Monday, October 19, 2015

Positive Peer Pressure

So often we hear about peer pressure in a negative context. However, I have had the opportunity recently to see it played out in a positive way in my classroom. I am thoroughly enjoying being a teacher at Southside Middle School in Muncie. I enjoy the challenges and rewards each new day brings.

We have been focusing on positive reinforcement in my class. My students are able to earn dollars each day, which they can use to pay me at the end of each day for some free time. If they don't have enough money for free time, they don't get to play with my toys and have to do work instead. If all the students in the class get free time on any given day we cross off a letter from the acronym SWAGGER (students who achieve good grades earn respect). SWAGGER is a school wide initiative encouraging our students to get good grades. Once we have marked off all the letters, we get to go somewhere special. The first time, we went to McDonalds for a quick afternoon snack. The second time, we went to Fazolis for lunch and the park.

Although the entire system encouraged positive peer pressure, our time at the park allowed me to experience how helpful peer pressure can be in the right context. One of my students tends to not like changes in lighting. This presented a problem when he attempted to go down a slide that had a cover over it. He spent about 20 minutes standing on the stairs and reaching one foot up to the slide. Anytime any of the adults would encourage him he would back away and start again. If other students came up behind him, he would back down in a slight panic and let them go. Finally, he gave up and went to another part of the park. This was when one of my other students stepped up and said "let's go down the slide, come on" and took of running towards the slide. The other student followed him up the stairs, under the cover, and down the slide. All it took was an encouraging friend who showed him how to do it and made sure he knew it was okay. I was so thankful that one of my students took the time to encourage his friend to give it another try.

I'm hoping I see many more examples of positive peer pressure in my classroom this year!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bedroom Progress

This is a bit overdue, but figured I'd go ahead and paste some before, during, and after shots of my bedroom remodeling. My room is such a fun getaway. I still have a small amount of painting left to do in the alcove, but the larger part of my bedroom was completed in time for my Kodai Tamak, which was a blast. It was fun to get to see so many of you! 

The bedroom was probably my hardest room to do so far. It had wallpaper on the walls that was glued to the walls very well, especially at the seems. At times it was coming off inch by inch. Also, there happened to be a layer of paint under the wallpaper that started peeling off the wall with the wallpaper. As a result, I had to sand the entire room to make sure the paint didn't bubble when it went on. It was a tedious project and not one I would like to repeat, but the finished product was definitely worth it! 
Wallpaper Removal
Preparation for Sanding
I hopefully didn't scare off my neighbors
 Walls and floors cleaned from dust and ready for primer and paint
 Painting Finished and Furniture moved back in - The gorgeous bed was given to me and fits so perfectly in my room and my house!  
Final touch: curtains

Thursday, April 9, 2015


It's been fun to see how God has provided furniture for me along the way. I bought the buffet below for $35. I have had fun staining and painting it to make it my own. I wasn't sure how I would like the blue, but I love how it turned out.  I look forward to doing more of this in the future.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Living Room

I have been working on all sorts of different projects around the house. It seems like I rarely get a chance to complete a project, but am instead in the midst of a bunch of different things all the time. Last week I was able to complete (for the most part) my living room. It has been so much fun having people over now that my dining room and living room are livable. Here are some pictures from the project.  

Come to my Kodai Tamak (God meal) on April 12th to see it in person. A Kodai Tamak is something Kazakhs do to celebrate the blessings God gives. In this case, I would love for you to come and celebrate God's blessing of a house with me. Drop by anytime between 3-5pm. Email me for my address.  
 Thankfully, wallpaper removal for this room was fairly painless
Finished (mostly) product

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Living Room Remodel

I have been working hard to revamp some of the rooms in my house. The first project I started on was removing the wallpaper in the living room.  The wallpaper came off easily.  I then fixed up some of the walls and did some priming before I was able to paint.  I was able to find some inexpensive used furniture. I also installed hung some new curtains. I have some more work to do related to decorations, but it's coming along well.  My next project is removing the wallpaper in my bedroom. Here are some before/after pictures of my living room as well as some flowers I found in my flower bed.  Enjoy!