New Signature

Yay I figured out how to do a new signature! Now if I can only figure out how to post a pic of a Google Doc item, I'll be set!

Didn't get called to sub today, thank goodness! I couldn't fall asleep last night. Now I could easily go tomorrow...hehe :)


I'm Ready.....

Well not ready ready, like mentally ready, but physically ready, I'm set to go for subbing. Tomorrow is the first day of school for one district. They were the ones I subbed for the first day of school last year though I don't expect a repeat. Oh and I found out they are searching for a kinder teacher (my ideal job) but have to be bilingual. I speak enough, but wouldn't be able to read/write what they would want.

So my bag is stocked. Hand sanitizer, lotion, advil , and a snack for me. Mad libs, geometric coloring sheet, stickers and erasers, and a read aloud book for the kiddos.  I'll have to dredge out my super cute lunch bag with polka dots and my name on it.

Guess I need to prepare going to bed early again...although I'm going camping this week lol and I already had to block myself from the call list. Now I'm getting kinders, new teachers, but I'm armed and ready. I can do this. It's my fifth Oh, better pack some of my sub cards too before I forget :)

Retirement Party

Whew! I survived the party! It was touching and I loved that people were having a great time. The venue is a newly renovated loft (Corner Brick Loft is the name) and not many people have been there. Exposed brick walls and hardwood floor, can't go wrong with that.

The catering lady is awesome too! We had fruits, veggies, shrimps, sandwiches, wraps, and dessert!

There were 2 slideshows and then some presentations to my dad. I had fun chatting and being the little hostess. And my decor rocked it out! It matched so well with everything. Ok time for pics :)

Entrance table. Look what I made with my Cricut!

Again, can't rotate lol. but my table toppers on 6 tables.
2 of these for 2 cocktail tables


The banquet room (figured I would not post pics with the people hehe)

My cat with the tissue paper after having fun. This is mid pounce lol.

It was so much fun. And truly, it was a great tribute. My decor so rocked. I can't get over that I made it all lol. My dad thanked me a few times for it.  Ok people I'm pooped after today and leftovers from the party are calling my name!

More books

So I went to Borders again. This week it's 50-60%  off and they got new stuff in yesterday from other Borders' that closed. And I just about freaked again. Another blogging book...

I got it for $10! Pretty good I think.

And then I continued on my search and grabbed another book that's making it's rounds in blog land:
I have his Essentials book, so I can't wait to read this one!

I also bought 50 things kids should know about science, and 50 things kids should know about math for $2.99 each!

Don't you love the covers? Has cool information and facts. For $2.99 each, couldn't beat it.

And I bought reusable cups, 3 for $9.99.

2 have peace symbols, the other argyle.
Then I went and got frozen yogurt and my friend happened to be shopping across the street so we had fro yo together. What a great day! 

Woops...Teacher Talk...

I missed Teacher Talk Tuesday....and as I don't have a classroom, no pics for today, so I'll Teacher Talk Tuesday today hehe :)

My advice will be for both subs and teachers with subs.....


1. Please make sure you have at least an emergency plan for subs. You don't know how stressful it is if we come to your class, no plans. Especially if it is the first time in your class and don't know your routine, kids, etc.

2. Make sure your sub has more than enough to do. And just because we are subs doesn't mean we can't teach! I've been in a class where it was all worksheets. Yes worksheets are good, but for a whole day, the kids and I get bored. And they get done quickly.

3.  A class list is very helpful for different reasons. Emergencies like fire drills, noting who the kid that was helpful/trouble.

1. Make sure to come prepared. You never know if you will switch classes, get moved to another school, or have no plans.

2. Have some sort of fillers with you. Mad libs, brainteasers, and geometric coloring pages are my go-tos as well as reading books.

3. Never let the kids see you sweat. If they think you don't know what you are doing, then they will take advantage of you.

4. Be flexible. You may be switched to another class, or one you don't like. And never complain around staff about it. One day I was in the office and a sub got moved and threw a hissy fit and big stink. You can bet she won't be back for a long time.

5. Leave a note for the teacher. Let them know what went well, what you didn't get to, who was misbehaving. They'll appreciate it.

Linking back to Blog Hoppin'!

Blog Hoppin'

I'm joining the Blog Hoppin' going on today :)

Tell us a little something about you...

