Hello August

Happy August everyone! Holy Hannah, how is that even possible? Now is the time of year when school starts to creep back into the mind and DIY classroom projects begin. I’ve slowly begun with a few fun projects I’ll be sharing with you soon but today I’m going to tell you all about the final trip of the summer before all of the work starts.

This past Tuesday my mom, myself, and a couple family friends hopped in a car and drove 12 hours to the Middle of Nowhere (literally.) We drove from central Minnesota to Glasgow, Montana. The part I love about this cute little town is it’s referred to as the Middle of Nowhere, you even can buy shirts with that saying and the town on it.


My mom and I went with her best friend and her best friend’s daughter who are close family friends. My mom’s best friend’s son lives out there and has recently gotten engaged, so we hopped int the car to go and celebrate with them.

When we reached Glasgow Tuesday night we walked around to take in the small town and then ate dinner at a 50’s knock off Dairy Queen diner called Flip. It was an adorable small town restaurant with only 3 people on staff at a time. We had the classic burger with fries and a shake. Amazing!

Wednesday we met up with the son and fiance and went golfing in the desert like grounds of Montana. It was beautiful but HOT. It was a nice 100 degrees that day. I had never been golfing ever so it was quite the experience but super fun. The scenery was incredible. We were surrounded by rolling hills and mountains with little to no civilization. We then all went to another small family owned restaurant and had fresh deli sandwiches for dinner.

That night we also went to get some groceries and I found the BEST homemade soap ever! I had to take a picture because they were so great!

On Thursday we took a 20 minute drive out to Fort Peck, Montana. We walked over a bridge that has a dam right underneath. At the time, they had 2 “doors” open from the Fort Peck lake to the opening of the Missouri River. It was crazy watching the flow of the water rush through the gates and into the river. The bridge was pretty but SUPER high off the ground. There’s something about bridges and height that don’t mix well for me. The 4 of us were having fun trying to make a joke out of our actual fear.

We also went hiking around the area to take in more scenery that leads into the Fort Peck Reservation. A few years ago I traveled down to volunteer in the Dominican Republic and there was something about that scenery and this one that looked almost identical.

We then drove back to Glasgow and went to all of the local shops. I love a good family owned home store. Looking for little trinkets are my favorite. I found the best magnet that really seemed to resonate with me!


Coming home we luckily got to chunk it into a 2 day trip instead of all in one night. (I seriously hate car rides.) We got back into the state yesterday and then had to rush right to a wedding of an old friend of mine who also happens to be a daughter of another one of my mom’s close friends.

It was a fun filled mother daughter week. My mom and I never get alone time together so it was awesome to get to experience so many new and fun things with her. I know I’ve said this before but my mom is my best friend and role model in life. She’s the reason I became a teacher and a coach, I wanted to be just like her. It was one of the best weeks of my life and for sure the best week of the summer.

Happy August again friends. For some of us that means we’re a month out from the start of school, for others you might be starting this week, and for some you might be in the middle of your years right now. No matter what August means to you, enjoy it and live it up. I know I’m going to make the most of my last 30 days of freedom!


With the school year around the corner, I’ll be back updating my instagram account more frequently with back to school projects, hacks, and classroom decor. Go follow me @lifeoftherookieteacher to be apart of my back to school journey.

June in Review

I know that it’s already July 6th but I figured since summer is already 1/3 of the way over I would go back and look at the first 1/3 because why not?

It’s crazy to think that 1 month ago was officially our last day of school. As fast as summer may be going it’s strange to think that it’s only been a month since the last day with my kiddos. Our last day was June 6th and I’m still sad thinking about those great kids! I miss them so much. This year was difficult at times but they were sweet and kind students and the chances of having such a great class like that is pretty slim.


Even if this isn’t in chronological order, on June 5th something super exciting happened for my mom! She is an elementary school teacher in my hometown (the next town over from where I teach now.) June 5th was her last day of school. At the end of the day the whole district goes to an end of the year staff celebration. At this celebration my mom was awarded an “outstanding service” award for being such a great teacher at her school. Unfortunately my dad was in the hospital at this time so my mom wasn’t able to attend the ceremony. My sister and I got the privilege to accept the award for her. We took a nice little picture with her teammates to surprise her.


A little fun fact about me (which most people don’t agree with) is that I am a HUGE Taylor Swift fan. On June 13th we found out the release date and name of her 7th album. The album will be called Lover and it will be released on August 23rd! I’m so excited. I know her music has different reviews but I love how her style always changes. I hate to admit this but I’m low key excited for the end of August because of this album (even if that means I’m back at school the following week.)


June 15th I was able to meet one of my very best friends from high school for brunch. Her and I go way back. We met when I was 12 and she was 10 through gymnastics. For years we practiced and competed together. As we got older we coached together and did other high school sports together. When I left for college we stayed in touch and when she went off to college we tried to meet up every now and then to stay up to date on our lives. We went to a local Minnesota restaurant called the 3 Squares located in Maple Grove, MN (for anyone out there who might be in the area at some point.) It was a delicious spot and the perfect place for brunch and (the best part) bottomless mimosas!!

