Friday, July 10, 2015

3 years and counting

Three summers ago, I toyed with the idea of starting a blog and having a store on TpT.  I had just finished another school year, was newly single, and excited for a summer full of professional development opportunities.  After weighing the pros and cons of my decisions, I decided to take a risk and go for it.

I wanted to create a venue for me to process my ideas and since I'm not very good at keeping up with journals (I've tried, for years, it's just not me), a blog seemed like the ideal fit.

I didn't start my blog to have a ton of followers.  I started it for me, as a safe space to reflect and grow as both an educator and a person.  I more than welcome followers and invite comments and discussions.  I turned down the option of paid Google advertisements on my blog because that's not who I am.  I didn't like the idea of having things posted on my blog that I didn't have control over.  Things that are advertised or discussed here are because I endorse them, not the advertisers over at Google.

I also started my online store on teacherspayteachers (TpT) not as a way to make a plethora of money, but to share the resources I'd made for my classroom.  Some are free and some are not.  I have paid products because I do value my time.  Many long hours were spent creating these products, especially the teacher guides for novels, so compensation is fair.  One product I'm working on, is sitting at fifty pages and I'm not done.  I've spent weeks working on it.  When I'm done, it will be available for purchase.  When the revenue is broken down, that's pennies for each hour worked.  

I enjoy making products for my classroom and since time is a luxury I have (mostly due to the fact I don't have kids yet), I am willing to share my resources with others.  As of right now, I have 160 products in my store with 38 followers (thanks guys!).

A colleague brought up wanting to start a store on TpT and I encouraged her to do so.  She was a tad annoyed that some of the products have to be free, but that's their policy.  

I warned her that TpT might not be an instant financial success.  My first month, three years ago, I put up a dozen products.  I anxiously checked my email, waiting to see if someone had downloaded my product.  To this day, some of my products have never been purchased...and that's okay.  I made them for my students and I know they're being used.  My first month, I sold two products and made five dollars.  Yup, five whole dollars.  That was beyond frustrating and I was ready to quit.

However, I didn't.  Things worth having take time.  Slowly but surely, I added more products.  I pinned the images on pinterest to expand my network.  I reached out to other educators and began following their blogs.  

I blog for me.  I blog to see my changes as an educator. I blog to keep all of my ideas in one place. I blog to start conversations and connect with others.

Some days, teaching is frustrating.  I am overwhelmed by work and I go for weeks without an update.  I'm working on this; I'm working on being more forgiving of myself and also more consistent with my commitments.

So if you're a newbie or an avid reader, thanks for stopping by! 

Happy third birthday to my blog and TpT store! It's been quite the ride.

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