July 17, 2016

You, Me and TPT Orlando: The Truth

I finally made it to the TPT conference this year!And let me tell you it felt like Christmas morning all over again. After all, you are just in the same room as that blogger that you have been following since forever.  But all in all, I was just a bundle of nerves.  Seeing pictures of the conference the year before, I had some ideas of what was going to happen but the truth is I wasn't sure what to expect. Plus, it takes a while for me to break out of my shell when I meet people especially when I'm in a room with what seemed to be a never ending sea of bloggers. In any case what I got from my first experience just blew me away.

The Store Name

This first part is just a doozie! Did you know that there are more TPT stores that starts with the letter T than any other letter in the alphabet. It's true! When I went to check in, the S to Z line was out of control. It seemed like one those forever line at the supermarket. Then, I find out is because the majority of TPT stores start with the word the. So, if you are ever considering joining TPT as a seller get creative and use any other word except the. Try something that starts with a letter from A-H because that side of the room was pretty lonely. 


Moving on now to the part where reality hit me. TPTers are real people! I know it sounds weird, what else would they be? If you are just like me you follow these people in some type of social media  and interact with them either by liking or commenting on their stuff. And somehow you have made the connection that you know them and you have become the best of buddies. Let me tell you that following them on social media and having them right in front of you are two completely different things. You won't believe how silly this sounds until you go up to one of them. Nevertheless, though they are really remarkable people doing extraordinary things.  

Celebrity TPTers 

This of course leads me to tell you about those celebrity TPTers. In my world these are the people that I go to for inspiration and are rolling high in the teaching world. Here's a best kept secret they are not only willing to take a picture with you, as you can see from all my pictures but, are genuine, authentic people willing to help you. Their sense of camaraderie among each other is beyond real. I must tell you that the biggest thing I took away from this conference besides all the great tips is the power of working together.
And of course, this post wouldn't be complete if  didn't tell you about Tamara Russell over at http://tamaravrussell.com. Tamara is a long time TPTer with the kindest and natural flair to make you laugh while keeping it real. She is a Florida girl that made my experience from turning into a wreck. I recognized her from a mile away the moment I step into the Florida's Blogger Meet Up. I took her away from a crowd of other TPTers just to take a picture and in a blink of an eye we started talking. Suddenly, I realized I was in a captivating yet intriguing conversation that made me at ease. The following night, I ended up not only making a friend but capturing what made me start on this teacher author path.

Free Swag!

Another thing, I  must tell you about is all the marvelous freebies you get! From swag bags, giveaways and food is hard not to say this was one of the many stupendous things of coming to the TPT conference. I felt like it was just raining money especially at the meet ups. And the best part is that, I even won at the Blog Hopping meet up.
 I'm always fussing how I'm just not one of those lucky people like my friend Sasha over at sashacreationandthings.blospot.com,  who luck seems to find her. I have to go through all of these motions and positive thinking exercises just to recuperate from the fall of losing. But, I finally won! I got these superb bands for kids that love to wiggle when they are sitting down from www.BouncyBands.com. Aren't they amazing? 

TPT Team

There's no doubt that the magic of a TPT conference must come together by team TPT.  Amazing as team TPT might seem from your computer screen they are the real deal. I just found the whole TPT team to be phenomenal!  They are easy to approach and are always there to be a helping hand. It is delightful to know that there's a whole team cheering you on to succeed. I found it shocking how much they want to be part of this teaching world we are part of. They were involved as much as I was in every session. I absolutely admire their efforts in trying to get me in front of a camera! 

Teaching Collides with Business

My TPT conference post wouldn't be complete without telling you what I took away from these two days. A TPT conference is definitely not a teaching conference instead is an event where teaching collides with business. Just like Erin from I'm Loving Lit puts it best , winners are't born, they are self made! And that's the real meaning behind TPT conferences.  The purpose lies in making you the best teacher author there could possibly be by offering you the latest tips on social media, technology and overall product presentation. A big majority of teacher authors are not business people, we are just teachers. Teachers who love to share with the world the discoveries that we are making in our classrooms while dipping our feet in the world of TPT. And just like our students, who are learning how to apply those awesome reading strategies that will make them better readers, we  as teachers are learning how to better serve the needs of our audience. 

And so, there you have it: the real truth behind TPT conferences from a first timer. 

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