Today I get to share an interview with you with the super sweet and helpful Meghan from Keeping Up with Mrs. Harris. I've been able to connect with her over the last few months and what I love about her is that she is so willing to help and give advice on what has worked for her on this teacher-author journey. Keep reading to learn more about her!
I started blogging back in 2012 to share my ideas from my classroom with teachers in our district. I was asked by my then principal to consider taking pictures of how I managed my classroom and sharing them through email. I thought it felt more natural to start a blog and then share the links through email for those that wanted to read. I was uncomfortable at first since I am not the best writer, but after a year I really started enjoying it. My blog was very simple and didn’t really get a lot of views. I also shared ideas that I liked from other classrooms in the district as well. We all have great ideas and I felt that several teachers needed to be featured as well.
Blogging has been a great way to connect with other awesome teachers around the world. I have made so many friends and read so many amazing ideas for my own classroom. It is a very humbling experience to be a blogger with so many terrific ones out there. Blogging has challenged me to share what makes me different as a teacher. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Blogging is all about sharing my strengths with others. I have been more motivated to try new ideas and strategies knowing that it might not work in my room, but giving it a try is a way to stretch my creativity.
Family comes first, school is next and blogging is last. My New Year’s resolution in 2015 was to be better at balancing my life and prioritizing. Unfortunately, it is very easy to put your job first over our families as teachers. I was guilty of that and at times even put blogging over my family. I would miss baseball practices so that I could get a post up. It’s so sad to admit, but it took me saying it outloud it to change it. Now family comes first. There are times that I have my boys join me in my home office to do a craft while I finish up a post or brainstorm ideas. Most of my work is completed early in the morning (before everyone wakes) or after my children have gone to bed. My husband doesn’t mind me working while he is watching TV in the evenings as long as I am there with him. Scheduling is also really important, especially in the summertime. I try to block off a few hours of work time where I will need to be alone. I work these hours only during the summer and what gets accomplished does and whatever doesn’t has to wait. Finding yourself a great planner is also important. I am a total planner nerd. I spend time on the weekend planning out my week for family, school and blogging. I know exactly what my goals will be and when they will be accomplished. If everything is important, than nothing is important. There has to be a list of “have to do”, “would like to do”, and “might be able to do”. This way i don’t set myself up for failure.
Don’t forget who you are and who your audience is. It is easy to try to be an expert at everything as a blogger. I want to be able to meet the needs of all of my readers, but when I blog about strategies or concepts that I am not as knowledgable about, it always ends in disaster. Don’t forget who you are and what your strengths are as a teacher. I’ve worked with RTI students for the past five years. I have very limited knowledge and experience with ESOL students. There is no way I could ever do justice a blog post about serving ESOL students. Instead, I like to focus on What to Bring to an RTI Meeting, RTI Do’s and Don’ts, Things to Remember During an RTI Conference, Ambitious Growth Rates for Goal Setting, etc. These are all things that I know really well. Next, don’t forget who your target audience is and what they want to read. My readers are not going to want to read about how I planned and prepped for my son’s school party. My readers come for content related to interventions, strategies that will help them with struggling students, and organization solutions. Don’t bore your audience or they will unsubscribe or not come back. We all have a voice that needs to be heard, but not all by the same people.
After being on Teachers Pay Teachers for four years next month, I have a ton of resources that I’ve made for my students. My favorite though would be my QR code listening centers. This pack is a year’s worth of listening center activities which includes a QR linked video of the reading of a book and an activity sheet for each book as well. Each month includes 9-12 different popular, seasonal books.
Thanks for stopping by!