Earlier this year I started to hear whispers about Teachers Pay Teachers. My sister was lucky to be placed for her student teaching practicum with Jodi from top-selling Clutter-free Classroom. Then a colleague and friend of mine stumbled upon the gem and began to purchase activities to incorporate into her class. However, it wasn't until I finally found the time (ha!) on my maternity leave with my son that I actually ventured to the website myself. What I found was inspirational and I decided to give selling a whirl.
I had no idea when I first started my store what I was in for (and I'm sure I still don't!). The greatest surprise was what an incredibly supportive community of educators belong to the site. Very shortly after setting up my store, Carol from The Teacher Team reached out to welcome me and see what questions I might have. Then as I began to read through the Seller's Forum, I was blown away by the advice, ideas, words of encouragement, and overall sense of community that I witnessed.
There is still a lot that I need to learn, but what I know for sure is that - no matter the question - there will be someone from the TpT community that can personally answer it or has already blogged about it (thank you Glitter Meets Glue Designs for your blog post on "How to Add Style...")
My goal for the summer is to create and post as many quality products as I can before the craziness of the new school year begins. I hope to continue to learn about the site and how to be the best seller I can be. I also want to continue to take time to see what resources are already created out there that I can use in my classroom. 21st Century Math Projects has already blown me away with the free product available. I cannot wait to try it out in my own classroom and see what else is available to make my classroom the most engaging, interesting, and relevant that it can be.
When thinking about goals, I suppose I should address the name I chose for my store "Free to Discover." In my classroom, I strive to have a balance of discovery-based lessons or exploratory activities mixed with that old-school practice time that reinforces the idea that Practice Makes Permanent (thanks, Pam!). The Common Core has received a lot of backlash - and there are a lot of things I don't like about the standards and the testing (ugh!) - but I wanted to create products that would be aligned to the CCSS in an engaging, interesting, and relevant way. I want both teachers and students to feel they are, in fact, Free to Discover the Common Core. Don't throw away good teaching because of pressure to teach to a test or achieve high test scores. Remember we work with children, and I believe they have the right to participate in activities that are engaging, interesting, and relevant. (Sorry for the repetition, but it's the best way to describe how I feel!)
Most of all through this journey, I hope I can become a better educator and I hope my products encourage other educators to "up their game" in some way, too. It's all about the kids.
-Amanda from Free to Discover
Please following my journey by reading my blog! Here you will receive updates on lessons and activities in my classroom, new products available in my store, and you'll be the first to hear about sales and promotions.
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