Wednesday, July 23, 2014

To Vegas and Beyond!

Hello, Teaching Friends!

So, maybe you're wondering, "Did she really go to Vegas? She never posted about it."  Well, I did, and I'll tell you a bit about it in a minute.

But first, let me tell you why it's taken so long to get this written.

We didn't come straight home after the conference on the 11th. We took a wonderful, amazing, so-hard-to-even-describe-how-great-it-was road trip up into Utah, where we saw Bryce Canyon National Park...


... and Zion National Park.


Yes, the sky was really that blue. Words and even pictures cannot do justice to the incredible beauty and immensity of these parks. You have to go.  Seriously, if you are planning to go to the TPT 2015 Conference, start saving up now to allow yourself the treat of extra days to visit these parks. Especially after a few days in Vegas, the contrast is stark. Vegas is ... interesting, bigger than life ... but so much of it was not real. Dolphin shows in the middle of the desert? A volcano erupting outside your hotel room every fifteen minutes? Even right in the Venetian where the conference was held, they have a canal with singing gondoliers and a gorgeous (but fake!) blue sky. Okay, the gondoliers are really singing and all of it is very cool, but all of it is kind of Disney at ... um... a different level of morality.

Zion and Bryce are 100% real. Don't deny yourself the pleasure, particularly if you're already in Vegas.

So, about the TPT Conference. It was an amazing and somewhat overwhelming experience, and probably the most helpful professional development that I've ever participated in. If you are a TPT teacher/author, I highly recommend it. I now have a TPT to-do list which is quite literally longer than my arm. But, it's all for the good, and doesn't have to be done all at once. Just trying to convince myself of that last part. ;)

You've probably seen conference photos all over the blogs and Facebook. Most of the TPT stars were there, and I was privileged to meet a few and learn at their great seminars. All that I met were gracious, friendly, and seemed to embody the TPT spirit of collaboration rather than competition as they shared what they've learned about making and marketing resources.

But you won't be seeing any of the more typical celebrity pix here. Instead, in this post and the next, I'd like to introduce you to a few sellers with whom I was able to have some very pleasant extended conversations. In other words, meet my friends - they're celebrities, too!

First up is Michele Luck. She is a genuinely sweet person with a deep passion for teaching.

Michele Luck's Social Studies

Michele's store is Michele Luck's Social Studies and her blog is A Lesson Plan for Teachers. Although her products are aimed at the secondary level, the wisdom she shares in her blogposts will benefit teachers at all levels. Take a look! I had the opportunity to listen as Michele gave wise counsel and encouragement to a kindergarten teacher about to start her first year of teaching, and can attest to Michele's expertise and her passion for teaching!

If you know someone starting out as a secondary teacher, you'll want to give them Michele's book, A Lesson Plan for Teachers (New and Old!).  You can get it either at her TPT store or at If your own passion is flagging a bit, this may be the book that will reignite the flame!

Trivia Note:  Michele and her husband Steve are traveling the country in their RV, spreading the word about TPT at teachers' colleges and professional conferences, and supporting other sellers (like me!) as we grow our stores. How cool is that?

I'd also like to introduce you to Bex Mawn from New Hampshire. Bex blogs at Reading and Writing Redhead.

Reading and Writing Redhead

Bex and I enjoyed some great conversation along with amazing salads at lunch on conference day. Check out this great freebie at her TPT store!

Bex is also your go-to gal for those cute Jamberry Nails!
More new friends to tell you about in another post soon!
Watch tomorrow's post for news about a great big Christmas in July Sale at lots of your favorite K-2 stores!
Happy Teaching!

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