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Year in Review 2014

This has been the hardest year of my life. I probably have said that before, but I can honestly say 2014 has been a year that has changed me and has impacted the rest of my life forever. Not all of 2014 was good or easy. 2014 brought emotional struggles with family, my career, and friends. 2014 brought pain, struggle, triumph, and laughter. The one word I would use to describe my life in 2014 is tired. I was tired all of 2014 between finishing up college and learning to tackle new challenges with my 2nd grade class. 2014 came and 2014 happened.

Name: Shelby Jean Forsyth
Age: 21
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Food: Aunt Kerry's Tacos
Favorite Activity: Sleeping
Favorite Book: Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

Highlights of 2014
Greatest Lesson Learned: Teaching wasn't the dream I thought it would be. It is hard. It takes a lot of effort. I love it (most days).
Hardest Thing This Year: Coming to terms with things I have no control over. Heavenly Father is in charge of my life and …

"Your serious face is awful."

In the words of a very wise 7 year old I was told yesterday that, "Your serious face is awful." Granted, I probably deserved it. Ever since then and all throughout today I dwelled on the fact that 80% of the time my kids are teaching me more than I'm teaching them. Today turned out to majorly suck. Nothing went right and I wish I could say that some miracle happened where now all my kids are golden 100% of the time. I didn't want to get out of bed, my kids didn't understand double-digit subtraction, and my trouble kids were even more troublesome. By the time I got home I was in tears and my mother was consoling me as best as she could from over 2,000 miles away. They never tell you in college the reality of teaching. They don't tell you the emotions, the struggles, and the wishful thinking that all of my students could live happy lives. I did what I naturally do and I ate a lot of carbs. My jeans will regret it tomorrow, but for now, I do not have an ounce of…

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Folks,
It's been an interesting year. I'm sad to see 2014 coming to an end, but looking at my life and the photos on my iPhone I am grateful this year happened. In 2014 here are the 14 most significant things that have happened in my life:

1. I decided to "fast-track" my career by taking classes through Spring/Summer terms.
2. I interviewed in front of 20 principals and received an internship.
3. I had my first day as an official 2nd grade teacher.
4. I bought a car!
5. I threw two parties for my roommates (Back to School & Halloween).
6. I ate Zaxby's in UTAH.
7. I moved twice.
8. I sent a package to my parents.
9. I went to three plays at the Hale Center Theater: Les Miserables, Catch Me If You Can, and The Christmas Carol.
10. I had the flu.
11. I turned 21.
12. I made "Teacher Friends."
13. I taught/still teach Old Testament for Sunday School.
14. I scratched my new car.

Sadly, those are in no order. My thoughts were pretty scattered. 2015 will …

Words that have a different meaning when you become a teacher.

Well, I know i'm still a baby when it comes to my teaching career, but there are words and phrases that have a completely different meaning to me now and for the fun of it I thought I would share a few.

Poker Face: Thank you, young lad, for passing gas during my very quiet whole class lesson. All the kids burst out into laughter and here I stand with a straight face remaining composed and calm. Such skill.

Prep Time: The time required to get everything ready for a meal? Nope. The 30 minutes you get each day as a teacher to "prep" lessons. This time in reality is spent using the restroom, stuffing face with M&M's, getting homework ready, and watching the clock because 30 minutes is NEVER long enough to get any "prepping" done.

Butt: Yes, the thing otherwise known as your "pockets" in elementary school. I once made the terrible mistake of saying to my kiddos, "Sit your butt on the ground please." Turns out butt is still not acceptable …

Coming to Terms with getting a Substitute Teacher

I post this while I am bed-ridden at home. I post this because maybe someone needed to hear it or maybe I just needed to type it out so I felt better about being at home in my jammies instead of at school with my kiddos. I started feeling sick last Friday. I knew a cold was coming on and honestly I expected it. Have you seen how much snot kids have? Have you seen how they can pick their nose and not even think about it? Well, since I'm around them for the majority of my day I knew getting sick was bound to happen. I felt fine over the weekend and then Monday morning it hit me like a million bricks. It's as if my immune system knew that it was a Monday and it wanted to bring me down in other ways than just with the "Case of the Monday's" (it's a real thing, folks). I ended up taking a half day which was fine because Monday's are short days for the kids anyways. I went home and slept, woke up, and slept more. Tuesday I braved the storm at school and was ext…

Things they never told me about teaching and things I never expected to experience.