I'm Tanja, also known as Ms. T to students (they can't pronounce my last name lol) or Miss T on blog land. Journey of a Substitute Teacher  is my blog.  I have  a cat named Checkers. I love camping, reading, music, and being with friends.
How long have you been teaching?

This is my fifth year substitute teaching.  Oregon has been really bad economically (well so are other states too) and laid off a lot of teachers the last few years, last year a lot. So I have to tell myself that this is the reason that I haven't found a 'forever home' in a class. I honestly think it would be worse to have a class and be stripped of it than what I am going through of not having one. I sub for a few districts and get requested a fair amount, yay! 

Interesting facts...

I have a Cricut and I love it! I'm doing the decor for my dad's retirement party this Saturday. I have a slight fear of heights. And I hate spiders! I'm an only child.
What are you looking most forward to this school year?

I'm looking forward to seeing some of my students that I subbed for the last 4 years. My 'babies' from kinder are now in 4th. Oh goodness. One class in particular I subbed a lot in when they were in kinder and subbed a lot for them last year in 3rd.
What do you need to improve?

I want to be better with time management. Sometimes it's hard following the teacher's plans, but I've been good so far.
And last year was goodbye nice teacher and hello "Ms. T can be strict." I want to find that happy medium.
What teaching supplies can you *not* live without?


Mad Lib.

Sudoku, geometric coloring worksheets, brainteasers.

You can link up to the Blog Hoppin' going on here:


DIY Projects

I help my friend out once a month at her lumberyard that her family owns when they have a class for kiddos. Every month is a different project. Some projects are repeats from the year before but only a few as they are popular.

They only cost $5 per class and all materials provided. Your first class gets you an apron and a hammer. Myself and a few others instruct the class and we have 3 sessions.

Summer time is usually slower and today was proof. Cancelled our 10 am class, had 4 in our 9 am but was pleasantly surprised with our 11 am class. We had close to 20.

Today was a bookshelf. And I managed not to get my thumb hit by the kiddos! Lol.

Past projects are flower pots, cement stepping stones (our fave and most popular class), candy dispenser, chalkboard, rain gauge, birdhouse, flower planter, and pvc pipe water guns. Stepping stones, painting flower pots, and water guns are our repeats. Next month is a leaf/flower press. I'm excited for it as it's new!

We have teachers come in sometimes to do a lesson and get ideas for their classrooms. I sometimes get to create the project too and am a proud owner of a flower pot, 2 stepping stones, a few pvc pipe water guns, and the chalkboard, which is SO fitting.

Excuse the bad handwriting hehe I wrote it on fast as I didn't want it bare.
I can't wait til I can hang that in my own class! It's so amazing though to say that I built that chalkboard, hanging chain came with it and the piece of chalk to. Can't beat that for five bucks!

Table decor...pointers

Alrighty, I took a stab at it and sat down and did table decor for my dad's police retirement party. Pretty easy too. And cute! 

Sorry that it's side ways but I can't flip it lol. And excuse the mess, was doing dishes.

So what it is is a square glass candle holder and filled with blue sea glass, tied with blue ribbon (all from Dollar Tree) for the container. The twigs were bought for about 15 in a bunch from the Dollar Tree. I bought silver spray from Wal-Mart and sprayed them. The stars are foam stars that came for about 50 or so from Wal-Mart. They stick on the back, but I used a hot glue gun. And the silver stars I spray painted from green and yellow ones. So overall, relatively cheap.

As I was doing it, I thought of how cute it would be in a classroom, but have the stars on the ends of the sticks and use them as magical pointers. They also have bamboo sticks at Dollar Tree that could be pointers. I am quite pleased with my DIY project ! And I can always reuse them too. Oh and they will be on top of a mirrored square bought at Wal-Mart. 


I am sad that Borders is closing. My parents invited me on an impromptu shopping trip last night at 7 to go shopping at a larger shopping area. First stop was Borders. Everything was 30-50% off but they were changing the signs to 40-60% for today. Lots of stuff was gone already but I headed upstairs where education and kids books are.

I had to really control myself lol. See, as I said before I love shopping. But there are some stores that I am just in heaven in. Like Borders, Target, Whole Foods (I went there too!), Grocery Outlet (mine left :( ), and a few others. I'm a dork, I know lol.

I kept telling myself that I could only pick a few books out as I don't have a classroom. I was very good and only got two books. One was a book I know I'll be using as a filler for subbing. It has questions, riddles, and stumpers. Perfect! And then I saw it...and I had to restrain myself from rushing and knocking a little kid over. One of the books I'd seen on blog land.

