Thank you, Teachers Pay Teachers.

I've been thinking lately. When I was a child, I was awfully shy. As a shy kid, you basically make a small group of friends and hang onto them for dear life. I was never very assertive and kind of a pushover. Okay, not just "kind of."

People be like: 

After college, I discovered that I was a pretty good teacher. It came very naturally and I was always looking for ways to learn more and make lessons more interesting and engaging for my students. Unfortunately...people love to stomp on teachers. Parents, administrators, leaders, friends: everyone seems to think that they know better than the one that is in the trenches; the one that wears the hat of mom, nurse, leader, friend, maid, and many other things on a daily basis. It tore me down. "I GUESS I'm a...good...teacher." 

Then one day, I discovered a little website 
known as TeachersPayTeachers

I put some basic resources up there because, hey, what's it going to hurt? I didn't think that anything would sell. After all...there were already so many great products on there! Then I started selling some products, so I put more products in my store. Cause and effect: more things started to sell. Wait. Other teachers really want to buy things that I create? 

The moment that I felt my store become "successful" by my own standards was the moment that completely changed the way that I viewed myself. I was no longer this young, fairly inexperienced "good" teacher. I felt so alive. I felt like I was worth something, like I had something to say and something to teach my much more experienced peers. TpT gave me so much worth. It made me feel like I had a voice in a profession that is often voiceless. 

My whole outlook changed. My demeanor changed. I discovered that I had some pretty serious leadership qualities hidden deep inside of me. I "overcame" much of my shyness because I saw myself as many of my peers and buyers saw me: an expert in my field. I became grade chair and led my team, often fighting for them in front of administrators. My peers saw a change in me. My peers voted me Teacher of the Year. 

I'm different now. A lot different. 

Thanks, TpT. You changed my life without even meaning to. 

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