13 July 2015

Viva Las Vegas! A TPT Conference Linky Party



Hi, all! I am just back from Vegas (as in, I got home at 2:00 this morning!), and after a completely wonderful and exhausting (in a good way) trip, I am so excited to share all about the 2015 Teachers Pay Teachers Conference!


My very first Vegas experience began super-early on Thursday morning, when my four roomies (all fantastic teachers from my school) and I arrived at the Venetian Hotel on the first day of the conference.  We got in at about about 7:30am Vegas time, so we had time to tour the hotel, eat a little breakfast, and check out the casino before heading downstairs to the Conference area. In the future, I'll definitely plan to arrive at least the day before the conference to allow time for settling in and attending the humongous Blogger Meet-up, but for a first-timer, it was just neat to be there and take in the sights upon arrival.


Later on Thursday morning, I attended the First and Second Grade Networking Meet-up, and it was sooo neat to meet teachers from all over the world who love TPT just as much as I do!  Here I am with the absolutely sweet and adorable Amanda from Mrs. Richardson's Class.


Here I am with one of my former colleagues from my favorite school in Tennessee! So cool to accidentally bump into her during a fantastic session!


And, last but not least, here I am with the fabulous Kristin from A Teeny Tiny Teacher. She definitely is Teeny Tiny and hilarious! Loved her!


During the day on Thursday and Friday, I attended some A-MAZ-ING Sessions that ranged from a Panel of some of my favorite bloggers, to a session on Instagram, which I am totally new at, sessions on Data and using Facebook to build your business, and a truly motivational and inspiring session from Angela Watson on Expanding your Impact. Through these sessions, I learned so many awesome ideas, practical tips and techniques, and I got to know some truly inspiring fellow TPT Curriculum Designers!

I learned so much at the conference that it is hard to put it all into words, but here are three of my biggest takeaways...


1. Find your niche, and present yourself as an expert in your area.

This idea was discussed by so many presenters, and it really makes sense! They discussed finding your strong area and building off of that in order to strengthen your presence as a successful TPT Seller. As a first grade teacher, I feel like my niche is pretty broad right now since I teach so many subjects, but I have become more aware of my strengths, so I am going to try to focus my efforts more towards those areas.


2. Find "Your People" and stick with them!

The idea of "finding your people" was mentioned in several of my sessions, and it really resonated with me. First, is the idea of finding your particular audience. Find "your people," or teachers with similar needs and issues that you have, and then share blog posts, ideas, and create products that solve the problems of "your people." Next, comes the idea of finding similar teacher-authors and bloggers to network with. It can be so tempting to look at all of the more experienced groups of teacher-bloggers and wonder how to "get in" with them, but it is more beneficial and a better use of your time and efforts to find bloggers and authors who are similar to you either in audience, subject area, geographic location, number of followers, etc. and create collaborative groups that are going to benefit each member of the group.


3. Use your blog and social media as a way to build relationships, not as a marketing tool.

This was huge for me! I've really struggled with the idea of using my blog, new Instagram account and Pinterest boards to "advertise" my products, and I feel so much better knowing that I don't necessarily have to or need to do this to build followers or sell my products. I really enjoy using my blog as a place to share teaching strategies and ideas, and I'm loving sharing more of myself on Instagram, so it is nice to know that I can continue to use these outlets as avenues for sharing myself as a teacher rather than focusing on using them to showcase my products.

I learned so much in each session, and I look forward to sharing some new tips and tricks with you in the next few weeks as I get ready for Back to School time!

Until next time, here are a few pics from the few days following the conference where I got to celebrate one of my best friend's thirtieth birthday, see a fantastic Cirque show, ride the High Roller, and eat some delicious food! Although Vegas probably isn't exactly my kind of town, I had a wonderful experience, and cannot wait to go back next year!  P.S. If you'd like to check out more TPT Vegas 2015 stories, check out the linky party being hosted by the Elementary Entourage! Thanks for stopping by!



02 July 2015

Currently: July 2015

Hey there! I'm back, and although I might have gotten too distracted to post last night while working on my TPT Conference Binder, I'm linking up with Farley for July's Currently Linky Party!



Listening - I am obsessed with the Songza app (and no, they don't pay me!) A fabulous teacher friend introduced to to me this year, and I love it so much more than Pandora--no annoying commercials to listen to! It's great! When I'm not listening to Princess Party Mix with my girlies, I love to listen to the Acoustic Versions of Pop Songs Station. The Civil Wars redid Michael Jackson's Billy Jean, and it is amazing!

Loving - My favorite summer ice cream treat, a Nerds Sonic Blast, which might not actually be on the menu. As a child, I loved getting Nerds Blizzards at DQ, but they don't make them anymore. Bummer. Sonic doesn't technically make them either, but since they have Nerds Slushies on the menu, they'll gladly make a Nerds Blast for you if you ask nicely. Delish!

Thinking - This summer has flown by! With swimming lessons and trying to wrangle my girlies everyday, it has just gone so fast! Neely turns one in a few weeks, and I haven't even begun to think about her party or scheduling pictures yet...Guess I'll add those to the to-do list!

Wanting - A new blog design. I am on Gabby's waitlist for my makeover, but I have zero patience! I am so excited to have a fresh, new design (even though I have to wait until September) where everything is cohesive and up to date!

Needing - To start packing for Vegas! I cannot believe I get to go to the conference this year! I am going to be so starstruck, and am a little nervous about all of the networking, but I am so excited to to meet other teacher authors and bloggers! And, I can't wait to have a little grown up time on my first vacation away from my girlies!

All Star - I'm very productive. I love crossing things off my list, and I am very task-oriented, so I just like to go, go, go. Unfortunately, I have a little trouble with taking time out to relax, and I have to try to just deal with the fact that it is a little trickier getting things done with two little crazies running/crawling around!

That's it for now, thanks for stopping by!

 

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