I am so excited to be blogging with the amazing bloggers of Elementary Entourage!
When I found out the topic of my very first post was going to be an interview with a blogger,
I knew exactly who I wanted to ask....
Katie Knight of Teacher to the Core!
I had the joy of meeting up with Katie for lunch (at the fun, Richie's Diner).
Over much laughter and friendship, Katie shared her passion for life and her journey as a teacher-blogger, curriculum developer, and presenter with me.
Katie: I felt like I had so many ideas to share. As I was reading other teacher-bloggers, I was gaining so much inspiration from them that I wanted to offer a little inspiration of my own. I’m a very opinionated person and opinionated people have a lot of opinions to share. So if you log onto my blog, it’s a lot of how I think the world should be run. It works well in my classroom, it may not work in all classrooms, but it works well with mine.
Teaching is a really hard job, and we share and if we all come together, then we will have the best of every one’s classrooms and help lots of kids!
Katie: When I first discovered blogging, I discovered it through Pinterest. I started seeing teachers that I was a kindred spirit to. I was one of those teachers who always did crazy things in my classroom, and crazy bulleting boards, and people would walk by my bulletin boards and say, “Ugh, you have too much time on your hands!” And I would feel bad about my bulletin boards, like I had done something wrong, making people feel bad around me – true story! Or I would do things in my classroom and I didn’t have anyone to share it with. I felt like I was the only wack-a-doodle out there who thought it was a good idea to cook in my classroom. So when I started reading other people’s blogs I discovered that I wasn’t that special – other teachers were doing amazing, special things in their classrooms and they were getting flack from their staff too.
Sometimes when you have out-of-the-box ideas –
people just want to kick you out of the box.
You’re not allowed to play in the sandbox any more because you are just too weird.
Katie: I would have to say that I don’t balance things very well. At. All. I don’t balance things because if anything is going to go, it’s going to be my blog. There is no way I am going to sacrifice my marriage and my relationship with my child, because they are the most important things to me. I love my blog, and I love my blog readers, but if God were to tell me that I had to give something up in order to survive, that would be the first thing that would have to go.
I believe that God put us on this planet to do certain things, and we have certain responsibilities. I think He put me here to be a good teacher and maybe even a blogger and share ideas. But when I chose to be a mother, then my son became one of my highest priorities. Apart from my husband and me, he cannot grow and function. Whereas the teaching community will go on, because believe me, there are other bloggers who can make it happen without me.
So as far as balance – I have to think of things more as priorities, because I don’t balance things well. For example, my husband will say to me, ‘When is that blog post going to be done? You haven’t made dinner in days and I’m getting tired of fast food.‘ That will happen sometime because when I get going on something, I am like a dog with a bone and won't let it go.
So I have to prioritize. You see, I suffer from perfectionism. I won’t finish things. . . I keep tweaking them and making it harder on myself than it needs to be - a blog post that should really only be 200 words is like 5,000 – and it really only needs 3 pictures, but I took 55 pictures. . .
So now I am limiting myself: if I think something will take 30 minutes to do, I give myself 45 minutes. . . times 2 days. If I don't finish something in the 45 minutes, I grace myself (because I'm a recovering perfectionaholic) and give myself the second day. That second day, it's do or die! Get it done - click publish or upload to TpT and just move on!
So I don’t think I do balance very well. But I do prioritize reasonably well.
Katie: My favorite tool I use for blogging is Windows Live Writer. (Sorry, Mac peeps, this is just for Windows users.) The nice thing about it is that you can edit photos within the blog post. You can add watermarks and change the size of your photos - right in the actual post! Think of it like PowerPoint, but it's for blogger. You can even change your font and your font sizes. It's really incredible!
For those of you who have Instagram or FaceBook accounts, I recommend the 'iWatermark' app.
Those are my favorites blogging tools!
My tip for any blogger, Windows or Mac, is to have great content. Pick something that really matters and is meaningful to you and your readers.
Katie's favorite resource is the 'Shout Out Great Behavior'. I can see why it is her favorite and now mine! It is perfect for helping us see, reinforce, and reward all those positive behaviors we love to see in our classrooms!
You just have to see her explain it for you (below)!
You can follow Katie from Teacher to the Core at her TpT Store, Blog, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. She has tons of inspiration and I know you will be enriched by getting to know her!