Travel back in time with me about 6 weeks.

I decided late November to begin posting some of my “byproducts” as my husband calls them, to teacherspayteachers.

I have to admit, I have become a little bit addicted to creating products… and I feel like it’s making me a better teacher. Here’s what I have noticed in this short time period.

1. I think out my lessons in more detail. As I create materials for myself, I usually create the lesson, anticipate student difficulty and make a plan. When I create my products knowing that I plan to post them, I put even more thought into the best way to differentiate the product. I create what is needed for the differentiated lesson. Overall, I am more prepared!

2. I am reflective. When I teach my lessons I have always reflected upon the lesson… like “Wow that went well!” or the too often, “Well it seemed like a good idea!” Now that I am posting my products, I go home and immediately revise the materials I create after I use them in my classroom. I update my “teaching suggestions” and have a better, more solid lesson for myself to use in years to come. This kind of motivation to create the changes NOW, not just some scribbled sticky note in my plan book that I won’t be able to decipher in 365 days. I also sometimes have those (what I call) “mid teaching lesson makeover moment” where I originally thought my lesson idea would be good, but then a better idea comes to me as I am sitting there before my students, so of course I go with it. Then I go home,  and usually add an alternative lesson/ idea to my product before I post it.

3. I am networking and learning from a wonderful community of inspirational, motivated, ambitious, and enthusiastic teachers. I have exchanged e-mails, shared pinterest boards, shared “feedback” and received feedback from other teachers who love what they do. I really believe that is one of the best ways to keep that “fire” for teaching alive, surround yourself with people who have the same passion you do.

So, less than 2 months later, I am continuing to post on my TeachersPayTeachers shop, I started a TeachersNotebook shop (they have PINNING PARTIES! there!), and I love my job more than ever.

As I start this New Year I know I am blessed to have a wonderful family, two beautiful boys (3 and 7), and the best job in the world!

In the words of one of my favorite people, Walt Disney, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

Happy New Year!