I am so excited for this topic this month because TPT and blogging are a huge part of my life now and I am so thankful to be a part of this community of teachers. Get ready for a bit of a long post, so I can share with you my passion and love for our TPT/blogging community!!
I have always loved making activities for my classroom and would share my resources with my other K colleagues. One time at a corporate wide Kindergarten staff meeting, I showed them something I had made that went along with what we'd be teaching soon. One of the teachers told me I should it on TPT. I had heard of TPT a little bit and gotten a few freebies on it, but I had never thought about selling on there and had no idea where to start. I also hadn't been following any teacher blogs, so I had no idea how popular TPT was. I decided to take the plunge and start selling on TPT.
For my first year I added some things to TPT, but still had no idea what I was doing. I had no blog, no Facebook...nothing to help people find my resources. I finally joined Facebook at the end of my first year and found some FB groups to join with other TPT sellers. It was AMAZING to find other teachers that loved creating as much as I did and would share tips/tricks with me. So, when I heard about the 2014 TPT conference, I still didn't know anyone that well, but decided to take the plunge and go! Thankfully, I found some roommates from our Facebook group: Kristen (Easy Teaching Tools), Beth (A Kindergarten Life for Me), and Courtney (Ramona Recommends). My family thought it was incredibly odd and a bit scary that I was flying to Vegas and staying in a room with people I'd never met before. :) These girls were incredibly sweet and let me tag along with them everywhere since I didn't know anyone. They introduced me to new people and convinced me to create a blog! I even met Deanna Jump!! She asked what my blog was and I was so embarrassed to say I didn't have one yet - I knew I had to get my butt in gear and start blogging! :)
At the conference, I went to Hadar's (Miss Kindergarten) session on blogging since I had been considering making one anyway. She had a TON of tips on how to get started and gave us here e-mail so she could help us after the conference. I took full advantage of that and we e-mailed back and forth a bit about getting my blog going. I was extremely excited to meet her again at the 2015 conference and tell her how much she has helped me this past year. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that this TPT community is all about sharing and helping each other, no matter how much of a "celebrity" they become. :)
I started my blog in August of 2015. I knew I wanted polka dots and lots of pink (obviously), and this is what Blogs Fit for a Queen helped me come up with.
Melissa (Mrs. Dailey's Classroom) contacted me and asked if I wanted to be a part of a collaborative blog that she and Jessica (Mrs. Plemon's Kindergarten) were creating. I happily agreed and knew it'd be a great way to meet even more teachers that loved to do what I do. I cannot even tell you how much these girls do for our EE blog! They are beyond AMAZING and have created a family atmosphere for our EE bloggers. I love how supportive we all are of each other whether it's school, TPT/blogging, or family related.
I have become incredibly close with Melissa and Jessica this past year. We got to meet up at the French Lick Blogger Meet-Up in Indiana last Spring and then we got together in Wisconsin at Jessica's house. It's crazy that I can be closer to these girls than some of my best friends and colleagues that I worked with. We just get each other on so many levels!
I was also able to meet some of our other EE bloggers at French Lick and again in Vegas at the TPT conference! There were big hugs all around when we finally got to meet each other in person instead of just "online dating" all year LOL!
There was a lot to learn at the TPT conference, but of course we had to save room for some fun! Here's a bunch of us bloggers that went to see Michael Jackson LIVE!
Besides, all the connections I have made, I love the fact that I can share my resources with teachers across the world. I like to make engaging activities for students so they still enjoy learning. I like that I can help teachers spend more time with family, friends, or whatever they enjoy doing by giving them a place to buy resources instead of spending hours of their own time creating something.
Can you tell how much fun it is to be a part of this community of teachers? Yes, the money of TPT is nice, but I think we'd all agree that the friendships we've made is SO much more impactful! If you are considering blogging or starting a TPT store - DON'T WAIT! We are all here to help you! To get you started, we are celebrating our 1 year blogiversary by giving away a FREE blog design from Alexis at Laugh, Eat, Learn!