Hi, friend! I am so thrilled you're here. To be honest, I've been back and forth about starting a blog. I knew I wanted to start this in hopes to encourage other educators. Teaching is tough. Sometimes we just need to have a teacher friend in our corner cheering us on, even if it's virtually. I believe in you and the work you are doing. If you are new to this space, I wanted to share my three main pillars of what Coffee Stained Lessons is all about. But to start with, I thought I would share a little about myself.
1. I live in Ohio (a small, rural town in Amish country).
2. I attended Malone University and majored in Integrated Language Arts. I love music and was originally a music ministry major. However, I switched majors the summer before I started college. I was nervous to make something I loved so much, like music, my job. 3. Although I didn't feel this way at first, I am extremely grateful for my journey after college. It wasn't traditional, but I can see why each year was necessary.
4. I am also grateful for the support of my parents, and close friends, who always advocate for me. My parents, in particular, have been real troopers through it all.
5. Ok...so here are my post-college years in a nutshell. I don't know where you're at in your teaching journey, but I hope that the imperfections of my journey may encourage you. :)
YEAR 1: I subbed for two pregnant gals in the same school district. I was fortunate to use their materials while practicing in a low-pressure environment. One of those ladies is a dear friend, and mentor, to me now. :) The one subbing gig was for juniors and seniors, which is wild looking back on because of the small age gap. Needless to say, it was just weird sometimes.
YEAR 2: I worked as an OGT (Ohio Graduation Test) tutor, with students who were at-risk of not graduating. Once again, I was with juniors and seniors but I felt WAY more at ease having experience. This population of students was definitely challenging, but I loved them. I have always had a thing for "inner-city" kiddos (I'll share more on that later).
YEAR 3: Career change. I was not expecting to ever do anything like this, but I worked at an agency specializing in youth drug and alcohol prevention. It was definitely a shift and took some time to get adjusted.
YEAR 4: I stayed in my role at the agency, but the entire time I kept wanting to be back in the classroom. I applied for the school I am at now, but actually forgot I even did. I remember when they emailed me for an interview, I was so confused.
So here I am now, back in the classroom. It has been quite the journey. I would have never guessed this would be my story, but I am glad it is. Wherever you're at right now, I hope you feel encouraged by my story. It's an imperfect, messy, and confusing life I live but I hope you know you're not alone in the process.
In the blog, I provided tricks, ideas, resources, and honesty. I hope you walk away from this online space feeling encouraged, valued, and hopeful. I want to provide fellow educators with the tools and resources they need. I have three main pillars of Coffee Stained Lessons and my mission.
1. Lesson Plans
Every resource, or lesson, I create is something I have used in my own classroom. I want my lessons to help you and be a tool. I also hope these lessons can inspire you and spark your own creativity. You wouldn't be a teacher if you weren't already amazing at being inventive and imaginative. I know you have brilliant ideas just brewing inside of you.
2. Teaching Resources Through the blog, podcast, YouTube channel, and Instagram I hope to give you free resources you can use. Think of these spaces as free teacher professional development. I think we overcomplicated what professional development looks like. We often tell ourselves it has to be some elaborate training with an expert sharing all of these incredible ideas. If I am being honest, the best professional development I have witnessed is other educators teaching me. I hope to create a space where you can learn, not because I am a pro by any means (I absolutely am not), but because I keep it real over here. ;)
I think sometimes teaching can feel isolating even when you work in a building with other people. I want to learn from YOU and get to know your tricks, tips, and ideas. I created a safe online community of other educators to do exactly that. I would love for you to be a part of it. There is always room for more teacher friends at the table.
In the comments, I would love to learn about you. Where are you from, what's your three-sentence story (who you are in three sentences), and what is one element of teaching you love. If you're new here, thanks for visiting.
With love and lots of coffee,
Amy (Coffee Stained Lessons)