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ONE YEAR AGO I TOOK THE PLUNGE!


Welcome my friends!

The post you are about to read today is a tale of
courage.  It is about finally taking one small step towards something you've always wanted to do.  

I hope that my story and my song give you
the "push" you might need to do something good for yourself....





Becoming a teacher-author was a personal aspiration of mine that had been rolling around in my brain for a long time, and after a summer of reading and learning from blogs like Step Into Second Grade, A Teeny Tiny Teacher, Saddle Up In Second Grade, Fabulous in First, and Books First In Maine, I decided to send a message to Kerri, a designer at The Cutest Blog on the Block, and inquire about making my dream a reality.   
 
A few weeks and a lot of e-mails later, a place for me to write and share my life as an educator with others was born...a place where my love of sharing stories and songs could hopefully influence and help others as they worked with young children.  
 
Next came a logo, a Facebook business page, networking with other bloggers, becoming tech savvy, asking lots of questions, shedding a few tears, posting and hoping that someone was reading, and establishing a store of my own on Teachers Pay Teachers.  It honestly was a LOT to tackle all at one time, but both my blog and my store have become my "happy places."  I retreat to write and create when my school day has been particularly hard, and that time I invest in "me" often brings life back in balance.  I check in with my Facebook blogger friends every evening to exchange information, ask questions, and seek advice, and have come to value the support and affirmation I receive back from my circle of teacher-author colleagues greatly.

Now that a year has passed, I am feeling much more confident and oh so very grateful.  My journey has made me a better teacher.  It has broadened my perspective, given me so many new ideas, and restored my faith in myself.  It has made me brave.  Teaching is truly my vocation, and Stories and Songs in Second gives me a place to celebrate all that I enjoy about being in the classroom, and sometimes what troubles me.
  
Blogging has connected me with so many others who understand the exhaustion and elation that comes with our job.  Those who also shop at Dollar General not for what our households need, but for what we can use to make a new game for our Math or Literacy centers.  Those who spend endless hours every Sunday planning lessons and preparing materials.  Those for whom laminating and cutting is sometimes therapeutic.  Those who are also stressed about upcoming conferences or the next professional development meeting that is going to share yet more data about state testing and evaluation systems.  Those who buy picture books instead of novels and scented markers instead of grown-up pens.  Those who tie shoes, wipe tears, give hugs, wiggle loose teeth, and repeat themselves 100 times per day.

Blogging has reminded me that I am not alone.  That I am one in a strong army of men and women who serve the children in our care with patience, love, wisdom, trust, responsibility, humor, and dedication.

To thank those who have walked with me throughout my first year as a blogger, I am hosting a celebratory giveaway featuring some of my favorite clip artists!  They have generously donated a variety of items, and I can't wait to announce the lucky winners!  Each day, from Thursday, Nov. 6th, through Tuesday, Nov. 11th, I will post a new Rafflecopter that features one of my talented friend's work!  After verifying the entries, I will announce the winners every evening, and may even have a new FREEBIE or two in my store as the time goes on!

Here is a "sneak peak" of talented gals who are donating prizes!  Tell your friends and be sure to follow me on 
and 
to receive notifications and see the "big reveal" here tomorrow evening or Thursday morning!




As always, thank you for your encouragement and readership!  May you continue to teach your children well, make your own kind of music, sing your own special song, share your story, wish upon stars, and be true to yourself!

Know that this "hippie chick's" heart is full tonight, and I thank YOU for that!

Peace out....

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Jennifer Reynolds
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2 comments:

  1. Congratulations on making it through your first year. I agree with your sentiments and feel that blogging and creating for TPT is very fulfilling. I wish I had found these outlets many years ago. I am grateful for all that I have gained in my journey as well and I appreciate the connection with you and other teachers I have met along the way.
    You should definitely feel proud of all you have accomplished this year.

    Charlene/Diamond Mom
    Diamond Mom's Treasury

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Charlene! Being welcomed into our community of bloggers meant a lot to me, and came at a time when I really needed encouragement! I can't wait to see what my second year brings!
      Warm Regards,
      ~Jennifer

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