My name is Joy Billeaud, and I am teaching 5th grade Science in China Spring, Texas. I have been teaching for 22 years, and have taught everything from pre-school to high school PE and girls’ athletics. I have never had a position that I did not love, but now that I am no longer coaching my favorite spot would have to be teaching in a self-contained 4th grade classroom!
What I like best about teaching is the feeling I get when a student grasps a concept that they had previously eluded them. In fourth grade this concept is often long division. They have to remember all the steps, all the multiplication facts, and all their subtraction facts. When they’ve gotten through to the quotient and then check their work, a smile creeps across their face that says, “I can do this!” That smile makes the previous hours of struggling all worthwhile!
My favorite TpT product is my Texas Cattle Drive. It includes reading, writing, math, geography and language translations! Students will decide on a location for their own cattle ranch, then decide where they will drive their cattle to market. They hire and pay trail hands, cooks, and trail bosses according to how many miles and days they travel. (tons of math work!) They will draw a card each day to see what happens with their herd. They will journal their daily drive including all sorts of things they may encounter, such as: bad weather, disease, cattle thieves, and even Native American tribes along the way. My students love this activity, and have even worried about what will happen to their cattle over the weekends!
New Sellers at TpT should go directly to the forums and learn everything they can from experienced sellers. I had products listed for almost 18 months before ever finding the forum. I didn’t know what Pinterest was, and had no idea that marketing was involved. You can imagine how well my products were selling – not at all!!
Most of my TpT earnings will go directly into my retirement fund – my Texas Teacher Retirement System is not going to keep me happy in my golden years! The rest will be spent traveling with my children. We’re going to Universal Studios in two weeks to see Harry Potter!
TBOTEMC has taught me more about marketing my products than I could have ever imagined possible. I love the new ideas that are shared through this collaborative group, and I feel like I am on the ‘ground floor’ of new and innovative marketing strategies.