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Teaching across the USA… and beyond! - interview & linky - Deniece from Texas

From Virginia, we now move on to Texas! For our second interview in the series Teaching Across the USA, I have had the pleasure of interviewing Deniece from This Little Piggy Reads. She's the sweetest and she's always been around to show me her support since I began this journey!

She's from Texas and she's a font-a-holic (aren't we all?) Learn more about her by reading the interview below.

Clipart: Stacey Lloyd and Sonya DeHart Design

1. You're in Texas, but were you born there?

I’m a native Texan. I grew up in North Texas, near the Dallas area. I went to college at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, which is in west Texas. My husband and I spent our honeymoon in Fredericksburg and fell in love with the Hill Country. We plan to retire there one day and he promises I can have a goat named Wynona. But for now we live in a small-ish town south of Dallas.


2. Can you tell us a bit about your blogging/TpT journey?

About 3 summers ago I was looking for classroom decorating ideas. I found a few blogs and I was blown away by all of these amazing teachers. I noticed that most of them were K – 2 and I taught 3rd Grade Reading so I felt there might be other Upper Elementary teachers looking for ideas. Since then, I have changed positions to a GT Specialist. I also blog on two collaborative blogs, Adventures in Literacy Land and Who’s Who and Who’s New.

Deniece's mermaid-themed classroom
I’ve always made things for my classroom. But, I felt guilty making a teacher “pay” for something I made. So, originally I opened a TpT store to share free resources. As time went on, I read the forums and saw that it hurt other sellers to give all my items away so I decided to spend more time on them and charge for them. I am still shocked everyday when I hear “cha-ching” that someone pays me for my resources!! That being said, I sincerely appreciate every sale. Last year we were able to take a vacation because of my TpT earnings. 

My favorite way to communicate with followers is through Facebook. This summer we had great conversations! I also showcase freebies there and I think my followers appreciate the help.


3. Does Texas influence the way you create resources?

Texas doesn’t use Common Core, our teaching standards are called TEKS (I say t-ee-ks). Every resource I make for TpT is aligned to the TEKS. Normally they also align to CCSS as well. We also take a high stakes test called the STAAR. Many of my resources are written in a STAAR – friendly format. One of my top sellers is a testing strategies pack for 3rd – 5th Grade, STAAR Reading Test Prep Posters & Song.


4. Your daughter has just started kindergarten. Being a teacher, is it weird to see the classroom/school from the point of view of a parent? Is it easier or tougher?

I knew when my daughter went to Kindergarten it would be emotional. But, I didn’t expect it to be so busy! She doesn’t go to school in the district I teach in, so scheduling has become an issue.

It has become incredibly clear to me that Teacher-Parent Communication has a huge impact on student success and on teacher success. I have made such improvements in that area this year. I see my students once a week and after every class I use Class Dojo to message parents what we did in class and a few questions they can ask their child/ren.
 
Deniece is now "the parent"
It is harder to be the parent for sure!! She is my world, but in her class she’s only one of 18. I know the realities of that. I am lucky because my daughter has a great teacher! But, I now realize that I wasn’t the best PK or Kinder teacher. Some days I wish I could have a re-do! I blogged about it, 5 Things I would do differently if I taught Kinder again. But the truth be told, I think I’m a better Upper Elementary teacher 3rd – 5th.


5. I know you're a font-a-holic and your free fonts are super fun! If you had to select one of your fonts to represent your state, which one would it be? Why?

If I had to pick a font to represent Texas it would be Little Piggy’s Peaches. I made it when my husband and I were on our 5th Anniversary trip in Fredericksburg, Texas and we were eating our way through a paper sack full of Hill Country peaches! YUM! Every letter is different and every part of Texas is so different. We have hills, mountains, beaches, prairieland and skyscrapers.

Click to download a FREE set of fonts that includes "Little Piggy's Peaches"!


Thank you so much, Deniece, for being the sweetest teacher-blogger one can ever meet!

If you don't follow Deniece's blog, what are you waiting for? And don't forget to check out her FB page, Pinterest boards, and Twitter profile!

READ: Teaching Across the USA: Heather from Virginia


And if you're teaching in the US, join the party! If you're not in the US, you're welcome, too!


ETA: I had a lovely blogger from Canada ask me if this linky wouldn't be open to teachers in other countries. Originally, it wasn't, but being myself from Brazil, I sure couldn't say no to her. So that's how it goes now. I'll keep on interviewing American teachers, but the linky is open to every teacher-blogger! 

Grab the image below, complete the sentences, blog about it, and come link up! The linky will be open for a week!

After linking, stop by the blog of the two people who linked before you and comment :)

 

Thank you so much for reading and linking!





7 comments:

  1. Lucy, I love reading your teacher interviews! It's so nice to read about the experiences of teachers in other places. Thanks for sharing!
    Emilie

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    1. I love interviewing teachers - they've always got so many interesting stories to tell!
      Thank you for linking up!

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  2. What a fun idea for a linky!! You have a beautiful heart ... thanks for opening the linky to include people from far and wide!! It's so fun to "meet" teachers from all over!!

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    1. You're so sweet! Thanks for your suggestion and for linking up!

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  3. What a great post. Deniece- I love the use of Class Dojo, and your fonts are adorable!!! Lucy, thanks for such a great series of posts!

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    1. I really have a great time getting to know teacher-bloggers better :)
      Thank you for reading, Melissa!

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  4. Melissa - I don't understand why every teacher doesn't use Class Dojo. My kids love it. I have some new fonts...got to get them packaged & loaded!

    Deniece

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