I have been putting off blogging until I was a month into school so I could fully share my thoughts and feelings with enough evidence behind it to actually mean something. I wish I could say that this last month has been the best one of my life. I wish I could say that I haven’t questioned every single day about my decision to become a teacher. I wish I could relate to all those other interns/first year teachers who are having a walk in the park. I wish so many different things for my life. I have realized in the last month that dreams aren’t always what life has planned and that my Heavenly Father is in complete control. I have cried. I have yelled in my car. I have drank Diet Coke until it no longer had any effect at all. I have been on my knees praying more than I have been standing. My whole college career I had received multiple and many spiritual confirmations that teaching was the right career path for me. I had known and that’s the path I chose for my life. I made the decision…

Coming to terms with the first week of school.

I survived. I wish I could say the first week of school went like I thought it would. I thought my kids would be easy and that the first week would be some sort of a "honeymoon" period. This week I have been tested to my breaking point. I have wanted to cry more times than I can count. I have come home at the end of the day and wondered what I had gotten myself into. I have had kids throw up. I have had kids cry. I have had kids stay in from recess every singe day. I have seen it all and I have survived the first week. Through all the chaos, through all the hard things I have had to face, through all the hours spent in my classroom, through all the times I've thought I'm not good enough for these kids, I have had a lot of things go right. I have learned more about teaching in the past week than in my entire life. I have learned that even though your kids may be wild and you feel like your class is out of control the moment they walk through that door every morning y…

Classroom Reveal!

Teachers always seem to do these cute blog posts about their classroom after they have it all decorated, so here I am. Honestly, I just want to remember what my first ever classroom looked like 20 years down the road. If you're not up for it- don't look any farther!


Table Numbers under the lanterns

First shot of the classroom

My Hi-Five Board was something that came to me in my sleep. This is where my kids put the poster of our classroom rules we came up with together. Then, to have them have some accountability for the rules they each stamped their handprint and they are now hung on this board. I LOVE IT!!


Calendar and this is where I recently put our class job rotations. 

My aunts out did themselves on my rug. I am so lucky to have it! It really adds a lot to the classroom. 

Student Cubbies

Sink Area

Book Nook. I made the pillows myself with help from my aunt. I think total all four pillows cost around $25. My kids love them. It's been really fun to see them use this are…

The Best Two Years

For all my Mormon readers please don't think i've decided to serve a mission. For everyone else, welcome to my life. When I planned on doing my two year post I had emailed myself pictures of the 21 most important things to happen to my life since I moved to Utah. If you haven't figured it out yet, I have lived here two years as of Sunday. Considering time and how crazy my life is currently you'll have to trust me when I say that the past two years of my life have been some of the most important years I've had thus far on Earth. In two years my life has changed and so have I. When my car pulled out of the driveway in Florida I couldn't even comprehend how my life would be two years later, or even 6 days later. The biggest part of my life right now is preparing for the school year to start. School starts on the 19th and I have had heartburn for at least 6 hours now because of the stress. I spent all day in a training learning new things, then I spent three hours …

How I Feel Lately

I have been pondering a lot of things about my life lately and I especially have been pondering about my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I often think of my life as this huge gift. Sometimes the gift is exactly what you wanted, and sometimes the gift is nothing you wanted at all. I have learned over the last 4 or so months what an impact turning my life over to the Lord has done. I have always been a faithful Christian and I have never doubted the existence or the blessings that come from God. I count my lucky starts that through trials and difficult times I have been able to overcome many things by using my faith in the Savior. More than that though lately I have been thinking about trials that I get to witness that happen to others. Trials come in many forms such a breaking a bone, struggling with homework, never having enough money, or even a trial where a person is dealing with a sickness that cannot be cured. I pray daily for those trials and those burdens …