And so I bought The Little Red Pen and I am so happy I got it!

Then I got to go Yogurtland and treated myself to a little bit of cheescake frozen yogurt. Oh, don't think I've mentioned that last week I started Weight Watchers. Tuesday marked the end of week 1 and I lost 2.8 pounds! I didn't get as much as fro yo as I usually would but I was pleased with myself as I had points left after that if I wanted to eat something. It helps that some of my friends started with me too so I have a support system.

But back to yesterday lol. I went to Whole Foods and got some goat milk soap that smelled so good. And then went to Fred Meyer's and I found the flat bread I had been searching for! It's called Flat Out. And the one I got is Italian Herb and I love it!  I also bought marshmallow fluff which I plan on using like a frosting to drizzle over this brownie mix I got. The brownie mix can be used to make individual servings. 2 TBS of the browine mix and 1 TBS of low fat vanilla yogurt. Ahhh bliss!

And tonight is the community BBQ and I get to watch police officers and firefighters play softball against each other. Should be epic!

Yay they arrived!

My Vistaprint sub cards came!

Though my happiness was a bit diminished when I saw the exterior box was open and the box with my cards had been opened too, the pull tab removed and placed in the mailing box.

You would think it would be safe going to the P.O Box, but guess not lol. Last Christmas 2 of my orders there were stolen, but the lady had stolen a ton and was arrested.

Any way, I am not going to count to see if all 200 of my cards are there lol.

Busy busy!

It seems like I prepare for one event , have a day to breathe and prepare for another lol.

So with the BBQ competition behind me, I have a community BBQ on Thursday, but my dad's retirement party is what is on my mind because that is the 27th and I have to finish all the decor.

I have a WW meeting tonight ( I just joined last week) and  dentist appointment tomorrow then the BBQ on Thursday.

Decor is just about finished. I spray painted the twigs I got at Dollar Tree silver. I have to go buy more twigs though. It's really cute looking as I put it all together today for a look. But then was struck taht it needed something a bit more and stars, silver stars came to mind. Fitting since my dad was a police sergeant.

Oh and look at the duffel bag I have!

I bought it from a friend's daughter as a fundraiser thinking I'd use it for traveling but it's just a tad too small for me unless it's a one nighter lol. So to my surprise, my Cricut fit in it and all its stuff. Yay!

And school will be starting soon...though I *probably* won't be called til the second week, if even that. Though last year was the first day of school ;)

BBQ Competition

Oh I am so tired! Yesterday was a loooooooong day. I was up early and stayed up late. But I had a TON of fun.

The competition was fierce and the mood was fun. So many booths and so many meat samplings lol. The main categories were pork spare ribs, beef ribs, and chicken. But a person could make their own meat they wanted to hand out. Yummy sauces and oh such a good day. Your $10 (but I was free since dad was on a team) included a meal ticket , all the samplings you wanted, and live music from 4 bands/groups. Plus there were clowns painting kids' faces and making balloons.  And raffles.

The posters I made for the non-profit group looked great at the booth and they did pretty well selling.

So for the first time of new chicken, 6th place by 2 points from 5th (top five get stuff). Pork ...well not so good but 10th (15 groups). But beef got 2nd!!!!!! Yay!!!!

And we tied for 3rd overall!!!

My Dad hehee. He only wore the patch a few times. They were the Smokin' Bandits.


BBQ Cookoff

Tomorrow is the BBQ competition, the  cook off!  Personally I hope my dad wins, but there are also four other teams that I will root for. Last I heard there were 14 teams and possibly 4 more.

Last night I met with the non-profit group that I help out with and we were moving stuff into an empty builiding we are allowed to use as storage for our auction in October. The building used to be Grocery Outlet and how sad we all were when they shut it down (way back when it was Rite-aid).

We got lights working but not the electrical outlets so I couldn't make my posters with the Cricut like planned so they sent stuff home with me to make the posters.  Oh I had fun. And I just got a text saying we are selling pop too so I need to cut out those letters yet and I have a little picutre of pop on one of my cartidges (I only have 2 compared to my friend who I kid you not has 20).

This is what I made:
To the one that has water on it, I can easily add pop between it and the price.

