Sunday, October 14, 2012

TpT Gives Me a New Approach

I've mentioned before that it's my eighth year of teaching. The other day, I was talking with a colleague about lesson plans. Before this year, I had always been asked to turn in some type of formal lesson plan, at least for a part of the year. I'm in a habit, and it's a good one, so even though we aren't required to write them at my new school, I can't (also read as don't want to) break that habit.

I remember when I first became a teacher, how I thought the first year would be tough but then I would be able to use the same lesson plans year after year, and then teaching would be a "walk in the park"!

Boy, was I wrong!

In the 8 years that I have been teaching, I've moved to 4 different districts and taught at 3 different grade levels. On top of that since my moves are all because of my military husband, I have also taught in 3 different states....very, very different states! So while some plans could be used again, I have yet to teach the same exact plan twice. Let's face it, if you're a good teacher, your plans will never be the same because the group of kids in front of you will differ from year to year anyway.

And I don't mind that. I'm not saying I never complain about writing lesson plans, even though I am the only one forcing myself to do it at this point. But for the most part, lesson planning helps me to get my mind ready for whatever is coming. This way, I am not "rusty" with any topics.

But this year, I've discovered Teachers Pay Teachers. I can't help but WANT to write AMAZING lesson plans and create wonderful activities. I am no longer creating just for my students, but I am going a step beyond and creating for my colleagues throughout the world. I love the feeling that I get when students love using my creations. How awesome is it that I can experience that same feeling when I get great feedback from teachers that are sharing my work with their students as well? Needless to say, my approach to lesson planning has changed. I now look to it with excitement, trying to think of something that I've never done or tried that will benefit my students and students everywhere! Just this past weekend, I posted three different items, and I was so giddy and happy as I posted each one.

We become teachers to make a difference. We create things to connect to our students and engage them in their learning. I can't help but feel inspired knowing that I've sold over 25 Reader's Response Tic Tac Toe boards since I posted it just a few weeks ago. That means students from the U.S. to Australia are using something I created to increase their reading skills. How awesome is that?

Lesson plans? Bring 'em on! Can't wait to spark up an idea for my next creation and share it with teachers all over the world!

Speaking of which, here's two new creations from the weekend. I'll be posting a blog about each very soon, but figured I would give my followers a preview: