Monday, August 12, 2013

Teacher Week 2013: All About Me!

Melissa Ruth Chae...

So, here's my story for my first linky party.  I went to University of Maryland for Criminal Justice.  I really had no idea what I was going to do with that degree, maybe cop, but the idea of me with a gun should scare everyone.  Lawyer was out of the question because 4 more years of school made me want to vomit.  I had an internship at the Supreme Court (that I hated) and was basically fired because I was a sucky secretary.  But it was a cool experience to see all the juctices, met Justice Clarence Thomas, and Justice Rehnquist at his birthday party at the Court!  

After college, I wandered and pondered what I was going to do.  Moved to CA for a bit and had a "comin to Jesus" moment: I have no direction in my life and I better get my life together.  Moved back to MD and saw a commercial for University of Maryland giving Masters if you teach in Baltimore City for 5 years.  I signed up, they put me in two schools over 10 classrooms, one of them being emotionally disturbed special ed. contained class over SIX MONTHS, when I was supposed to be in ONE class for the year.  I quit!

Pondered some more but teaching never left me, so I decided to go the traditional route with student teaching and all.  I loved it and never turned back.  I've taught third grade at Rock View for 7 years, and this will be my first year in 4th.  I've been team lead for two of those years and don't want to leave my school because it is so awesome.  I love my coworkers, I love the kids, and let's be honesty, I love most of the parents.

I am very organized, environmentally conscious, and prepared.  I like to learn how the kids think and how to help them click with the concepts.  I like to be colorful, not really a theme.  I am also very loud and goofy, I like to be crazy as my kids would call me.  I am sarcastic and love when they finally get it. You should see the look when they really don't know what to make of me.  I don't tie shoelaces, and I don't do whining.  I like to have fun and learn and be outside the box. 

I love this new curriculum because it has reenergized me to think outside that box.  Its basically all the same concepts we all taught in the old curriculum, but just the expectations are higher and applied more to real life rather than worksheets.  I am enjoying the service part of our curriculum.  It incorporates all subject matters and they get so much out of it.

This year I plan on either having the kids create a composting program at our school, we are already getting honors for our recycling program, but so much food is thrown away every day! And we have Green Kids at our school helping us with these kinds of projects.  OR a campaign to get our district to stop using styrofoam trays, those things never decompose.  

It will be great!  I've already had this conversation with the kids last year since I had them in 3rd, and we are on board.  Also, I got a local environmental group to give our kids 3 free field trips!  THREE!  One they came to the school to teach the kids how we are impacting the Anacostia Watershed, the second was building bird houses for the the local bird species because the trees are being cut and there are less areas for them to live, and a boat tour of the Anacostia River, explaining to the kids how "we" have impacted it and what we can do to help it.  I encourage you to look in your area for local groups that may have grants to teach kids.  We were able to teach every subject area on these three field trips and then created a bookmark business.  

Our third grade team had the kids "apply" for one of the 4 departments, marketing, production, sales, and accounting.  Then we put them in their departments and got to work.  Marketing came up with marketing strategies to get the most bookmarks sold.  Production obviously made the bookmarks.  I was in charge and they were assembly line style, THEY LOVED IT!!  Sales was in charge of how they were going to get the word out and get it out.  And accounting was in charge of totaling up all the money we raised.  We were only going to do it for 2 Days, but there was such high demand that we raised $500 to donate to Anacostia Watershed Society.

So that is me in a nutshell.  I just joined in on this blogging bandwagon and learning the ropes.  But I wouldn't have "charged in" if I didn't think I had something to add.  You know additive not repetitive.


  1. Very cool idea about the bookmarks! Project based learning at it's best. :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  2. I'm glad I found your blog. I'm a fellow 4th grade teacher. Good luck with starting a new grade this year!

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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    1. I am glad you found it too! I will post stuff as the year goes on and how I am fairing in 4th grade!

  3. Hi Melissa! I would love to answer your questions that you asked on my blog and help you out anyway I can! I can't reply by email since you are a "no reply blogger" and don't want to type a book here. :) Could you send me an email at so I can reply? Thanks and I am looking forward to chatting:)
    Fourth Grade Flipper
    P.S. See tutorial here for no reply blogger: