like that)? :)

  8. LAURA! OMG! I am so crazy happy for you. You and Krista are going to be like BFFs now..... I hope you will still let me hang out with you sometimes, haha!! Yay, I'm so pumped for you because I know this is exactly what you wanted!!

    Go look at my Goodreads because I read 5th grade level books like it's my job. :)

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  9. Laura! I am so happy for you! I know that ou will be missed, but I know you will be amazing!, good luck!

  10. Congrats! How exciting!!!! I am so happy for you. I can't wait to see more pictures. Best of Luck in your new school/position.

  11. I am soooooooooo excited! I cannot believe how everything worked out. Cannot wait to be colleagues, and I am looking forward to a great year! Congrats girl!

    The Second Grade Superkids

  12. Hi! I'm a bilingual 2nd grade teacher. My student's first language is spanish and they slowly learn english with the ESL teacher daily. I usually teach literacy in spanish to my spanish group (little to now english skills) and english to my english students (more advanced english skills). I end up teaching literacy twice every day. Two spelling lists, two vocab lists, different centers, different stories etc. It's exhausting! I'd love to learn how you teach literacy in your classroom with two languages. Thanks!

  13. Congrats, that's exciting! I'm also a bilingual teacher who teaches near the Chicagoland area, and also switching to an intermediate grade (4th). Can't wait to share some ideas with you, and good luck getting all set up!!


  14. Ayyy felicidades! It's so wonderful for you! I love, love dual language! Congrats to you :)
    First Grade Dual

  15. You bring awesome insights every time! I like the declared facts and knowledge of the post.