311 days. That's how long it has been since I last posted anything on this blog.
Now that's not to say I haven't been working, I totally have [and more on that later]. But 311 days is A LOT of time to go without writing. So for that reason, I feel like I'm back at square one here, and that means one thing is necessary at this point...
So hi. My name is Lauren. If you've stumbled across this post, then I would like to formally welcome you to Teach the World. :)
For the past 10 months or so, I've been pretty busy having a baby and figuring out how #momlife works. I started a new job teaching high school special education virtually. And I've managed to still not learn to speak Portuguese fluently, even after living in Brazil for 3 years, falling in love with a Brazilian, and setting up a life in this gorgeous country. What can I say, teachers can sometimes be the worst students.
What have I learned through these last 10 months of maturing into a "big girl" and figuring out how to care for more than just me and my cat? Well, in truth, a lot of things. But the thing that sticks out to me the most and that I keep returning to is this: there is never a perfect time and you never feel 100% ready. Boy has this lesson made itself apparent to me on more than one occasion.
So here I am, at the most chaotic time of my life thus far, with a million and one things I feel like I need to finish before I'm "ready" to invite you guys to see and take part in my work. Yet I'm still taking this show off pause and hitting play, so to speak, because the waiting game no longer makes sense. In order to grow, you gotta grow forward and keep moving onward in your journey. Cheesy? Maybe, but it's true. Because nothing changes if nothing changes.
You may be asking at this point, what is this chick Lauren all about here? What is this work that she speaks of? Another education blog with cutesy lesson tips and resources to sell me?
I'm going to be real honest with you right about now. While I admire those "cutesy" education blogs and have sought out their Pinterest-worthy lessons a time or two [or million] myself, that's not what this space is about. That's not what I intend for it to ever be.
Am I sharing resources with you? Yep. Can you find things here to apply in your own teaching and classroom? Most definitely. So what's the difference?
Well, for starters, you probably won't want to look here for a cute Turkey day activity when Thanksgiving comes around. You aren't going to find worksheets with math drills. I'm not going to be the one to help you teach sight words, or word families, or grammar.
All of those things might be important, but that's not where my usefulness lies. There are a number of other teachers out there who are rockin' those things, so definitely go to them if you're in the market for a new bulletin board display or some worksheets to practice spelling.
However, if you are looking to shake up your teaching, to challenge your students as problem-solvers and real-world thinkers, and bring the issues and happenings of the world into your classroom, then you come to me.
I have a clear vision for the purpose that Teach the World serves. And I have a passion that drives this vision. I believe whole-heartedly, more than absolutely anything, in the power [and necessity] of education's role in changing our world. I believe down to my very core that a strong education system established on the right values and focused on the right ideas has the power to change our world for the better.
My vision for the future of 21st century education is one in which teachers and students are very much connected; both to each other and to the world around them.
Where a sense of empathy is cultivated through cultural exchange.
Where the future generation is not only aware of global issues that exist, but they actively share a responsibility to improve them.
Where a deep curiosity and yearning for exploration is planted and developed as students grow.
Where creativity is unleashed and innovation is the norm.
But in order to make a change, you've got to have more than just vision; you need a mission. Teach the World's mission is to inspire 21st century teachers and students to bring this vision to life. To use the resources and inspiration I share with you to encourage creativity, problem-solving, leadership, culture and compassion in the classroom and beyond.
With that said, I'm taking it back to the elementary school days and asking you, wanna be friends?
If what I said sounds like something you believe in as well, then I hope you'll join the TtW tribe and ride out this journey with me.
So what can you expect in the TtW tribe?
Weekly teachpiration. I don't just want to send you random tips and things for you to buy. I want to send you inspiration about how people, especially kids, are doing amazing things to make the world a better place. I want to send you ideas to try with your students that encourage 21st century thinking and skill-building. I want to share with you opportunities to grow as a 21st century teacher, right alongside me.
Over the past 10 months, even though I've been pretty silent in sharing what I've been creating, I still HAVE in fact been creating.
So what's new?
Well for starters, I completely updated the Rockin' Teaching series...
✓I simplified the Rockin' Portfolio resource in the updated *2020 edition* to make it even easier to use [read more about that here].
✓There's now a digital Google Drive version available.
✓The Rockin' Resume templates are now available as a coordinating resource to the portfolio.
✓And perhaps the biggest update of all, the complete e-course bundle is now available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
The Rockin' Teaching resources have by far been my most popular products to date. [To be fair, the two early portfolio templates were the only real resources available in my store for a long time.] But obviously, these are resources that teachers are seeking out.
And it makes sense. You want to get your dream teaching job? You've got to make yourself stand out. There's no better way to do that than with a teaching portfolio. Over the years I've updated this as I've progressed in my own teaching journey. And I believe now more than ever that a good teaching portfolio embodies what it means to be a 21st century teacher.
As I've grown and gained experience as a teacher, the mission for Teach the World has taken shape into what it is today. So besides the Rockin' Teacher resources, I've also been focused on creating new content that aligns with bringing the theme of 21st century learning into the classroom.
I've got  new products in varying stages of development that target this:
✓Alpha Snaps. This was such a fun product to create. Alpha Snaps are a vocabulary resource with A-Z snapshots depicting [21st century] learning themes, including real-world images to provide students with a real-life glimpse into the vocabulary in action. There are  Alpha Snaps products currently available [and a blog post coming soon to tell you ALL about the possibilities of this resource].
✓Culture Daily 180°. This product is still in the works. When all is said and done, there will be nine months available [which comes out to be 180 days]. This product is meant to provide your students with a daily dose of travel and culture [take a look here].
✓21C Book Club. My newest creation. A product that can help get the younger kiddos to consider 21st century global themes using read alouds as a means to do so. The book club is set up on a rolling release, where each month a new text and book package will be released, for nine months in total [again, blog post to come with more details!].
I'm super excited about these plans for TtW resources and even more excited about the ideas still living in my notebook, which I hope to bring to life throughout this year.
Join me on this journey as a TtW member [and I promise not to go MIA again :)].
If you are passionate about teaching 21st century themes and skills in your classroom and want access to resources to help you do so, join the 21c Club!
Are you passionate about teaching 21st century themes and skills in your classroom?