An Interview with Teacher Blogger: Rachelle Smith of What the Teacher Wants

Hi everyone Jessica here from Mrs. Plemons' Kindergarten, and I am so excited about what we have in store for you here at the Elementary Entourage for the rest of the month.  We have contacted some of our favorite teacher bloggers and interviewed them to find out a little bit more about how they do what they do.  I chose to interview one of the authors of the very FIRST teaching blog I ever found and followed, What the Teacher Wants. I was searching for some Dr. Seuss resources and stumbled across a few printables Rachelle Smith had posted on her blog.  After seeing all of the other amazing ideas she had to share I started searching for more and more blogs to follow and couldn't believe how many ideas I was getting. I can definitely say that this was one of those teacher a-ha moments that changed my teaching career forever. I've always loved collaborating with my team to get ideas and now I had a whole new crew of teachers that I could go to and collaborate with everyday.  Want to know more about why you should follow Rachelle? Read on:
Rachelle: "It was about 5 years ago and my husband and I had just gotten married. I started a family blog to update our family and friends about our wedding and to bore them with our day-to-day life.  Every time I blogged, I ended up sharing ideas from my classroom and of course pictures of my latest bulletin board.  I finally just decided to start a blog specifically related to teaching.  I did not know of any other teaching blogs out there until I created my blog.  Every week I would blog about my classroom or teaching ideas I had.  My friend Natalie (who I went to college with) was a 5th grade teacher and began reading my blog. She asked to guest-post on it.  The next day, I just asked her if she just wanted to be a permanent co-author!  We had a goal to have 60 followers in a few months.  We look back and laugh a little about that because now we have thousands of followers! We feel so blessed! There were only a few teaching blogs out there when we began and I’m so grateful how much this blogging community has grown.  We've  met some of our very best friends out of blogging and we've been able to share our ideas with teachers around the world."
Rachelle: "Blogging has helped my teaching far more than any professional development or college class ever could.  Blogging my ideas makes me want to be better, not only for my students, but for teachers and students all of the world!  It sounds so cliché, but it’s true.  I feel honored and blessed (and pretty scared) that I can help teachers around the globe with my teaching ideas.  I've also loved reading other blogs and getting so many fabulous ideas and using them in classroom.  Teachers are the most creative people out there! 
We have also had the opportunity to grow great friendships from blogging.  We've met up and traveled with many blogging besties over the years.  It’s so nice to have women in your life that just get you! We can talk about fonts LIKE A BOSS!"
Rachelle: "I don’t! I still struggle with this every.  single.  day.  There were times when I felt like I had to abandon my family to blog and create new teaching resources.  So, I had to cut back a little bit on blogging and that is ok.  I still share my ideas when I have them, but I don't feel the pressure like I used to. I just do as much as I can. I've recently taken on another hobby that has taken my time.... health and fitness.  I’ve lost over 115 pounds and so my shift the past year  has been to focus on my health and well-being.  I’m still blogging and I’m trying to keep up, but it’s hard. Just like most of you, I continue to work on the balance."  
Rachelle: "Find your own unique style and stay true to yourself.  If you are blogging unique teaching ideas, people will come.  There aren’t any short-cuts, but if you put in the work and promote best teaching practices...I promise teachers will read your blog!"
Rachelle: "I LOVE to teach reading!  My favorite time of day is guided reading. I've been making guided reading resources for years, but I finally  compiled all of my guided reading mini-lessons into one pack called: Guided Reading Mini-Lessons"

I have to give a big THANK YOU to Rachelle for taking the time to answer all of my questions.  Show her some love by visiting her blog or TPT store here :)


  1. Replies
    1. I'm SOOO interviewing all of you girls next time. Mostly because I know you will make me laugh hysterically the entire time :) LOVE YOU!

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