A little over a year ago, my husband and I decided to try our hand at a Teachers Pay Teachers store. As teachers we all spend hundreds of hours each year above our contracted time to create activities for our little learners. We don’t think twice about the extra time because we love the kids. There is nothing we wouldn’t do for them. At the same time, when 5:30 comes around and we find that we have been at school for 10+ hours and just want to get home and get dinner made, we start to question how we are utilizing our time.
Why is it that some teachers are able to leave at 4:00? It was around this time that I was starting my second semester of masters classes. One professor continually told us to work smarter not harder. Leaving from work in the pitch black of winter I thought about this and how it relates not just to being a student, but also to being a teacher. We all have hundreds of great ideas that we have worked hard on, why not share them? So that is just what Andrew and I did when we started Teacher Treehouse.
When summer came around and we were ready to put our feet up for a bit we began reflecting on Teacher Treehouse and felt we were not reaching many of the teachers who would benefit from the products we had created. We started this blog with the intentions of bringing our everyday struggles and celebrations within the classroom to life. Obviously, we haven’t gotten too far! There is something so intimidating about getting started. We create lessons, worksheets, and activities constantly as teachers so it didn’t seem like a big deal to start Teacher Treehouse on Teachers Pay Teachers. But writing blog posts- or writing for anyone other than children seemed very overwhelming.
I am currently in my final months to finish my masters degree in education as well as my fifth year of teaching. The time demands of those first few years of teaching are still fresh in my mind, but I have learned a few things along the way that I am hoping can cut down on your after hours time wherever you are in your career. I still consider myself a new teacher. I am blessed to be in a school district that offers immense amounts of staff development. However, we all know that there is no one right answer in education and best practice is constantly evolving.
I am in no means an expert, but hopefully by working together we can best meet the needs of our little learners as well as have a little time left at the end of the day to enjoy with our friends and families.