Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Vegas, TpT Style

In February 2012 I was about to start teaching the novel The Hunger Games for the first time. I decided to do a Google search to see if I could find anything online about teaching the novel. That was when I found Tracee Orman’s blog which led me to TpT, and her amazing unit for the novel. In March 2012 I set up my own store. In the beginning I didn't know what I was doing and I asked Tracee for help and she helped me. She even accepted my friend request on Facebook. I started becoming online friends with other TpT sellers (Danielle Knight, The Superhero Teacher, Addie Williams, Teaching FSL, James Whitaker, and All Things Algebra to name a few). Although many of us are “competition” on TpT we never treated each other that way. We would give each other advice and learn from each other. In fact we often shared resources. In the past I've had colleagues who wouldn't share resources and I never understood that. Here I was sharing ideas with people I’d never met in person, and they were more helpful than some people I've known in person for years.

When TpT announced they were going to have a conference in Vegas I got really excited. I wanted to go to the sessions, and learn more about building my business. I was an English major, not a business major. I was even more excited about meeting some of the teachers that I've talked to for the past two years. I was really nervous that first day when I arrived in Vegas. I was rooming with Tammy from Teaching FSL and we had never met before. What if we didn't get along?

One of the TpT sellers created a Vegas group on Facebook and people started sharing ideas about money saving and other helpful travel tips. One of the cool things I learned about in that group was a game called My Vegas that you can play on your phone or through Facebook. You earn coins in the game and you can turn them in for prizes. You can cash in up to 3 prizes in 90 days. I ended up going to the shark aquarium for free, getting buy one get one tickets to The Beatles Love (it was awesome) and getting buy one get one free for a lunch buffet in the hotel where the shark aquarium was.

Some TpT sellers knew each other already. It seemed like every state except for NY had done blogger meetups. The day I arrived in Vegas I knew no one. I had just arrived when Tanja from Journey as a Substitute Teacher posted in the FB Vegas group asking if anyone was free to get lunch.  We met in the lobby of the hotel and we had lunch. We talked like we had known each other for a long time. Who knew it was this easy to make friends? After lunch we went upstairs where there were booths set up for a kindergarten and 1st grade convention. That’s where I met Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasbord who is so funny. Even though we teach on opposite ends of the spectrum (kindergarten and 12th grade) I follow him because I admire his enthusiasm and creativity. I also finally met the other Tammy and we got along like we’d known each other for years.

There were many lunches and dinners with my fellow teachers where we laughed and it felt like we were a group of old friends. The day of the conference I got to meet Paul (TpT founder) and Amy (from the TpT newsletter). I also got to meet Deanna Jump who is the face of TpT and she’s so sweet. She made everyone cry when she told her story.  I could go on and on but I thought it would be more fun to share some pictures. Oh and we did finally have a NY blogger meetup but that’s a 
story for another day..


                                                                        Our Hotel

                                                                 
                                                               Addie, Tammy and I


                                                           Gina, Tammy, Addie and Myself


                                                     Secondary Teachers Having Dinner


                                                                 James, Tammy and I


                                                                           Yay!


                                                            I met Kimberly from KG Fonts


                                                                           Amy Speaking


                                                                         Paul Speaking


                                                                   Secondary Teachers


                                                    We met Paul during one of the sessions.


                                                            Later in the day we met Amy.


                                                                        Paul's Gift


                                                                   Paul holding his gift.


                                                                     The TpT Way


                                                                   Greg's Photo Booth


                                                                  Brunch On Our Last Day


                                                               Making New Friends


                                                                The Beatles Love


I hope you enjoyed the pics. I had many more pics but I just wanted to highlight this fun and informational trip.

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