Meet Michele of Michele Luck’s Social Studies! Before selling her belongings, buying a motorhome and heading out across the vast U.S. of A, she was a middle school and high school teacher for many years. She taught all levels of classes including Special Education, gifted and talented, and high school honors. Michele loves family, travel, and all things Disney. Get to know this TpT Teacher-Author who regularly hits the conference scene to represent her and other Teacher-Authors’ TpT stores.
1. How did you first learn about TpT and how did you become involved?
I had always created my own classroom resources and shared them in my school and district. One summer, as I was researching for a new unit, I came across TpT and I signed up immediately. I was still paying off student loans at the time, so being able to make some “vacation” money sounded amazing. I never could have imagined then what it would be now!
2. You and your husband travel quite a bit. What do you love about it and what’s inconvenient?
We do love traveling, and are now RV full-timers. We sold our home in Kentucky, had 3 big yard sales to downsize, packed everything into our motorhome, and hit the road! We have now been full time for almost 2 years.
It is absolutely incredible being able to travel all around our country and to see all the sites, but there are challenges. Missing our daughter and granddaughter has to be the greatest challenge, but the other significant inconvenience is keeping myself motivated to work. It’s hard to schedule time to focus on my work projects when there is so much fun to be had outside that door!
3. What kinds of reactions do you get when you exhibit TpT products at conferences?
At every conference we have attended, we literally have teachers see our booth, start yelling how they love TpT, and come rushing our way. It’s exhilarating to know I am (a small) part of something that has changed teacher’s lives in such an amazing way.
At the other end of the spectrum, we also meet those who have never heard of TpT. Watching their faces light up as we show the different Teacher-Author resources and explain about the products they can find on TpT gives me the same feeling I used to get from being in the classroom when my students “got it.” It keeps me feeling like I’m making a difference in the academic world!
4. What are some of your own favorite products and why?
Since we’ve started traveling more, I have fallen in love with everything Geography! I devoted every rainy day for months to creating, revising, and posting my Complete Geography Course. Each of the units include the types of resources I loved using in my own classes, and they are also filled with activities that challenge students, forcing them to think about our world and to think critically, a skill I consider so important in our ever-changing world.
I also loved teaching World History, so all of my Walking Tours and World Scavenger Hunts are dear to my heart, but my absolute favorite World History unit is the one I considered the most important to teach: The Holocaust. My students learned so much about themselves through this unit, and I am confident that once students learn about this event in our history, they will become more aware of their world and their role in world events.
Of my free products, my favorite has to be my Civil War Primary Source Analysis Handout. It is a simple worksheet that helps students practice such a valuable skill. I’ve recently completed my entire series for U.S. History, covering every era from the Civil War through modern day.
5. How do you decide on what product to make next? How does a product go from idea phase to “I’m going to make this”?
I become so torn when trying to choose what to create next! I have teacher requests that I try to place at the top of my list, but I’m so inspired from things we see or places we visit as we travel that I often find myself stepping off one project to start another. Most of my ideas go onto a “sticky” on my computer desktop, and as I finish one, I start the next.
I’m also really bad about not wanting to walk away from an in-process project, so I’ve been known to work through the night and day after day to get a project I’m really into off of my desk and into my store!
What a cool perspective! We loved getting to know Michele a bit more. Do take a gander at all of our 5 Questions posts and meet the Teacher-Authors behind the TpT stores.