Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher: A Milestone, a Freebie and Some Gushing!

A Milestone, a Freebie and Some Gushing!

There are not words to describe how blessed and blown away I am right now! With your help, I have reached another Teachers pay Teachers sales milestone! I knew about it a couple of weeks ago, but I still jumped a little (maybe a lot) when I saw the TpT Facebook post last night!

I don't even think that my feat had quite hit the ground yet, when I noticed this...

Over 3,000 followers!!! We just celebrated 1,000 followers last summer. I am so humbled that so many teachers choose to visit my little store.

So this is the gushing part....I could not have done any of this without you. So I wanted to share a little about my TpT journey. When I started my TpT store two years ago, I was just doing it to offset the cost of the materials I was buying on TpT for my own class. As we were shifting to the Common Core, I found that I needed to supplement our curriculum. Nothing seemed just right to me. So I began making my own activities. During my first quarter, I made $11. And I was stoked! Seriously! I don't have to tell you that teachers don't make much and every dollar counts!

Exactly one year ago, I began making task cards for my class. I used them to help my students to prepare for testing. Much to my surprise, you guys wanted them too! Last summer, I started making interactive notebooks because I couldn't find one that deeply covered multiplication strategies. Obviously, I was not the only who who wanted something like this!

You probably don't have any idea how you have changed my family's quality of life. I am about to get real personal here. Six years ago, my family was really struggling financially. My husband was going to school to be a nurse after state budget cuts had resulted in his being laid off from his job as a corrections officer. We went an entire year without an income. I remember not having money to buy groceries and getting excited when I found a Target gift card. I used it to buy peanut butter and bread to feed my four kids. We could no longer afford our mortgage payment and were having to leave our home. Every day was a stress.

My husband went on to graduate and get a fantastic job at a children's hospital. I got my teaching certificate and was hired to teach at the school my children attended. Things were getting better. And then TpT came along... It started as a hobby and quickly became a second job for me. I put in about 3 hours every weekday and 6-8 hours a day over the weekend. It is hard! But the rewards have been so gratifying! We have gone from a family that was living paycheck to paycheck to a family that can enjoy our hard work. We have traveled to Cabo and cruised in the Caribbean. We are in the process of moving into a gorgeous house with a pool in the backyard. My husband has cut back his hours at his job to help me and to spend more time with our children. Our kids can see the results of hard work, motivation and drive.

All of these things are amazing, but the most gratifying part of my work is the comments from teachers like you. I read every single feedback that you write. I laugh when you share stories about how your students like finding my store name on their activities.  I cried real tears when you wrote about how meaningful the September 11th book was in your class. I smile when you tell me that your kids have fun with my products. The difference that one person can make...... Astounding!

Enough rambling, on to the freebie....

Through Sunday, you can download my Measurement interactive notebook for FREE! Just click on the picture!

If you have never tried interactive notebooks, this is a great chance to do so. Interactive notebooks have changed the way that I teach! They give students the opportunity to move things around and create visuals that a worksheet could never do. My students call them "scrapbooks!" I use my notebooks as a form of assessment. I can easily look at their pages and know who has mastered a topic and who needs more practice. 

Grab it quick, because it will go back to being a paid product on Monday.


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