Hi, Lauren here! Today I'm interviewing Cara Carroll from the popular blog, The First Grade Parade! She is an amazing teacher, mom, TpTer, and blogger!
I started blogging in 2010 during my first year in 1st grade. I was searching online for ideas and there wasn’t very much out there. I figured if I was searching the internet for ideas, then other teachers were probably searching, too. I wanted a little space to share those ideas no matter how lame they might have been! Plus, I wanted a scrapbook of my first year in 1st grade. I wanted a visual reminder of what did…and didn’t…work. I love being able to look back and the different things I did and reflect on what I would’ve done differently, etc.
Blogging has helped me to become a more reflective teacher. It’s also helped me to become more intentional with what and how I teach. I love having a visual scrapbook to look through year after year. It helps me to reflect on what worked, what didn’t work, what needed to be better, what I would do differently, etc. Before the blog, I would repeat so many of the same activities year after year and halfway through those lessons, I’d remember why it was a flop the year before. I’m a visual learner, so the visual storytelling I get with the blog helps me to plan more intentionally J
Oh bless. I absolutely DON’T. I personally don’t think there is such thing as balance. What might look like a balanced life on the other side of the screen is genuinely a hot mess. What you see is the “highlight reel”. What you don’t see is the 6 loads…or more….of dirty laundry that takes up permanent residence in my laundry room. You aren’t here on the nights when all I can muster to prep for dinner is cereal and toast. On the days I teach, I might stay up ‘til 1-2 in the morning just trying to have some “me” time while finishing up all the stuff I want to do for my classroom, TpT, the blog, etc. It’s H.A.R.D to balance everything and it’s easy to feel like a failure when you realize you just can’t do it all. Balance isn’t in my vocabulary and I’m totally okay with that J
Remember to be authentic and all YOU. People are reading YOUR blog to hear what YOU have to say. When you don’t have anything to blog about, don’t feel pressured to put something out there just for the sake of blogging. Judy Garland said it perfectly when she said, “Always be a first-rate version of yourself instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
Oh, this is a hard one! I put so much blood, sweat, and tears into each one and I feel like I love them all the same! I love my fluency resources (Rock Your Fluency Pre-Primer – 3rd Grade). I love what they did for my kids and how much their fluency grew when using the resources in this product. I also really love my Math Missions resource. Such a fun and hands on approach to getting kids excited to review and practice fundamental math skills.
Thank you so much Cara for answering our questions!