I was SO excited when Allison accepted my interview for our Elementary Entourage blog. She is the kindest, most helpful teacher! I met her last year at our Spring Teacher Blogger Meet-Up in French Lick. I was barely blogging and didn't have anything on Teachers Pay Teachers. Allison was so kind and patient with me. She helped me search for blogs to follow, she shared with me blog lovin' so I could easily find blog posts, and she helped me start my first classroom Facebook page. I mean, WOW! She did all of this within an hour of meeting me. I then instantly just LOVED her, and she has continued to be a huge help through my teaching journey. I would not be making it through second grade this year if it wasn't for her! :] So, I am really excited about the fun things she has to share with you!
I actually started blogging for one of my classes for Grad school. I didn’t know much about blogging then and I didn’t follow any blogs, but I quickly realized how beneficial it could be! Once I got into reading other teachers blogs and realized that this would be a fun way for me to share my classroom ideas with my teacher friends, I went back to the Grad school blog that I had and kept going with it!
Blogging has helped my teaching by being a more collaborative teacher. I can collaborate with second grade teachers (and other grade levels) from all over the world! I love sharing my own ideas and what I am doing in my classroom, but mostly getting ideas from other teachers and sharing their ideas for my readers. People can collaborate through me and the ideas that I find and share too!
My balance is “hit-or-miss.” I have weeks and months where I am very balanced and I can fit everything in. There are other times that I have a harder time with it. My blog is related to school, so I like to think those go hand-in-hand. I take pictures of various things in my room on my phone and often upload those pictures to blogger right at that moment through the app. Then, when I’m ready to blog, I can sit down at my computer and pull up those pictures in the drafts I have uploaded and explain what we were doing and write my post! As for balancing my family, I usually have a daily plan of what I’m going to work on after the girls go to bed. But, let me be the first to say, that doesn’t always happen. In fact, it hasn’t happened in a few weeks. I also use a planner that I have a section each day for school, home, and blog/TPT. That helps keep me in line sometimes!
Recently, I have been doing a lot of driving for various reasons and in my hours of boredom I was wishing that I could be working on things for my blog and TPT. So, I started listening to Podcasts in the car. I have learned a few tips from various types of bloggers, mostly mommy bloggers instead of teacher bloggers. I haven’t put many of the tips into place yet, but I did get some good tips on making your blog posts “searchable” on search engines and how to title your blog posts so that they show up on searches. One big tip was adding a number to your title: 5 Tips for ____. Here are some of the Podcast channels I have listened to: Brilliant Business Moms and EduAllStars.
My personal tip is to blog about lessons and things that you do in your classroom, even if you don’t have a TPT product of your own attached. People do NOT want to see just commercials for something to buy in your store.
I have been creating products for TPT for about 2 and a half years. I recently finished this set of Spring Literacy and Math Centers and I told multiple friends and my husband that it was my favorite product yet! I can tell that I am a lot better at creating things than I was a few years ago and I put so much thought and planning into this set, that I truly think it’s one of my best! My second graders love all 14 of the centers included in this set!
If you are not following Stuckey in Second, then you need to get on that today! She is an amazing teacher with awesome ideas. Allison shares so many of her tips and tricks in the classroom to help teachers all over the world. I feel so blessed to have met Allison and learn from her.
Thank you for sharing with us, Allison!