Why I Love TpT & Blogging {+1 Year Blogiversary Giveaway!}

I am so happy and proud to be a part of this blog and the Teachers Pay Teachers community! Let me take you on a little journey through my decision to embark on this crazy blogging/TpT life.

Well, like many of you I'm sure, I started out as an avid "blog stalker."  Before I even discovered all of the amazing resources available on TpT, I began following some amazing teachers like Rachelle and Natalie of What the Teacher Wants, DeeDee of Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten, Cara from The First Grade Parade, and of course Deanna at Mrs. Jump's Class. (Maybe you've heard of these lovely ladies?) While I hd amazing teaching teammates at the time, I always hated how isolated teaching made me feel. I wanted to be a fly on the wall in other people's classrooms, not only in my school, but everywhere! So you can imagine, I just loved following along to see what all of these fabulous teacher bloggers were doing in their classrooms.

Reading all of these fabulous ideas, eventually lead to finding TpT to grab some of the amazing FREE creations they were making to help me in MY classroom! Then I started searching and finding even more amazing resources that I could buy to not only save me time, but to better engage and teach my students.  I found that these resources were just SOOOO much better than buying those books from the "teacher stores" that I'd photocopy 4 pages then leave the book on a shelf to collect dust for years.  I was in heaven.

Now I was in awe of the fact that these teachers could create and share so much all while continuing to teach.  We all know how hard it is to keep up with the day to day demands of the classroom, and I just couldn't fathom adding anything else to my plate. Well, fast forward 5 years and...

 That's right. Enter baby. Now remember what I said about not being able to add ANYTHING else to my plate? Well I'm pretty much a perfectionist when it comes to teaching and can't just "let things go" which meant 12 hour days at school followed by more prep/planning at home most days. I couldn't see how I was going to add a baby to the mix.  Luckily I have always dreamed of being a stay at home mom, and my husband fully supported me in this dream.  We were in a place that we could make this happen, but the burden of becoming a one income household would for sure mean cutting back on some things. Not to mention my fears of missing the classroom.
That's when I decided...why not try blogging and TpT? If I can make $100, that's $100 more than I'd had before.  And I could spend time creating all of the amazing things that I wish I had time to work on while I was teaching.  And so it began...
Now I never expected that this journey would give me the opportunity to meet some of those very same bloggers I first admired:

And bring me some of the most amazing friends that travel from all over to conferences and meet ups to talk about our passion for teaching:

And of course ease the financial burden of dropping my teaching salary.  I truly cant believe it, but here I am 2 years later, and surprise!
We are adding baby number 2 and I am so happy that I decided to begin this journey.  I've been out of the classroom for 2 years but I still feel so connected to the teaching community. I may not have a school to call home, but my classroom is my home and I plan/create during nap time and at night. Soon my little peanut will be playing school with mommy, and I'll be creating all sorts of preschool fun for her to enjoy. I can't imagine what life would be like if I hadn't found TpT and all of the fabulous teachers I have met along the way.
Okay speaking of those friends... My EE friends and I have been blogging here for a whole year! Can you believe it? When my blogging bestie Melissa from Mrs. Dailey's Classroom asked me to start this blog with her we had only known each other for a few months, but we quickly became closer than any of my "real life" friends. And we want to celebrate with you!
That's right, we're giving away a COMPLETE blog design from the amazing Alexis of Laugh, Eat, Learn Designs.  I had the pleasure of meeting this gorgeous lady at the TpT conference and she is just another one of my blogging turned real life friends.  
If you are just getting started blogging or thinking about a redesign for your blog you have to check out some of her designs. I love that they are all so unique and that she really listens and works with her clients to match their style. Good luck, and here is to another amazing year here at The Elementary Entourage!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. LOVED reading about your journey, Jessica! Thank you for sharing it and allowing me to be apart of your celebration! I'm so excited to see who wins! :]

    1. Thanks Alexis! I was so happy to get to meet you in Vegas, hopefully there will be more fun times in Orlando this year!

  2. So excited about your giveaway!!! Fingers crossed!! I'm in the beginning of a teacher blogger and Tpt seller!

    1. Good luck on this incredible journey and hopefully we'll meet sometime in the future!

  3. LOVED your post! I'm so thankful to be a part of this EE family and love you and Melissa so much!
    Tickled Pink in Primary

  4. Who knew we'd ever cross paths? Thank God for TpT and blogging! I seriously wouldn't be where I am without you! I just love you so much and am so thankful that we started this blog together. Love you, Jess!
    Melissa from Mrs. Dailey's Classroom