On November 13, 2013 I took a personal and professional "leap of faith" that I had been putting off for some time. I started a blog, a Facebook page, and a TPT store all at once.
CRAZY.....I know! TIME-CONSUMING....absolutely! EXHAUSTING....very! FRUSTRATING AT TIMES.....terribly! Especially since the only knowledge I had about how to start was the information I'd gained after reading the sites of some favorite teacher-authors and purchasing products from some fabulous sellers.
Two months later, I'm still here... but the difference is that I am no longer alone in my journey! The rewards from my experience now far outweigh the disappointments! I have found mentors, advice-givers, and supporters through a variety of different forums, and am "feeling the love" from them each and every day! My blog readership is building steadily, which satisfies the writer in me that I've always wanted to be. I am creating products that have received positive feedback, and that lifts me up and inspires me, especially after a tough day in my own classroom. I am communicating with fellow educators from all over the world who willingly offer great ideas and thoughtful insights about their school and life lessons. I am sharing what I know about the importance and value of creating a literature-rich environment for my students and including music and movement in instructional practice.
The congenial spirit of this kind, generous, and talented community has helped me "just keep swimming!" My new comrades in the blogosphere are keeping me buoyant and positive as this new year begins. Teaching has become much more difficult over the course of my 21 years. More rigid standards, more at-risk children, more responsibilities, more data-driven instruction, and more assessments are all stressors that make our daily quest to enrich and engage the minds of children so much harder. I am so glad to have found a special circle of friends who have renewed my resolve, purpose, and passion. Our collaboration and sometimes commiseration makes my load and theirs less heavy!
Special "shout outs" go to Nancy Alvarez from Teaching with Nancy, the teacher-blogger who invited me to join Blogger Group on Facebook, and Amanda Wilp from The Primary Gal who welcomed me as a contributor for the upcoming Facebook-Free-For-All. Mark your calendars for the following event! You won't want to miss it!
Both ladies have shared a wealth of tips with me that are making me a better teacher, blogger, and entrepreneur. Visit their sites by clicking on the links below each picture! Nancy hosts a weekly Thank Goodness It's Free Link Up that you won't want to miss, and also has a great archive on her blog of You Tube technology tutorials for novices like me! Amanda is one of the many generous Indiana bloggers who offered some of their TPT products for $1.00 earlier this week in honor of Snowpocalypse 2014. She also hosts a weekly Linky Party called Friday Free-For-All! Plan to participate in their events soon OR stop by their sites to download the awesome resources being offered!
As I wrap up this post, I am reminded of the song my mother taught my Girl Scout troop long ago, and feel fortunate to be blessed to have both my school colleagues as "old friends," and my blogger pals as "new friends" in my life...
Make new friends,
but keep the old.
One is silver,
the other is gold...