Hello world!

My Very First Post!

Well…here goes nothing. I’m taking a huge step for me…I’m becoming a blogger. Yep! Right now. This is it. You are reading my very first post. It’s very scary! It’s not like I have trouble talking (ask my husband!), it’s just that I’ve never really put myself out there in cyberspace like this before. I do love helping others so hopefully that part will come naturally. I must say that it does feel a little easier knowing that my intended audience are mothers and fathers (parents are our future!), educators, and teachers of all kinds, because I know these are all also caring people. So that makes me super excited to get to know my followers (I keep hearing that I WILL have followers so I’m trying to think positive.) I’m hoping that this blog will be a place to help others by connecting and sharing information.

Why I’m Blogging

I am an EXTREMELY passionate third grade teacher. I spent one year teaching kindergarten (bless those teachers and pay them more!!), then RAN to third grade where I have remained for the last 12 years. I hold my master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and I also earned my National Boards. I love teaching, and I love learning. I started a TPT store (Engage and Bloom) last summer. It’s been a REALLY long learning process as I didn’t have anyone to help me along the way. I read and read, and read and read some more. I read everything I could. I spent almost my whole summer trying to learn how to share my lessons with others with the opportunity to earn some compensation for my time on a TPT site. By October, I had created some great products and made a few sales, but I felt there was so much I didn’t know. So I decided to sign up for the TPT annual conference the following July which leads me to this week.

Uber-rific!

This week I attended the TeachersPayTeachers annual conference in Orlando, Florida. I’m setting a pattern because I was a bit nervous about attending all by myself so this was another first. I booked the conference last fall, but neglected to book the hotel so I ended up offsite about 4 miles away. That required ANOTHER first for me…learning how to use Uber! (Otherwise I had to pay $20/day for EACH hotel thereby spending $40 a day just to park my car!) So after checking into my hotel, the very first thing I did was google “Uber” where I learned I needed to download the app onto my phone. Check…I could do that! I allowed the app (it prompts you) to use my location, and then I input the address for the conference. Then I hit “request”. Woohoo…so easy except….WARNING: Be sure you’re almost ready to go before hitting the “request” button because WOW…a little map pops up with a picture of the car traveling to you with a minute clock!!! What? He’s coming in 5 minutes???? Are you kidding me???? Yikes…quick…use the bathroom, comb hair, apply lipstick, get materials for the conference, get the elevator, and get out front of the hotel! Looking at the little car on the map I now see it’s down to 2 minutes. Whew. Made it. But I also notice at this point that there’s a picture of the driver, and it tells the make and model of his car. Well that’s great if you are car aficionado, but this girl is not…and I mean NOT at ALL! So I just stood at the curb in front of my extremely busy hotel looking at the little car moving around on the map with the minute countdown clock saying 1 minute, and wondering how I would ever end up in this car when I didn’t know what it looked like. In desperation and a bit of fear, I clicked on the driver’s picture thinking maybe there would be a little history about him. After all, I am a woman traveling alone in a car with a stranger. But no, there was no crime record (thank goodness) or glowing report (well I didn’t really have time to read it anyway), but there was a link that allowed me to forward my trip LIVE via text. VERY COOL. So I promptly sent that to my husband in case I was never to be seen again. I was really excited about mastering this new tool but back to reality. How will I find this car? I looked back to the little car on the map screen. Yikes…the countdown minutes had stopped and now it said “arriving”. I looked out at the sea of cars pulling into the hotel (which in my mind were in 2 categories: small and big…and I had no idea which category his car would be so even that wasn’t helping me.) But…THANKFULLY!!!! each and every time I uberred this week (is Uber even a verb?), the driver would pull up, roll down his/her passenger window and say, “Nancy?” to which I responded, “YES! OMG! This really works!” I’m pretty sure they have special training on how to find people that cannot find them. Maybe the app should be sending my picture to them instead of their picture to me? Just sayin! Anyway, I hope if you have never tried Uber, that you will step out of your comfort zone and try it out. Oh…I almost forgot to tell you. You set up your account ONCE for payment when you get the app. I set mine up through Paypal. You can see the estimate for your trip before requesting (mine was between $5 and $7 with the actual averaging about $6.10.) So, there’s no paying the driver except for a tip. After the trip I received an email with the actual cost and also asking me to rate the driver. So I hope that sharing my Uber story will help you feel comfortable trying it out…it’s very cool and super easy!

Wow…I’ve written a lot, and since I don’t have any earthly idea how long a blog should be, I’ll stop here and add some more later. I hope to share some great educational tips with you! Thanks for reading this. (IS anyone actually reading this?) How will I even know? How do folks follow me? Obviously I need to do some reading.  See you soon!

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