Today’s Guest of Honor is Tambra Danley and she is the teacher behind Literacy Loves Company TeachersPayTeachers store and Literacy Loves Company blog. She can also be found on her Facebook page! Please visit all these locations and leave her some “love” 😉
Here are Tambra’s answers to my interview:
How long have you been a teacher?
Why did you become a teacher?
I think back now and it is hard for me to remember why I became a teacher. I do, however, know that it was a great decision. It is hard work, but the rewards are worth the effort.
Which grades have you taught so far?
3rd, 4th, and 5th.
What subjects do you rather teach?
What is your favorite aspect of being a teacher?
The thing I love most about being a teacher is by far my interactions with my students. I get to go to work everyday and be greeted by smiles. I get to laugh, praise good effort and perseverance. I get to watch my students develop into responsible, caring, amazing people. At the end of the day I get high-fives, hugs, and more smiles. I can’t think of a better way to spend my days.
Tell us about the teacher that most made an impression on you as a student.
The teacher that made the biggest impression on me as a student was my 4th grade teacher. She was warm and caring. I remember her reading to us on the carpet. I still remember her reading “Island of the Blue Dolphins” and my little 4th grade heart breaking at the sad parts. I didn’t hold back my tears then, and I don’t hold back my tears now when I read that book to my own students.
Tell us a funny/interesting story that happened to you during your career as a teacher.
I like to tell students funny stories of my childhood… I also like coffee. I am very aware when I have coffee breath and try my hardest NOT to breath on my students. One day, right before Christmas, I told my class the story of a teacher I had in high school. I had him computers, first period. He would lean over me to help me with my computer work and breath coffee breath on me. For Christmas, one of my students gave me a Starbuck gift card and a Christmas card. Inside the card it read, “Thank you for not breathing coffee breath on me. Merry Christmas.” I love that card! It made me smile and literally laugh out loud. I also love that this student and I have the kind of relationship that he knew I would not take offense to his joke.
What advice would you give a new teacher? (Something that you wish you had known when you first started.)
The biggest piece of advice I would give a new teacher is build a rapport with your class. Spend the time to get to know your students and let them get to know you. I find that it is much easier to get students to work hard and behave appropriately when they like me and want to please me. Of course, you should have clear expectations and hold students accountable, but a little fun goes a long way. Listen to your students, talk to them, praise them, be honest with them, and laugh with them.
What does your ideal classroom look like?
My ideal classroom would be spacious. It would have room for a library area and extra spaces for students to work other than at their groups. Of course I would love a carpeted group area for class meeting and group discussions. The only thing I am missing from that list in my current classroom is the “spacious” part.
What drove you into becoming a Teacher-Author at TeachersPayTeachers?
I love being creative and I spend a lot of time organizing and creating items to use in my own classroom. I decided that if I am going to put all of that work into something for myself, another teacher out there might also be able to use it. So far, all of the products I have made and sold are products I have created for my own classroom use.
From all the products in your store, which one is your favorite and why?
My favorite product at the moment is my Would You Rather… Opinion Writing Unit. There are several reasons it is my favorite. First, I worked really hard on it. I had actually taught it in my class before I organized it into a sellable version. My class loved it! They were so engaged and excited to write. I thought that I just had to put this together for other teachers. The second reason I love it so much is because I think the cover is unique. I am somewhat of an artist and my favorite thing about creating a product is doing the cover work. I didn’t want this product to look like everything else out there. I wanted it to be a bit mysterious and attract teachers who are looking to motivate their boy writers. I think I hit my target.
As a special treat for our readers, Tamra is kindly offering a flash freebie for one of her products. Make sure you drop by her TpT store to grab it HERE. This freebie will only be available from November 5 through November 7 2014!!!
I hope you enjoyed reading about today’s Guest of Honor! Don’t forget to follow this blog and get to know more of my guests 😉