Monday, September 4, 2017


If you have been watching the news lately you will know that Texas has been hit hard with the devastation of hurricane Harvey. I cannot explain how it feels to be scared of a raindrop, many nights of sleeping in a closet because of tornado warnings, and hoping to God that water does not enter your home taking away your safe haven. I was one of the lucky ones, but for many they did not have the same fate as myself. As an educator I am worried about the many students who have now lost their safe haven...their home and for many students they have even lost their school.

Tomorrow I will help welcome students back to school. I worry about the faces I won't see because they evacuated out of the area. I worry about the students who have no home to go to. I worry about the students who lost countless hours of sleep. 

I worry for the many students who have lost their sense of being safe. 

I am determined to ensure that when students come to school on Tuesday they are greeted with love. That when they walk in the doors they start to feel a little normalcy. I am determined to assist students and their families to getting back to their safe haven, and in the meantime helping families know that for while their child is at school they are safe, loved, and nourished. 

Now, more than ever, schools need to be a safe haven for students. 

As educators, your space should scream that this is an environment where you can be yourself and we will embrace who you are. That in this space is love. 

This past weekend I spent time in my office getting it cleaned up so that it can be even more welcoming than it was. Many came in my office the first week of school two weeks ago and were blown away how much it felt like home and praised the energy I spent into making it feel that way. At first I was taken back to why the comments, but after Harvey I am so glad that I did. I am glad that when people walk into my office they feel at home. 

Two things I would not compromise on when decorating my office...I had to have cheetah print somewhere and lots of pictures. I love seeing the ones I love in the spaces that I am in so on hard days I can look at them and remember why I do what I do. The rug is from Amazon.

Found this table on Amazon, chairs on Wal-Mart, and dry erase board at Target.

If you are sitting down in front of my desk I love that your focus is on that bookshelf. 

Had this made at a local furniture store that I absolutely adore called, Legacy Home Staging. I love supporting small businesses and this one is one of my absolute favorites and you can shop the store online.

The table is from Target.

Aromatherapy is a must. At home I always have essential oils in a diffuser so I do the same at work. I use lavender essential oil mostly. 

Inside those drawers are coffee and tea pods. I also have disposable coffee cups and stirrers so anyone can always stop by and make themselves a drink. 

I keep treats out because they always make anyone feel happy. You can tell the chocolate container is a hit because it needs to be re-filled. The glass containers are from Target, but I could not find them online so I linked similar.

Hungry? I always like to keep snacks and quick warm-up meals because you never know if someone may need a quick pick me up.

This organizer holds items that I can quickly grab for celebrations. For example, I have some birthday bags and personalized tags that calls for an extra pack of gum and mints that I keep at all times so I can always have something to give on someone's birthday. I also keep quick thank you gifts in another bin. 

If we ever need to meet as a team I have enough chairs and a dry erase board so that we can work together to make those plans a reality.

This small accent table is from Target.

The storage bins are from Target.

How does your space make students or staff feel safe, loved, and valued? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Organization: Digital Checklists

Organization: Digital Checklists

I don't know about you, but checklists are my thing. I have notepads, journals, and post-its everywhere I go so when I have any of my grand ideas I can quickly make a checklist so that I can make that idea a reality. There is just something about crossing an item off a to do list that makes me so happy. I will even let you in on a little secret....if at the end of the day I can't cross off any items on my to do list I will quickly write down something I did accomplish on my to do list just so that I can cross it off. I know I cannot be the only person to do that.

I wanted to share my new digital checklist with you. I will continually add new templates to the shared Google folder because I like to switch things up. In the meantime, if you click here you will be able to access the folder with the checklists that I do have. One thing I love about the digital checklists is that I can always have it with me on all my devices. Once you click here to access the folder, simply make a copy of the folder so that you can have it on your own Google Drive. See the video below to see how you can make a copy of the shared folder.

When it comes to my daily checklists, I make a new one at the end of the day, so when I come into work I have my game plan on how I will somewhat tackle the day. To create my new to do list, I will just duplicate the slide.  See the video below to see how to make duplicates of the slide.

Now I have one file that has all my to do lists because if you are like me sometimes I need to go back and see what was accomplished on certain dates. If you are a paper and pen kind of person you can simply change the title of the checklist, get rid of the date portion and then print it on 8.5X11 size paper and voila, you have got yourself some cute paper version checklists. I hope that you enjoy the digital checklists and they help keep you organized.

Let me know of some designs you would like to see in the comments, and I will be sure to create them and add them to the folder. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Dear 30

Dear 30

Dear 30,

When I was 22 I just knew that when I turned 30 that it would be magical. At that time I did not quite know why, but the only thing I knew was when I was 30 I would truly be an adult. Now here I am at 30, and I have to say that life in my 30s I feel will really be magical.

You see, I am more confident than I have ever been at any age. I have been confident, but this confidence is oh, so good. I know who I am, what I want, what I like, and how to set plans to make all my hopes and desires come true.

I understand now that saying, 'no' does not make me weak, but instead sets the precedence that the things I do say 'yes' to are the ones that I find meaningful to me.

I have gotten to the point that I just don't give a darn about what people may say about me. I am who I am and at this point if you don't like me that is okay. At the end of the day it is so much better to be surrounded by the small few that have truly got my back than have an entourage that will toss me to the side at the drop of a dime.

I have finally gotten to a point in my life that I know a thing or two, and I love that. I no longer tense up because I am the young one in the room and why would what I have to say matter.

I am totally okay with my big fun night is binge watching TV.

I understand even more that balance is key. I am a faith and servant driven wife, mother, educator, photographer, and blogger in that order. Setting boundaries and priorities on how my time is devoted will not be tampered with.

Here is what I hope in my 30s...patience. Patience in understanding that all these hopes and dreams I have for myself may not happen...yet. I just know this will be the hardest lesson of them all. You see, I have gotten to the point in my life that growth is so important to me. I find joy in being challenged and being the best version of myself. However, that also means that I must be patient in the process. Growth is a journey and one that will be full of joy and tribulations.

By 40, I hope to say that I am now Dr. Jade Stenger. That I continuously share with other educators of how I am leading others in the vision I have for student learning. My husband and I have finally balanced staying committed to date night. And I am still a joyful and blessed momma. That when I look back at my 30s, I am still in continuous awe that God has written this beautiful story for me.

Here's to 30. I look forward to the journey; it's going to be a good one.

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