Friday, June 26, 2015

Dare to Dream- Immeasurably More

It’s week two of the TPT Seller Challenge, and this week’s challenge is called “Dare to Dream.”  I will admit I laughed when I first read the title, as my thoughts on this cliché have become more cynical in my thirties than they were in my twenties.  It’s not that I don’t “dream” anymore, it’s just that I fully realize “my” dreams may or may not come true the way I envision them.  However, the good part is I also realize THAT’S OKAY! 

Last week, I attended church camp with the youth group from my church.  The theme for the week was “More” and it was based on Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”  I can’t help but see a connection between this week’s challenge and last week’s theme; for me, they go hand in hand.  Rather than choose a particular dream for my career, my personal life OR my spiritual life, I’d rather live day to day and put it in God’s hands, knowing that it’ll be immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine, as I let His power work through me.

While I do think it’s important to have goals and to visualize where hard work toward those goals can take you, for me it’s all about the journey.  One day at a time, one step at a time or in the case of TPT, one product at a time, one follower at a time.  I truly believe my personal quote on my TPT page that says, “To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded.” (Emerson)  I clearly remember what it was like to be drowning as a new teacher, and it thrills me that TPT can hopefully alleviate some of that for new teachers now.  I want to reach new teachers, as well as veteran teachers who are just looking for new ideas.  I’d also like to help colleagues get started with their own TPT business.  In short, I’d like to reach more teachers!

I also love the fact that more success on TPT means more resources for my own classroom.  Whether you’ve been teaching one year or ten years, there are never enough hours in the day to create everything you’d like to offer your students for optimal learning.  TPT is such a timesaver, and I like to think of it as a bartering system.  The money I make on TPT creating resources that I’m good at creating allows me to get resources that I’m not so good at creating.  Knowing that little people around the world are using the resources I create in their classrooms also makes me smile.

When I first started teaching, I struggled with the lack of genuine feedback about what I was doing in my classroom.  Administrators and colleagues are so busy with their own responsibilities that it’s hard for them to get a handle on what’s REALLY going on in individual classrooms.  I love the fact that TPT allows me to receive genuine feedback on products I’m using in my own classroom.  Being able to compare what worked well or didn’t work well for my customers to my own experience has taken my teaching to a whole new level!  For me, TPT means more feedback that helps me do my job better.

Let’s be real for a minute.  Everyone likes more income.  I’ve always scoffed at the fact that I work just as hard as my husband (or harder) (well for ten months a year anyway) and make a fraction of his salary.  TPT still hasn’t exactly leveled the playing field, but it makes me feel like it could one day if I keep up the hard work and the stars align.  I love that feeling of professional empowerment- that what I do IS valued and DOES matter to more than just the twenty-some kids I teach each year (not that it wouldn’t have been enough if it was only them). Most importantly, more income means more opportunities to do good for others.  Again, "to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived- this is to have succeeded."

With TPT, I really do feel that the possibilities are endless.  It’s been an amazing journey so far and I can only hope that there’s immeasurably more to come.  If you’re a teacher and you haven’t yet given it a try, either as a customer or as a seller, I’d love to tell you more!

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