June 17th I did something totally out there. I went to the hair salon and died the under coat of my hair pink (a pink peekaboo.) I’m a very low key, keep to myself person so getting my hair colored hot pink was something nobody would have thought I would do. I love it! 2 days later I decided to get a little bit more crazy and went to get my nose pierced. Actually I went to get it re-pierced. A few years ago I had a small stud in my nose but I took it out for student teaching. I have always been told that piercings and tattoos are frowned upon in the education world. It wasn’t until my piercing had closed that I realized they were accepted in my school. I missed it so much but never went to get it redone. I figured, this was the perfect time.


On June 19th my mom and I decided to take trip down to Minneapolis to see the Twins play the Red Sox. Sadly, they lost that game but my mom and I had the best night and shared some delicious margaritas.

Sunday, June 23rd was another amazing day. My little sister (Lea) will be entering her senior year of college with a degree in pastoral studies. This summer she is interning at the Methodist Church in our hometown. On June 23rd my baby sister got to deliver her first ever sermon in front of the congregation. It was incredible, I was so proud. In a week she will be leading the entire service. It’s crazy to think that she is only 20 years old and she is already making such a difference and doing what she loves.


June 29th was another big day. Lea’s best friend from childhood had her baby shower for her first born due in September. This little girl was my second little sister. She would stay over at our house almost every night in the summer. We haven’t spoken in years so seeing her beautiful pregnant self again was wonderful.


Finally, on June 30th I got to introduce my mom to one of my most favorite series in the world, the Avengers. For all you super nerds out there, you would know that Marvel studios rereleased Avengers: Endgame to share some post credit scenes that were not in the first release. My mom has never watched any Marvel movie so when I jokingly asked if she would go with me and she said yes, I was shocked. I had to fill her in on as much as I could before and throughout the movie but it made me so happy when she looked at me when it was over and said how great it was and how she wants to go back and watch all 21 previous movies.


June was fast but great. I can’t wait for the next 2 months of summer to see what fun and random things are in store for me!




I am pumped! Today has been an emotional day for sure. I was so excited for this day to come but when I was sitting in my room with my kiddos the last 5 minutes of the day, I realized I didn’t want them to leave. It has been such a great and amazing year.

We started the day off by moving all of our tables into one giant table. I wanted us to be together as a group for our last day instead of separated by 5 different tables. They came in and it was very chaotic (just as expected.) I had a mini word search for them to work on as something to do but most of them didn’t find that to be as exciting as laughing and talking with the rest of their friends, which is understandable. By the time they settled down we came to make a circle at the front of the classroom for our last morning meeting together.

During the meeting we did an activity that we did on the first day of school. The activity is one of my favorites that involves toilet paper (which they find to be hilarious!) I pass around rolls of toilet paper and they are told to take 1-3 pieces. (Some versions of this activity say to have them take as many as they want without telling them what it’s for but I found with 3rd graders, that was too much to handle.) On the first day of school they had to then tell myself and the class that many things about themselves, today they had to share that many memories/favorite things about 3rd grade. It was super sweet. Most of them took it pretty seriously and had some really good answers. We had some funny moments that came back up as well. It was nice for me to get a flashback of the year to remember what all happened.

I then had them go back to their spots and take out something to write with. I gave them each a blank piece of printer paper and told them to write their name in the middle and circle it. We then spent the next 15 minutes passing each sheet around the table so each student could write something nice on everyone’s piece of paper. It could be something they liked about that person, a nice memory, or a kind word. Again, most of them took this seriously and loved it. (Yes a few tried to be “funny” or “too cool” for the activity but the nice thing was that the rest of the class didn’t feed into any of that.)

Once we finished I read the great book Last Day Blues by Julia Danneberg and then we went to play outside. They went straight to specials and I took out their end of the year gifts to put at their spots. I found a pack of 24 “80’s style” sunglasses on amazon for $16.47 (prime) and  24 jump ropes for $39.75 (prime) and put together a little message to go with it. Props to Pinterest’s help on this one. I wrote each of them their own personalized card and put in the message “you shined so bright this year, now it’s time to jump into summer” into each one. (Hence the sunglasses and the jump ropes….not original, I know but easy!) Because they are sweet 8 and 9 year olds, they LOVED it!

To end the day I had put together a slideshow/video of our year together. I love taking pictures of everything we do throughout the year because I love looking back at the memories and how much they’ve grown. I also love putting it together into one movie to share with all of the families. We watched our slideshow and then took some final end of the year class pictures.

I am going to miss my class so much! We’ve had our struggles, oh yes, but they were all sweet and kindhearted and that is something I will truly miss. They have been such an incredible group of kids who cared so much about everyone else. My one goal when the year starts is to make them all love to be at school and today I got to see that I accomplished that. One of my boys who has never been afraid to tell me he hates school told me today he was very sad that school was over and that he would really miss me. He followed that up with a hug and I almost started to cry. It was everything I had worked so hard for. It’s those moments that make it all worth it.

That being said, I am very happy it is summer! I am EXHAUSTED and ready to sleep, read, swim, eat, and do whatever else I want to do when I want to do it. Tonight I plan on binging on pizza and having a nice cold one as my reward for making it through! Happy summer to my fellow teachers who are on their breaks and to all of my friends still in school, keep plugging through, you are AMAZING!!

As for me, peace out to year 2! I am so excited for year 3!!