Have you ever wondered about the stories of your favorite TpT authors, bloggers, and online mentors? What prompted them to start this journey, more importantly what motivated them to stick with it? I can’t speak for them, but I would love to share the start of my TpT journey with you.
It all started back in the year 2017. I was in my 3rd year working for a public school in North Texas and I was pregnant with my first child. I was meeting a teacher friend for coffee after work one day, but this wasn’t just any friend. This is one of those special, life-long and life-changing friendships.
You see this friend, she used to teach on my campus, but she had just had her first baby and had decided to leave public education to be a stay-at-home mom. During this coffee date, my friend told me she was starting a Teachers Pay Teachers store. I thought she was nuts, but I encouraged her, because that’s what friends do. Then she told me I should start one. Now I really thought she had lost her mind. I had literally no idea the first thing to do to create a TpT resource. None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
But this friend, (whose name by the way is Kaitlyn AKA The Stay At Home Teacher) kept bringing it up. She was so encouraging, that I finally decided “what the heck, I’ve got a few ideas, I’ll do it.” So, I bought my first cheap-o computer and got to work. And within minutes hit my first road block. Because I had no idea what I was doing.
By this time, I had had my baby and his sleep time became my work time. Those first resources took me days. And NONE of them still exist in their original form because they were TERRIBLE…so terrible.
Pay attention here, because this is the turning point in my story. I discovered I love a new challenge.
The thrill of turning “I have no idea how to do this” into “I figured it out!” continues to propel me forward.
It’s this same basic motivator that has created almost every resource in my store. If you were to look on my store shelves you would notice that almost all of them share a common theme: social communication/pragmatic language.
Here’s why: the thought of treating higher level social communication kids, used to scare me. I would get them on my caseload and they looked mostly normal. I found it so difficult to pinpoint what skills they needed to work on, because they could do all of the “big” things. Then once, I figured out what they needed to work on, I had no idea how to strategically teach it! Have you ever felt that way?
So, I decided I would take the hardest thing for me to teach, and I would learn as much about it as I could.
I wanted to be able to use these skills in my own classroom, but I needed to learn it so well that I felt confident making a resource about it. And now, I have done enough of these that I am in love with teaching social communication, and I want to help you fall in love with it too!
Now I just keep doing it. I keep learning. I keep setting new goals, goals that feel impossible but this phrase has become my motto: I CAN DO HARD THINGS.
And you know what? You can do hard things too.
If you would like to see more of my work, I would encourage you to visit my YouTube channel, The Gift of Gab Speech Therapy. I focus on giving free information to help SLP’s and educators strategically teach complex skills. Additionally, I would love for you to check out the book that I wrote (I still can’t believe I wrote a book!). It is called Devon Makes a Friend, and it is available on Amazon!.