ARE YOU A PASSIONATE, CARING, ADVENTUROUS TEACHER WHO WANTS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE EVERY DAY?

February 22, 2018

Iditarod 2016 with mushers Joar Leifseth Ulsom and Mille Porsild of Go North Adventure Learning and two of their dogs in Downtown Anchorage.

Iditarod 2016 with mushers Joar Leifseth Ulsom and Mille Porsild of Go North Adventure Learning and two of their dogs in Downtown Anchorage.

Hi, I'm Laurie Berry and I am super excited to welcome you to Literary Wanderings!

I am currently a middle school social studies teacher at a National Blue Ribbon School in Louisiana (update: 6th Grade English Language Arts teacher in Anchorage, Alaska). I also teach Content Area Reading to senior-level education majors, and serve as a mentor teacher to education students concentrating in secondary English or social studies.

I have joked since my first NCTE conference in 2010 that I had finally found my “tribe”.  While in Orlando for this conference, I met some amazing teachers, favorite authors (this is where I stood in an hours long line to meet Gary Paulsen and crashed his sold-out breakfast - more on that later, as this story deserves a separate blog post), and even found time to bond with my colleagues through dinners at EPCOT, parade-viewing at Animal Kingdom, and taking in a Cirque du Soleil show.  I think it was the combination of finally being in the same space with so many like-minded people, soaking up the vibes of truly passionate teachers, and connecting on so many cerebral levels that I had not yet experienced in my short-lived education career that made me feel that rare, ‘these people get me’ kind of feeling.

Me and teacher colleague, Chris Evans, crashing Gary Paulsen's ALAN-sponsored breakfast - we were not ashamed at all.

Me and teacher colleague, Chris Evans, crashing Gary Paulsen's ALAN-sponsored breakfast - we were not ashamed at all.

Gary Paulsen holding a tiny paper airplane made by one of my students. This was a special moment - for both of us.

Gary Paulsen holding a tiny paper airplane made by one of my students. This was a special moment - for both of us.

Me, Chris Evans, and Jen Anderson at NCTE 2010 in Orlando. These are a couple of my favorite "these people get me" people.

Me, Chris Evans, and Jen Anderson at NCTE 2010 in Orlando. These are a couple of my favorite "these people get me" people.

So why am I blogging?

I started this blog as a solution to my own on-going struggle as a teacher who loves what I do, but:

  1. I battle daily to stay on top of planning fun, engaging, hands-on lessons that fit seamlessly into the curriculum, grading papers, and differentiating for the thirty kids (that may consist of three gifted students, twenty-two regular ed students, and five resource students). Does this sound familiar to any of you?

  2. I am constantly exhausted; I mean totally wiped out, bone-weary tired, after teaching all week (heck, after teaching for one day some days); and

  3. I am indisputably on the struggle bus when it comes to making ends meet each month as a single mother to a now college-aged athlete and cowboy who eats, well, like a cowboy! (I am trying to learn as many tips from Ree Drummond - a.k.a. The Pioneer Woman - as possible).

Jackson, Spring 2017

Jackson, Spring 2017

If any of these frustrations sound familiar to you, just shout, "Amen!" right here!  That should get your dog's attention, if not your spouse’s and kids’.  They know you are tired; they know you are grumpy after working with thirty to ninety (or even 180) kids all day; they know you need a break (and a little financial boost).  They just don't know how to provide that for you.  So, it's up to YOU to seek out the help you need to make your job and your life easier.

So What Can You Expect from My Blog?

This is where Literary Wanderings comes in!  I want to provide you with the tools to streamline your day, take better care of yourself, and increase your self-worth and your income so you can live your life with more adventure and passion.

Am I talking to YOU?

You know who you are – you LOVE what you do in the classroom, you LOVE your students, you LOVE creating and using fun, engaging lessons, you are EXHAUSTED at the end of each day because you give so much of yourself to your students you barely have anything left for your family, friends, and yourself at the end of the day, and you are EXASPERATED that you have a college degree, maybe even SEVERAL college degrees and certifications, but you haven't had a respectable raise in years!

What is going to keep you in the classroom?  What will keep you getting up every morning to give those kids the best of yourself?  What will keep you doing it for years to come and feel rewarded by your efforts?

I want to offer you some relief in your struggle.  Sometimes just a tiny shot of encouragement, belief in your skills, and a "Good job, Elwanda!" goes a long way!

Ok, How can you become part of the tribe?

I’m so glad you asked!  Here are several ways you can get on the road to a healthier, happier, more adventurous YOU today.

  1. Check out my resources in my TeachersPayTeachers Store.

  2. If you like what you see, click the Facebook icon to join the tribe and share your ideas and classroom success stories with our FaceBook community.

  3. I also welcome emails to literarywanderings@gmail.com.  Really.  I would love to hear more about what resources you would like to see more of, pictures of your students using the lesson plans in your classroom, your soul satisfying side hustle ideas, your self care plan, or anything else you'd like to share.

Finally, What Do I Hope to Accomplish by Sharing my Experiences, Tips, and Time With You?

  • I hope to create a community of like-minded teachers, our “tribe,” if you will, of passionate, caring, adventurous souls who want to make a difference through interactions  with our students every day.

  • I hope to EMPOWER you, INSPIRE you, and ENCOURAGE you to help you build a truly soul-satisfying career in education.

  • I hope to offer face-to-face teacher retreats in exciting locations.

  • I hope together we can figure out how to retain good teachers, celebrate your successes, and track your career and personal growth through this online community.