Erin Cobb of Lovin Lit teaches Middle School literature, is the mother of three young men, and loves the New Orleans Saints. Erin writes the popular blog, I’m Lovin Lit and shares blog honors on two collaborative blogs: Adventures in Literacy Land and In the Middle. When she’s not teaching, blogging, or busy being a wife and mom, you might find her planning a trip to Disney — along with football, she also loves Mickey and the gang. Let’s see what else Erin’s been up to.
1. You’ve got a house full of boys! What’s on your educational wish list for them?
I am so fortunate that all three of my sons care about and do well in school. My wish is that they’ll find the subject or field they’re passionate about and pursue that like I did. Long before TpT, my husband and I made the decision to sacrifice whatever was necessary to send our children to Catholic school, and that has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made! Although I am a product of public schools, have taught in public schools, and do believe in the public school system, the atmosphere and community we’ve found can’t be beat.
2. Was it difficult to break into TpT’s secondary Seller market? What was the moment (or specific resource) that let you know you were on your way?
When I first started listing products in the spring of 2013, I honestly believed that a secondary Seller could never earn a spot in the TpT Top 10! I’m so glad I tried anyway. The moment that let me know that teachers might actually be interested in my resources was when I listed my first interactive notebook activity, Plot Foldables Collection. I was flabbergasted when I sold THREE on the same night I listed it. I remember thinking to myself, “Oh, they want foldables? I’ve GOT foldables! I’ve got a whole notebook of foldables!” So, I spent the next couple of months compiling all of my interactive notebook lessons for literature into one product, and it really took off.
3. What do you think upper grade teachers are looking for from TpT resources?
Rigor! It’s so hard to infuse the right amount of rigor into my lessons while still making them high-interest and finding ways to differentiate for those who need more scaffolding. I believe strongly in what I call productive struggle. That is, if your students aren’t grappling and struggling with something at some point during the day, then you’re not meeting their needs. Crank up the rigor!
4. Your store is called Lovin Lit; clearly you love literature. What advice do you have for someone who struggles with reluctant readers? What steps can he or she take to foster a love of literature?
Be a book pusher! I find that the majority of my students are willing and able to read and enjoy it when they do, but they don’t seek it out themselves. I spend a lot of time reading middle grade and young adult novels so that I can match books to students. I spend time each week helping students choose books. I also talk to them constantly about the books I’m reading and invite them to do the same. The #1 way to get me off topic during my class is to mention a book I’ve read!
Read more about Erin’s techniques in her blog post, How to Run a Successful Independent Reading Program in the Middle Grades.
5. Thank you for presenting at our first ever TpT Conference! How was it?
In one word: Amazing! Having the privilege to present at the first ever TpT Conference was like winning the grand prize for me. I loved meeting other Sellers and hearing their stories, and I’ve tried to keep in touch with most of the session attendees so that the session didn’t end at the conference. My only regret was not being able to attend more sessions!
Some of Lovin Lit’s Most Popular Resources:
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions and inspire us to read more, Erin! As this unknown author said, “Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book.”