Friday, November 14, 2014

Why I Am Thankful for TpT

Miss Giraffe is hosting a "Why I'm Thankful for TpT" Linky Party and I HAD to join!  November is a time for reflection, a time for giving thanks.  I cannot let this month pass without thinking of how eternally grateful I am for Teachers Pay Teachers.

I began my journey on TpT just over two years ago.  I have always loved creating things for my own students.  Other teachers always told me I should sell my creations.  I had no faith in myself.  How would I start?  Would anybody really want it?  What if I failed?  I was filled with so much doubt and a tremendous lack of confidence.

In October of 2011, I learned that I needed stomach surgery.  Even with health insurance, it would cost a few thousand dollars.  I was devastated by this news.  Times were so hard then.  Money was so tight.  We bought our home when the market was high and our payment was ridiculous.  My husband is a firefighter, and I am a teacher.  You would think we would be alright, but in actuality, every year we took home less money than the year before.  There was no money in the budget for raises and the cost of insurance and taxes went up and up.

I remember leaving the doctor and crying on the phone to my mom.  How could I even think of getting this surgery?  I was taking money from my kids.  I didn't feel that I was a priority.  I always put myself last.  I felt so guilty that I was now going to be a burden.  After I got off the phone, it hit me!  I could raise the money by selling some of my creations!  I would save all the money I made, and I wouldn't feel guilty.  That very night, I signed up to be a seller on TpT.  I made my very first sale within a couple hours.  After that I was hooked!

In the past two years, I have created over 600 resources.  Children in Spain, China, and Australia use my games!  Teachers have shared pictures of their students using my games and even letters from their kids THANKING them for letting them do them.  I am blown away!  I have met some of the nicest people!  I began to realize that teachers actually liked my stuff!  Kids across the country were using my games to have fun and learn!  This is my passion!  This is my dream!  I am all about getting in done, but makin' it fun!  I want kids to LOVE school.  I want them to think they are playing, but really they are learning!  I was now sharing this passion in classrooms across the world!  I had never imagined how fulfilling that could be.

In 2013, I got a booth at the I Teach K conference in Las Vegas and shared my passion with teachers from around the country.  Last summer, I got two booths and presented.  I NEVER would have done this before TpT.  I have found a confidence in myself.  I have realized that I can go as far as I dream.
One year ago, I had my stomach surgery and paid for it all through my TpT earnings.  I feel so much better physically, but I never imaged how much better I would feel emotionally.  TpT has given me a confidence and drive that I never had before.  I know that I am worthy and deserving.  I no longer put myself last.  Teachers Pay Teachers has empowered me, given me a purpose, and allowed me to grow as a human being.  I never expected any of this when I signed up, but I am forever grateful to TpT for helping me discover who I was meant to be.