Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Featured Seller - Connie Casserly

Tell us about yourself.
In 2011, I retired from 30+ years in the most honorable profession-Teaching. My career started in a boys reform school where I taught reading to 13-18 year old court-sent young men. After a break when my husband and I started our family-a daughter and then a son- I taught in a variety of learning environments: a residential facility for emotionally disturbed adolescents, a school for between-the-cracks adolescents (not ED or LD but failing in school for a variety of reasons), and then a middle school. For my last 19 classroom years, I taught high school: English 9, 11 or 12 (or a combination of these grades), Creative Writing 1-4 and Journalism 1-4. While at this school, I sponsored the literary magazine and the monthly newspaper.

Connie Casserly and "Warding Off the Wolves"Due to my mother’s suggestion to, “Share my creative teaching ideas,” I found Teachers pay Teachers. I have been creating and selling my curriculum there since 2006.  An educational publisher, Compass Publishing, liked one of my products enough to ask me to turn it into a complete teaching program, ergo, The House of Comprehension was created and released in 2013. It was featured in the Northern Virginia Magazine in November of that same year. and was reviewed in the Virginia English Journal Fall 2013/Winter 2014 edition.

Other reviews and comments about The House of Comprehension may be found on

Numerous educational articles and lessons that I wrote have been published in various National Council of Teachers of English publications .

A Fine Line YA Novel
My young adult novel, A FINE LINE - about teen dating abuse - was published in 1993 by May Davenport, Publishers. When the publisher’s sons changed the business’s focus last year, they sent me the remaining 80 unused copies I also have a unit plan for it, if anyone is interested in a book about teen dating abuse.  A number of schools used it for conflict mediation, also. My copies sell for a tenth of Amazon’s New versions.

In my teaching, I used my writing to show my students that my expectations and goals for them were the same ones that I set for myself.

What do you like best about teaching?
The absolutely best part of teaching is the students. 

Could teens be irritating? Just ask my hair stylist, Theresa, who has made my gray hair disappear for twenty years.

Could teens make me gnash my teeth at yet another excuse for not having an assignment done?  Just ask my dentist about my teeth grinding habit.

Could teens make me wish that I had a magic spell to freeze their eyes into permanent eye roll positions even though my optometrist said this was not probable? Oh, many a time, even though I often made audacious comments to precipitate the eye rolls. I did have to grab their attention, after all.

But…but…most importantly, they never failed to make me laugh when I was so frustrated with the darts flung by the job and life that I wanted to crawl under my desk. Their own quest for answers-about what we were studying and life in general- forced me to question my own thoughts. They always challenged me to see life from their side of the desk.

Describe your favorite TpT product.
Oh, must I pick just one?

My favorite FREEBIE is Language Arts Comprehension Check: Ten Sentence Format

Grammar: Banish Those Dialogue Demons

My favorite priced Language Arts lesson is Grammar: Banish Those Dialogue Demons

Journalism: Analyzing Newspaper Leads and Articles

My favorite priced Journalism Lesson is: Journalism: Analyzing
Newspaper Leads and Articles Worksheets 

The Great Gatsby Unit Plan

What advice would you give to someone who may want to become a seller at Teachers Pay Teachers?
To borrow Nike’s slogan, “Just Do It!” Selling the lessons that you create and that you so believe make you the kind of teacher to turn your students into life-long learners is very rewarding. The positive comments justify your teaching efforts, and the not-so-positive feedback challenges you to push yourself to find your academic best.  Both fortify you in as you walk the walk and talk the talk of Teaching- the most honorable profession.

What have you done or hope to do with your TpT earnings?
My TpT earnings allow my husband and me to take extra trips, to spoil our grandchildren – but within our children’s guidelines… most of the time, and to have a more stress-free retirement.

What do you like best about being a member of The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative?
Since my passion for teachers and teaching still burns so strong, I love the chance to share my materials. Best of all, though, are the lessons that I read about on this site. They are so exciting, so engaging and so inspiring, that I have found myself wistful, at times, about my teaching years. The students of the teachers who post on TBOTE are very, very fortunate to spend a year-or more, depending on the grade level- with these talented curriculum creators and classroom leaders. I am honored to be included with them.

Happy Teaching,                                                                     

                                                                   Teach it Write
Building Powerful Academic Homes

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