I love the otter poops one! I sent a picture of these on my phone to the president of the group and she couldn't get over how cute they were. We have a booth up at the cook-off. The whole thing is being run by firefighters and all money goes to the local search and rescue group, so this whole thing is great. For $10 you get a meal ticket of pulled pork sandwich/chips/coleslaw/soda and then all the samples you want. Plus live music! I soooo can't wait for tomorrow. I'll spend the night out there too. Yay!


I just got my copy of Instructor in the mail. I love seeing what books they put in there to read to kiddos. This article was books for back to school.

I have favorite authors and books so I always look forwarding to seeing new books in there. I do carry some books with me subbing. I try to bring books that are either a favorite, or something new which makes it exciting for the kids. I've even had teachers leave me books for read aloud that are new, to get kids excited.

One of my favorites is Miss Nelson is missing. The kinder teacher even had me have students guessing why their teacher was gone. And she had them write a sentence and draw a picture of what they though happened to the teacher. That had to have been one of the cutest lessons and creative answers I've ever seen.  There were responses from her being sick in bed, to being in Hawaii, to maybe being on the moon!

It was fun for me as a sub and a learning activity for them bu tthey got to draw and write. It was also great because I was one of the first substitutes they had too, as kinders.

Do you have any books you like subs reading to your kids?


Shopping addict

I'm serious. I think I have a shopping problem lol. I love buying stuff. And the sad thing is I have no classroom and all this stuff and so I tell myself to stop buying things. And then I came upon this glorious find at my Wal-Mart:

Are they not adorable? Tin pails, with handles for 97 cents. I mean I couldn't pass them up because honestly, when will they have them again? And I bought 2 of each of the buckets.

I love the yellow polka dot one. Then there is the sweet one with apples and has letters on the apples. The back one is an owl and books and I think an apple. The red one has pencils. I immediatley knew what I would do with those 2 pencil ones. Make a label and put on one "sharp pencils" and the other one "broken pencils". The other 6 buckets I can use for supplies or whatever else I want lol.

I texted my friend in the parking lot and told her that she needs to get these. She's  been a 2nd grade teacher the last few years and was moved to kindergarten and is freaking out. I've been her number 1 sub this whole time and we've become really close. In fact, I'll be helping her set up her room :) For her birthday I made her a kinder basket.  We stayed up til 11: 15 last night texting lol.

Oh and before I went to Wal-mart, I turned in my bloodborne pathogen, sexual harrassment, child abuse, and other sub papers. They decided we didn't have to have a meeting this year and could view the slideshows online.  Also got my last bit of stuff in to renew my license and cleared it with the human resources supervisor. So looks like I am good to go for the school year! And I think 3 of the schools have staff that know I am subbing, so that's awesome.

Dollar Tree

I'll admit it, I'm in LOVE with the Dollar Tree. It's like a glorified Target Dollar Spot hehe. I can't even say which one I love more, except that my Dollar Tree is about 10 minutes from while Target is a bit further.

I stopped in today to get a few more things for my dad's retirement party. And I turned the corner where there was school supplies and had to contain myself. They had pointers! Like the pointers with the hands on the end of them! And in 3 different colors! And even though I have no classroom I bought one of each :D I know I will have a class one day, so I've been buying stuff the last few years :)

And they had these adorable cones, in different colors, saying 'super star', "good work', "great job", and "way to go". So I bought one in each color. My thought was I could use them in my own class for the tables doing a great job.

I could even use them as a sub...make it something special that if they have the cone at the end of the day, they get something. This would work with younger ones, I'm afaid the older ones would destroy it or something lol. For me, little ones get stickers, older ones get an eraser or jolly rancher, depends on how bad the class lol.



I was thinking it was time for another freebie :) After talking with one of teacher buddies who is starting to set up her classroom for this year (they don't start til Labor Day), I decided to make a few synonym charts.

Don't you love how little ones call it cinnamon? Hehe. So I made a few charts, one for 'good', 'nice', 'happy', and 'said'.  What I did was put the normal word in black in the middle, and the more colorful synonyms all around in different fonts, colors, and sizes.

So here it is:

Still trying to figure out how you all post a pic of it and then you can click and there is the link. Didn't want to have take print screen shot and then go to paint, unless that's how you do it?


Ok, so I have to jump on the Vistaprint bandwagon. Love it! Even though this will be my 5th year subbing (wow long time!), I decided to make sub cards to hand out.

In one district we are on an automated sub caller system, so we have ID numbers. So my cards include my number, my name, e-mail,  my cell number and that I speak some Spanish and that I have experience subbing.

