Monday, July 13, 2015

TpT Conference Vegas 2015!

     Well, even after a day to take it all in, my mind is still spinning with ideas and inspiration from the conference.  From the meet ups to the panels, the sessions, and more meet ups it was a couple of days of intense learning and excitement from this small seller. 
     My journey started first with the decision to go.  I was actually in Vegas last year during the last conference with my daughter, who was in a dance competition.  I wanted to go, but I was there to support her, and to be honest I did not feel like my little store had any business being there. I secretly made a pact with myself to start socking away a little each month from my earnings so that I could go the following year.  So, when the opportunity rolled around I was ready!
     I also made the decision to fly solo (literally)!  My husband watched our two kids and I went to get serious.  This was big for me.  I had really never gone anywhere that far without friends or family. What's funny is that I didn't even realize this until I thought about it.  I was excited to push a little out of my comfort zone. 
Teachers Pay Teachers 2015 Conference
     Even though I'm absolutely not an introvert, I've never been one to love entering a room without a posse. I faced my fear and did it starting with the bloggers meet-up.  After taking in a sea faces (and feeling a few pains of "OMG I know no one here!"),  I ended up standing in line for a drink and meeting a few awesome people!  It was fun to chat and learn from others. I love the human story!  I even got to take a selfie with Greg Smedley-Warren from The Kindergarten Smorgasboard!  He was so nice.  I had to take a picture for my lovely former teaching partner, Susan, who loves his kinder ideas and uses them in her class.  The next morning at the grade level meet ups and the sessions the uncomfortableness lifted and conversations flowed.  I met so many nice people, who I truly hope to keep up with.  I even got to take a photo with the adorable Deann Jump (perfect hair goals)!  

Below are some of my major take aways from the 2015 TpT conferenence: 

Hire help

I started with Erin Cobb's (Lovin' Lit) amazing presentation.  She was real, open, honest and very relatable.  She basically said get help on stuff you can outsource like cleaning your house, yard work, etc.  It was great advice for me to hear.  I've never had someone clean my house, and I seriously need to do it if I don't want to be a grump while I'm trying to do too much!

Schedule your TpT hours each week

This was another gem from Erin Cobb.  She suggested scheduling in time to do TpT as if it were a job.  She even suggested tracking for a year the amount of things you create each month and their dollar amounts.  I LOVED this idea. It really makes sense!

Find Your TpT Tribe

Collaborate!  Collaborate!  Collaborate!  I loved this concept as I am a huge believer in the synergy or minds that work together.  When I first started teaching, collaboration was not a big thing (at least formally), but now principals and districts are making time for teachers to collaborate, which is so smart.  Together we are better;)! I love the idea of finding like minded TpT sellers to work with, promote, and support!

Revise! Revsie!  Revise!

Deanna Jump and Deedee Wills gave a fantastic presentation on looking at your products with a critical eye.  Since I spent the last year in my own classroom focusing on revising and growing, I loved hearing the message.  I made a plan to go back and revise my older units and update them.  

Use Social Media Authentically and Don't Get Overwhelmed

I heard fantastic information on Instagram from Hadar Maor (@misskindergarten) and Michelle Griffo (@applesandabcs), great marketing tips from Rachel Lynette, and great information on Pinterest from Mel D (Seusstastic).  But the bottom line was don't let social media overwhelm.  Most echoed to pick one or two arenas to focus on and just create good products.  Most also said the best is to support each other with content of value.  I loved this and the idea of thinking most of what you, as a teacher, really enjoys, needs, and wants.

Where to start?  Luckily I started off my first session with Erin Cobb and she graciously gave us planners for our upcoming TpT year!  I plan to use it and make the most of my next year on TpT.  Even though I am a small seller, I found the conference SO fantastic and full of other sellers just like me who want to learn, collaborate, and more than anything become better teachers!
Click below to see other posts about the TpT Conference: