The Hiatus has Ended and Shall Return Nevermore

It’s confession time. I have not been on this blog in just shy of a year. Life happened. This may seem like an excuse but it’s the truth. From the outside looking in it appears that teachers have a pretty easy job–we have evenings, weekends, winter, spring and summer breaks off. This just is not true.

I was put in a position that forced me to choose between teaching or not. I was told I needed to complete 5 post-baccalaureate level courses in one school year. This was in addition to teaching, planning, and grading for 100 or so students. This was in addition to being a pseudo-department head to assist new teachers. This was in addition to off-campus and on-campus meetings that took me away from my students. This was in addition to being present in the moment for my daughter who is overcoming challenges through Physical and Speech Therapy every week. This was also in addition to working a part-time job during the last half of the school year.

I persevered and finished–but at the expense of things, I truly cared about. The past year has given me more perspective and forced me to set up boundaries for my personal and professional lives. As teachers–we don’t get that. We are expected to be teachers 24/7 & 365 days a year. I don’t completely have the balance down, but I have grown over the past year and am grateful for the experience.

Sincerely and with Teachers in Mind,

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Things I am Excited About for This School Year!

I want people to understand more about me and the kind of teacher I endeavor to be for my kiddos when they walk into my classroom.  This requires my classroom to become non-traditional but will also allow me to teach the whole child not just the part that needs to take tests and do well on them.

So here are a few of my favorite things and how I will use them this school year.


  1. Mood Music: I played music for the kids last school year  as background music but my ahem Urban Setting prompted kids to ask for music that was often inapproriate. As much as I like giving the kids a choice, I will need music that is calming and will allow for productivity–not a dance party. Since I am leaving my issued laptop at work and working at home with my personal device I use Amazon’s Music Player. It is awesome and I do not get a kickback for telling you that. It’s just nice to have a music player I can actually log-in to and use no matter where I am. The typical music players are blocked on my school network but this one is not. I would like to have music for a 90 minute period including slower tempo at the beginning of the list and faster tempos in the last 30 minutes as a home stretch.

My playlist so far:


2. Having Flexible Seating in my Classroom. When I look back on my favorite classroom I remember it fondly being called “The Fishbowl” It had a glass wall between it and another classroom. There was a large carpet we could sit on, there was also an oversized chair or two and a sofa. We LOVED that classroom. I also remember that we were so relaxed that we honestly did not have a defiant bone in our bodies, and I honestly feel as though it helped our scores. We had the best Reading and English Scores in a school that was also the best in our district. If that is not a testament to the results given from Flexible Seating I don’t know what to do to make you a believer. I have a Donors Choose project set up to help me get Flexible Seating in my Classroom. All donations go through the non-profit that would then purchase the materials. If my project does not get funded by the deadline, you get your donation back. Interested in helping us out? See this link: http://bit.ly/2t782Ka

3. Shaking up my rituals and routines for the first day. I am a fun person. I promise I am. But sometimes my introvert takes over and I come off as serious or stand-offish. Enter the Escape Room Activity. Since I am doing a Game of Thrones themed classroom this year I think that I need an Escape Room. The general idea is to set up questions at each station and if students answer the questions at one station they get to move to their next destination. If they make it to all stations/destinations by the time the timer goes off they will have escaped from the White Walkers (In this Case). I’ll have music, sound effects and video clips OH MY! Maybe built into a Powerpoint. Stay tuned for details on that.

Any suggestions? I would love to hear them. Don’tforget to donate or share my Donors Choose Project!










Planning Your Passions

During the Summer Months teachers stay busy. We may take Professional Development Courses. We may travel. We sometimes pick up Seasonal Jobs. I have done all of those things before. This year, I am Planning My Passions and how I will get them done. I am also figuring out ways to plan my day and life so I can maintain balance when the school year begins again.

Stress has made me a dreamer. Stress has also made me determine what I can do to change my situation. If money has to be tight, is it beneficial to me to also be extremely stressed? Are there other capacities that I can teach and fuel my passion so I am fruitful and can multiply in areas of my life that have been dormant?

I am creating products on Teacher Pay Teacher to help alleviate the stress of other teachers. Anything I can make to assist. I will. I will design interactive tutorials. But I will also make products that I can use, to help plan my life. I will pursue all of my passions fully and see where life leads.

PreviewDemoTeacherCompanionBlogHere is my latest Teacher Product. It is a Teacher Binder Featuring AMAZING Game of Thrones Inspired Characters. Get this Digital Download Here. The product is designed in a way that allows you to easily print the pages needed at the beginning of each grading period.

Let’s enjoy the journey together.


Classroom, Uncategorized

Open Letter to All Teachers Everywhere

Hello! I am Natasha Pachecker, and I am entering my 4th year teaching. In that time I have taught 6-grade levels and this ride has been exciting, terrifying, stressful, and extremely rewarding. Teaching requires so much of a person. You rise early (sometimes after staying up prepping), then you stay late. You then have personal obligations that bleed into the professional ones that creep up moment by moment. Teaching is not a job that you can “check out” of every day. Your mind is constantly roaming.

Although I am not as experienced as many, I do have an ever expanding skill set that I would love to share. If I can help others keep the little flames they teach each day bright, I will do everything I can to share the know-love. There are organizations in our schools to step in the gap for basic needs our students may be lacking. There are clubs to keep them safe and help them with homework. There is additional support for parents. Where is all of the off campus, visible, support/help/shoulder to cry on for the teachers? Everyone wants things of us, but it is difficult to get someone to tell us how. As I have been in that place of frustration, I know what it is like, and from time to time I go back and visit.

I also honestly created this Blog out of a need I felt. It was difficult for me to find and relate to someone out on the web, that was transparent about the struggles involved with being a teacher. Sure, there are a ridiculous number of extremely talented DIY, classroom decor, Lesson Planning gurus–but where were the people like me? Did those people actually struggle day to day at their schools? I mean, come on, they obviously have very busy lives but how do they maintain? This is what I want to share. How I maintain, and I would love for you to join me and help open up the conversation.

I am most anxious about being a help and being consistent with this blogging thing.

I am most excited for the journey to come.

Here’s to the Future.


Mrs. P