I picked a brighter colored card to catch the teacher's eye as they sit at their desk hehe :) Also it's bubbly like my personality.

This is the one I went with:

I think it's cute :)

I've seen other sub cards and they are dark and elegant but I think anything you can do to stand out is good. It's going to be a tough year. Thank goodness in my past 4 years I've built relationships with teachers and in one school in particular, the secretary requests me and I'm generally there. I've got teachers that request me, but I want more! Lol.  Wonder if I will sub the first day of school like I did last year? Lol. 

So, for just shipping and handling, I'll get 200 business cards :) I can't wait!

My cat

So I am a cat person. I have a cat named Checkers. I'll show you a pic why her name is that:
Her face has the checkerboard pattern

She adopted me 6 years ago, showing up at my house, half wild. Now she is pretty much tame and a lovebug. She loves to cuddle and sleep in my bed and spends her sunny days out in the yard in the sun or hot tub curled up.

Today wasn't a good day. I screamed in shock as 2 big dogs hunted her down as she was sunbathing on the front deck, a normal spot. She was quicker than them and scrambled up a tree. She was there for at least an hour or more until I finally was able to coax her down. 
I called the police and they said those dogs have been cited before and they know where they live (doesn't hurt my dad is an retired cop and they all know him lol). 

Here is my baby up in the tree:
She was just looking at me

Honestly, my stomach was sick thinking I was going to watch my beloved being mauled. She has been there with me through some of the hardest times of my life such as my cousin in a car accident and then dying, me getting the disappointing "We're sorry but we've already filled the position" letters, and through my tough days of subbing.  She is family to me and today really showed that.

When I get a classroom of my own, I'll make a book with her in it, like my friend has done. Maybe showing Checkers following the rules or a "Checkers says..." kind of thing use a picture of her head saying something. My friend has a dog and she used the dog in different parts of the school and meeting the librarian, principal, etc to show her kinders the school which is a clever idea.  If you don't have a pet or a classroom pet, you could do this with a stuffed animal that you've made into a mascot, which I may also do when I have my own class.


Beach Trip

Mmm I had a great time at the beach. Perfect weather! I got color and I caught crab! Mostly red rock and one dungeoness.   I also caught some starfish.

Funny how when I'm at the beach I think about my teacher friends that teach ocean units. Things come into my mind like the starfish and how it could help kiddos count by 5's, one for each leg. Or the octopus I saw (her name is Ursula) and the cute stories you create about her and her ocean friends.

Math equations could be done with seals and rocks or fish and poles or my favorite, crabs and pots :) How cute would that be if the kiddos had pots/baskets and had crabs to put in and out and write equations?

Or kiddos could write sight words on a shell shaped paper and put it in beach buckets to show how many words they know and fill them up!  If you do currency in your room , think about sand dollars (paper of course, not the real ones).

Here are some pics from my trip:

Pelicans at the marina
The 12 crab we caught. Red Rock doesn't matter the size/sex. See my 1 dungeoness?
Sunset at the marina, crab dock is there and bridge in the distance
Sideways shot of my crab...yummy!

I had a peaceful, relaxing time crabbing. I enjoyed eating fish and chips and sea foam (picture in last post) and salt water taffy. But boy were my arms sore after hauling pots for a day! I think I have bigger arm muscles now lol :)

To the beach!

I'm off to the beach today for a few nights. Ahhhh I so love the beach! The smell, the sound, the animals, the food!

I'll be for sure stopping at my favorite place that has cheap but awesome fish and chips and you are on the main strip of the old town. I love people watching! I will also have to stop at the sweet shop and get fresh saltwater taffy and my beloved sea foam. Sea foam is like hard molasses in chocolate. I think I may have a picture from my last beach trip of sea foam.....
Seafoam...mmmm with a bite out of it hehe.

There is also a free marine center with an octopus, free science movies, a tidal pool, fish and a ton of hands on exhibits. A great resource that I know schools love going to!  I know my teacher friends that when they teach animals or in 2nd grade they do ocean stuff, they have real shells and sand dollars and cute stuffed animals and fun activities that they got from our coast. We are about 2 and 1/2 hours away so not too far. I love our Oregon coast!

Oh and I am going crabbing! I love to crab. I have 3 pots, my shellfish license (only 7 dollars) and bait, so I am ready to go! Hehe :)
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