Wow! It is hard to believe that I have been blogging for almost 4 years now. My blog posts are sometimes hit and miss, but I am still doing it. I looked back at some of my first posts and than I marveled at how far I have come.
My blog appearance may not be as fancy as some, but it is much cleaner and polished than it used to be. I am still learning a lot about how to use the different features of my website, but I have persevered and learned how to work with pictures, html code, and links. I have learned how to install videos and set up a newsletter and subscriber list.
The biggest thing I have learned, is that I have a lot of friends and teachers in the online world that I have met and learned from throughout my journey. So many people have reached out and helped me along the way. I have improved my teaching practice as well because of my new friends and their tips and ideas that they have shared.
When I first started blogging, I was invited to do a guest blog and I shared a bit about my whirlwind adventure into the blogging world. Here is an excerpt from that post.
I stumbled onto Teachers Pay Teachers last fall when I was looking for some new ideas for starting up my year. I was surprised and excited to see that teachers were sharing their material with other teachers. I started as a buyer, and then decided that I should try to post some of my materials as well. After all, I had been creating my own materials for quite awhile and giving them out to my friends, so why not see if anyone else would be interested in them. I began by posting freebies. I wasn't sure if my products were worthy of being paid for.
I still remember the feeling I had when I got my first sale. It was a combination of excitement and disbelief. Someone actually found me and wanted something I had created.
Next, I started reading blogs. I don't know why I hadn't been aware of them earlier, but I discovered them through links on the TPT site. It didn't take long before I was hooked. I started to wonder if I could create a blog. That was a dangerous thought.
I had no idea what I was doing, but I took the leap and I am now fully immersed in the blogging world. My husband thinks I am crazy, but I just love it. I have so much to learn, but I keep plodding on.
Starting a blog can be scary, but I have one thing to say about it.
Don't be afraid to ask others for help. They are so generous about sharing ideas and suggestions with you. I have yet to meet someone who hasn't been welcoming or helpful. I have made so many friends that I would love to meet face to face one day. This is a community of caring people. I guess that is what makes them special teachers.
What is especially surprising to me, is that I wrote the following part 3 years ago and it hasn't changed much. It is as if I just wrote it for the first time today.
Don't feel that you need to be like everyone else. Each person is special and unique in their own way. Share from you heart and let your specialness shine through. If you write about what is important to you, you will find an audience that wants to follow along with you. It may take time, but it is worth it. Focus on your content, not your numbers.
I am just a little blogger in the blogging world, but I am so grateful for the people who have chosen to follow me and I am humbled that they feel I have something worth reading about. That is more important to me than trying to get big numbers. It took me awhile to figure that out, but I have learned to be true to me.
I admit, sometimes I still get a bit discouraged when I see others are moving quickly and they have so many followers, but then I remind myself that I need to be patient, continue to be true to myself, and share quality material. The followers will come, and the cool thing is, they will be loyal because I did take that time to share a piece of me.
Believe in yourself and remember you are special. There is nobody else out there who is just like you.
One last thing, if I can go from old technology to writing a blog and creating materials for people around the world as a retired teacher, then you can do it too. Just remember that world awaits and it is only a touch of the fingertip away.
I wish you a very successful year as school begins again and I look forward to sharing more of my world with you in future blog posts.
We are in the middle of summer, and sports are happening all around us. It is fun to use a sports theme when learning as well. I have created these activities to provide opportunities for children to have fun while they are learning. You can check them out by clicking here or on the image. Each activity is available individually as well.
Here is a free template for you to use so you can personalize your cards to meet whatever curriculum you would like to focus on. Just click on the image to get your copy.
I created these activities because they represent being team players. I believe that it is important to focus on being good team players, so I wrote a blog about it. You can check it out here.
Summer is a great time for sports. The weather is warm, the days are long, and many people have more time to participate in sports activities. At this time of the year many people are focusing on world sports events as well.
We need to help children understand that there is something out there for everyone. They just need to step out and give it a try. This can apply to adults too.
This is one of my favorite posters. I refer to it often as we focus on building class community and positive self-esteem. I feel it is important to help children understand that everyone was a beginner at some point. This is not an obvious thing for them and they often get discouraged when starting new ventures because they don't always succeed at first. Once they understand this idea, they are more willing to keep trying. They then develop the skills needed to be successful.
When participating in team sports activities, it is important to be a good team player. Everyone has a role on the team and when the team works well together, success usually results. It isn't all about winning, but about being able to say you did your best and you supported your team well. You need to figure out what your role is and then learn to be effective in it. Children will often need some guidance in learning about these roles and how to do them well.
Some sports are individual sports. These sports can also have a team element, but they are usually more focused on individual performance. Personal goals become the focus as athletes work on developing skills and achieving their personal bests. Although there is a competitive component, the real opponent is yourself as you try to outdo what you have done in the past. Striving to do your best becomes the motivator.
It is important to remember to keep a fun element in what you are doing. I remember attending many swim meets, track meets, and soccer games as my children were growing up and it was great to see them excelling, but it was even more gratifying to see them interacting with their teammates and developing friendships with other athletes. Supporting teammates and other athletes in their high moments and in their defeats became more obvious as time went on. It was interesting to hear my daughter comment the other day about how the best part of the meets was hanging out with the other athletes.
In the classroom, teamwork is important as well. If the group works well as a team, then success is bound to be a product of the performance. Of course there will be times when someone drops the baton or slips up, but a good team will rally around that situation and carry on.
We as teachers need to help children to develop good team skills and support them when they do slip up. We need to provide them with the tools to be good team players and good sports. This will allow them to soar in a competitive world. When they fall, they will be able to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and continue on. Minor setbacks will be part of growing and developing rather than failures that prevent them from moving forward.
As you begin a new school year, I wish you many happy times as your students grow and become awesome team members. Here's to a very successful year!
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.