Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Last Post

2012 was a tough year. While so much of my life was going right (happily married, had a roof over my head and a great teaching job after the travesty that was my first year of teaching), there was a lot going on that was out of my control (financial instability, cancer diagnoses in my family, not moving forward fast enough for my liking). As a creative outlet I desperately needed, I started the blog that is now Eat.Write.Teach. Originally it was meant to be more of a hobbyist blog, hence the blog’s title. I wrote about food I liked, my writing aspirations, and one of my greatest passions, teaching. The early teaching posts got the most attention by far. My first education-related post - “Back to School for the High School Teacher Part 1: The Sanity Saver” - currently has 141,228 views and is the second most popular post I’ve ever written. That may not sound like a lot of views, but when it started gaining rapid popularity, it was an incredible feeling. I felt like, somewhere in the chaos of 2012, I had found something to anchor me. There were other teachers out there who liked what I had to say, who were inspired by my ideas, and who appreciated my words and efforts, even though I had only completed two years of teaching by that point. I started gearing the majority of my blog posts towards the field of education. I wrote a few opinion pieces, but the majority of my posts - the ones that seemed to be thriving in the online world - were my posts about my experiences. It was so nice having this community of readers and supporters who totally understood my failures and doubts and who equally celebrated my successes and breakthroughs.

At some point, the blog began to evolve. It became less about this supportive community and sharing my teaching life and started sliding into something that felt like an additional obligation in my life, just one more thing to keep me busy. This transformation happened to coincide with the birth of my first son. My free organization printables had become so popular that I started a Teachers Pay Teachers store, and then I started getting massive amounts of emails to wade through every day, ranging from requests to write posts for my blog to business partnership proposals to complaints about how regularly I posted content (infrequently and sporadically as always, but who cares, right? It was my blog! Well, I thought it was my blog).

I’m sure I’ve shared this elsewhere on this blog, but a guest speaker when I was in college gave me what is probably the best piece of career advice I’ve ever received. She said the year a teacher wasn’t excited to buy a new outfit for the first day of school was the year they should consider changing careers.

I have always been an advocate for loving what you do. I think that there’s no other reason to teach besides the fact that you love it! And teaching is something I still love and still enjoy.

But I’m no longer excited about blogging or maintaining Eat.Write.Teach. And that means it is time to say goodbye to this place that has meant so much to me for the last five and a half years.

I am so grateful for all of the positive experiences that have come from Eat.Write.Teach. I’ve had the opportunity to talk to teachers all over the country. I’ve coached a lot of young teachers through their classroom struggles via email. I’ve had teachers in my hometown and teachers in Australia let me know that they are using the materials I’ve created, and that those materials are incredibly helpful to them. Those are the kinds of things that I will always remember and be grateful for.

As far as a timeline, here’s what you can expect:

  • From January 28 to January 31, I will have my final Teachers Pay Teachers sale. All products will be 20% off.
  • The Eat.Write.Teach. Teachers Pay Teachers store will close on January 31, 2018.
  • The Eat.Write.Teach. Facebook page, Pinterest account, and all other associated social media will disappear in February.
  • The blog will remain live until my domain subscription expires in July. After that, the blog will relocated to my old blogspot domain name, and will eventually be deleted. All of the freebie materials will be available for download until this transition in July.

What will I do once this blog ends? I’m going to back to my roots. I want to have time for my hobbies, like eating and cooking great food and writing young adult fiction. I’m going to spend less of my summer working since I won’t be blogging, and more of my summer will be spent with my sons (son #2 will be here in April). I’m going to keep on teaching and loving every minute, but I will be doing my reflections on a more persona level, and hopefully I’ll be able to continue helping other teachers.

I want to thank everyone who has supported this endeavor of mine for the last five years. I appreciate all of the love. You’re wonderful people.

Happy Teaching!