Life Lately According to my iPhone

Lately life has been crazy. To give you a brief insight to my life here was my schedule today:
8-12 Class at BYU
12-3 Planning with my team at Westmore (aka my school)
3-5 Class at BYU
5-6:30 Work
6:43-8:40 FHE

What a day. Holy moly. Anyways, since life has been so crazy here I just decided to give you the blog update by showing you pictures. Here ya go!

Class can get a little crazy. 
Cinderella at the Scera Theater

After Lydia's 1/2 marathon
Steele turned 1!
Baby Kiley's Blessing Day
Texas toast pizza!
New museum at Thanksgiving Point
Climbing the rock wall






I love their facial expressions. 
Sunday dinners are always eventful with the Mowers! 
Until next time, see ya then!

Ode to Maybell

When you turn 16 every teenager dreams of their first car. When I found out that I was getting my grandmas 1999 Camry I'm sure I was less than excited. Nothing like getting a grandma car (literally) when you turn 16, right? All my friends got nice new cars and here I was kickin' it in the 1999. Well, I named that car Maybell, got over my selfish attitude, and decided to be grateful that I was given a car at all. 
Flash forward my life to today, now 21 years old, and trying to find a picture when I got my first car. The thing with looking back through YEARS of Facebook photos is you realize how much has changed. I was at least 25 pounds lighter then and had brown hair for cryin' out loud! Last week I found out that after so many great years Maybell was dying. She needed over a thousand dollars in repairs and I decided it was time to start looking for a new car. Looking for a new car is all fun and games until you realize how much money you have to spend as well as finding n…

My little ladies.

My Aunt Heidi and my Uncle Jeramy have 4 beautiful daughters. In the past two years I have gotten to know these little ladies extremely well and it has been nothing but a blessing in my life. I have babysat them, played with them, swam with them, laughed with them, been taught by them, rode roller coasters with them and loved them unconditionally. When we have family dinners sometimes it's hard for me being one of the only young adults not married. Whenever I feel discouraged because of that fact I always know that my little ladies will be there sitting on my lap or begging to show me something. I'll never know the love of a Forsyth Sister, but I have known and still know the love of the Wakley girls. They help make Utah my home. They will make me a better teacher. They will do great things with their lives. It won't always be this way with me and my little ladies. I'll grow up more and so will they, but I will cherish their love and love them forever.







Meeting Kevin Henkes

The other day I experienced the most nerdy teacher feeling ever. I saw a post on FaceBook that Kevin Henkes was going to be at the Provo Library and I knew I had to go. I don't have children, that phase of my life isn't even close, but I knew I would have 19 little kiddos staring back at me on August 19 and I wanted to do something for them. I want my classroom to be a loving place where they want to be. I know that this won't come just from having a book signed by the author, but it was a good way to start. Here are some pictures from this happy day!



No Day Like Today

Yesterday I taught the worst lesson that I've ever given as a teacher so far. The kids weren't with me, the didn't want to listen, and the couldn't seem to understand the concept I was teaching. There are many excuses I could make of why the lesson went the way it did. It could have been that it was Friday, or my lesson wasn't as engaging as it could have been, or even that the kids decided they just didn't care about math yesterday. I got in my car after I left the school and I wanted to cry. I think we all need to be humbled in our own ways sometimes. I have a love for teaching that is engrained in my soul. It's probably genetics, there are many educators on both sides of my family. I have a love for teaching and then in that one lesson I questioned that love. I knew that it was just one lesson, but I was still so upset. I feel like that's the way a lot of people feel about Heavenly beings. When the love of our Savior is apparent it is easy to do wha…