These are a few of my FAVORITE things

I hope you heard the Sound of Music tune when you read the title for this post. I know I did! 

Today, I'm stepping (tumbling?) out of the proverbial BOX as I join a dear friend and former colleague extraordinaire, Ashley Schroeder from Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd  and her friend Angie from Lucky Little Learners for their monthly linky called #2getherwearebetter, a link-up party for teacher bloggers that is light hearted, fun, and FULL of helpful tips for teachers.

This month's topic is things I love, and I AM an expert in things I love, after all, so why not dive on in? Plus, I'm feeling especially appreciative as a new blogger and TpT seller, so the timing on Ashley and Angie's linky is per.fect. 

My "Things I Love" are not material things--I'm going a little cerebral here today, because when I reflected on all I'm thankful for right now, these non-material things are topping the list. 

Creating things to use in my classroom was something I really started loving waaaaay back in college. (In the 90s. Yep. I started college in the 90s, and I'm totally cool with it old.) Anyways, I LOVE everything about creating little curricular pieces of art. I love picking the fonts and images, I love dreaming up ways to make teaching things more FUN and creative, I love thinking of ways to give students choices and AUTONOMY in their learning. 
Ok, so pushing boundaries is NOT easy. Whether they are personal or not, it can be difficult to step beyond the confines of whatever real or imaginary issues are holding you back. However, what I've been learning in the past few weeks, as I've started up my blog, TpT store, and allllllllll the social media accounts that accompany a new business, is that once you CAN push yourself beyond your old "normal," it feels really good (and scary, and frustrating, and scary, and rewarding, and did I mention scary?!). I'm loving pushing the boundaries because I am now challenging mySELF to do things I never would have dreamed of doing. (And thank you, Ashley, for your enduring words of encouragement <3). 
I mentioned this in an earlier blog post, but I'm pretty sure that for about 34.89% (okay, probably more like 52.123%, but who's counting?) of each of my work days, I'm spending time LEARNING new things. My google searches are centered on making my blog look better, connecting with other bloggers, making things stand out on TpT, researching what's new in gifted education, I could go on and on. And PERISCOPE. Oh man. WHY?!WHY?! Must I have another place to spend hours on end?! Seriously though, it's a treasure trove of so many great things, and it's such a cool way to get to know the people behind the blogs and the products you see. So much learning, and it makes my heart (and my brain) so very happy.
I'm loving small accomplishments. These small accomplishments also manage to simultaneously feel like BIG accomplishments, because they are, for me. In the past three weeks, I started blogging, created my TpT store, created and added 7 products, and I started Instagramming, Facebooking, and Pinteresting. I've started getting (just a few!) followers in each of those arenas, I've sold a few products, and it feels SO good. In the grand scheme of things, my numbers don't even hit the radar of people who have been doing this longer, have bigger networks, and have simply put in more work than me, and I'm OKAY with that. Because I'm celebrating my own little milestones, and putting enough faith in myself to know that with perseverance, I'll get to celebrate many more milestones as they come along. 
I'm sure I don't have to elaborate much here, but gosh I love my family. ALL of them. My beautiful daughters, my caring, kind, supportive husband, my grandparents, parents and parents-in-law, my sisters, sisters-in-law, and my brothers-in-law, and all my nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins far and near. They've all been cheering me on for my whole life, and especially now as I enter this new arena. They mean the whole world to me. <3

Thanks so much for reading. If you're interested in seeing some other GREAT teacher bloggers, be sure to click on the picture below to hop back over to Schroeder Shenanigans and check out her site, as well the other great links!


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