Tell us about yourself.
I am a 28-year veteran educator. I have taught English to grades seven through eleven, college-level Composition I and II, Survival Reading for College, eighth grade and high school U.S. History, honors Oklahoma History and adult basic education/GED preparation. I have been a College Board Pre-AP consultant since 2003 and have presented at several summer institutes and one- and two-day conferences. I am a mentor teacher-trainer I hold a B.S. in Education (language arts and social studies) and a Master’s in Liberal Studies from the University of Oklahoma.
What do you like best about teaching?
Anyone who stays in this profession must have a heart for the students. I love getting to know my students individually (not an easy task with more than 100 students per year), and addressing their individual learning styles and needs. My greatest joy as a professional is helping students understand the power of language and that one of society’s greatest vehicles for imparting wisdom is its literature.
Describe your favorite TpT product.
I began my TpT journey by posting some of my favorite lessons, but right now, the product I like the most is my “Huck Finn: What’s the Big Deal?” unit. I’ve used it for five years now, and the class discussions just keep getting better. We spend more than a week researching the history of the controversy of teaching Huck Finn. I ask my students, “Why have adults tried to keep this book out of your hands for more than 100 years? Maybe I shouldn’t bother it; I’m too old for controversy. Let’s just research what everyone has been fussing about, report on it, and then decide as a class if we should cover it.” By the time we’re finished with this phase, they all want to read it. I show them how to download the free audio and text, hand out cheap ear buds from Dollar Tree, and let them approach this novel as a class, as a team.
What advice would you give to someone who may want to become a seller at Teachers Pay Teachers?
Don’t be afraid! If you’ve created something that works in your class, share it! I declared a personal moratorium on textbook publishers’ materials (especially test prep!) several years ago. I support fellow teachers, NOT publishers of expensive textbooks!
What have you done or hope to do with your TpT earnings?
I am semi-retired now, so I hope to devote more time to posting my materials. TpT and my private consulting must supplement my meager Teachers’ Retirement.
What do you like best about being a member of The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative?
Being a member of The Best of Teacher Entrepreneurs Marketing Cooperative is forcing me step outside my own comfort zone and learn how to be more adept at Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. But, I strive to be a life-long learner, and as I tell my students, learning happens in the struggle.
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