We asked some of the Top TpT Teacher-Authors to reflect back on the past school year and talk about their goals for the coming school year.

Observations and Aspirations

Grades PreK-2

Amy Lemons: Teachers Pay TeachersAmy Lemons

“I can’t even believe another year has come and gone! It’s always bittersweet, that’s for sure! As I’m eager to begin my summer vacation, I can’t help but reflect on my past school year as well as look towards the one coming up. Math stations were a huge hit with my students this year. The spiraling of concepts and small group work is something I definitely want to continue in the future. My goals for next year include incorporating more technology, problem solving, and math discussions during that time. After I spend some time doing a little R&R, I fully intend to start prepping for 2014-2015!”

Babbling Abby: Teachers Pay TeachersBabbling Abby

“After seven years, I’m leaving the traditional classroom to homeschool my son and to be a stay-at-home mama. Becks will be in 1st grade, and I am over-the-moon that the opportunity has presented itself and that God has orchestrated a lot of big things to let me combine two of my favorite things: being a mom and being a teacher. TpT was a huge part of that decision, allowing me the freedom to earn income without being in the classroom, while still exercising my creativity and educational interests. Now, my resources will be Beckham-inspired… and I’m REALLY excited about that!”

Cara Carroll: Teachers Pay TeachersCara Carroll

“One thing that was reaffirmed this year was the absolute necessity to build relationships with my students. Next year, I want to focus on building relationships from the beginning. While I always felt like I’ve done a good job at establishing those relationships in the past, I want to do even better in the future. My most reluctant learner astounded me this year with his growth and progress, and I genuinely feel it was because of our relationship. I want this for ALL of my kids… not just for those reluctant to learn.”

Deanna Jump: Teachers Pay TeachersDeanna Jump

“As I reflect back on this year, the one thing that stands out is my family. The ones who have cheered me on and inspired me despite the fact that they’ve only been given a small portion of my time. As teachers, we have so much on our plates, and try as we might to balance it all, it’s impossible to give our best in all aspects of our lives. So, I’m making a plan for the new year. My family will once again become my top priority because I know that all too soon, I’ll have an empty house with no one asking for my time.”

The Moffatt Girls: Teachers Pay TeachersThe Moffatt Girls

“Varying my teaching style to the needs of the learner has been the most important component of this school year. Although I no longer have a classroom of 36 students, I still need to differentiate instruction to two little Moffatt girls. This coming school year is going to bring exciting changes as my preschooler begins Kindergarten and my 1st grader starts 2nd grade! My most helpful resource this year was our All Year Math and Literacy NO PREP The BUNDLE (1st Grade), which allowed me to incorporate a lot of hands-on learning. For my Kindergartener, learning how to read it at the top of the list! My goal this coming school year is to make that learning journey fun and rewarding.  I know that our free I Can Read Simple Sentences NO PREP (Sampler) will be a huge hit, because it turns learning how to read into a game!”


Grades 3-5

Clutter-Free Classroom: Teachers Pay TeachersClutter-Free Classroom

“I’ve spent a lot of time the past two years really familiarizing myself with the Common Core Standards. It was important to me as a teacher, a parent, and a TpT Seller to be fluent not only in my grade level, but to also know where the kids were coming from and where they’ll be expected to go in the K-5 range. I’ve created a collection of resources that focus on helping myself and other teachers understand and assess the standards and am now ready to roll up my sleeves and organize lots of creative and hands-on ways to teach those standards. I’ve been using a Math Workshop with Guided Math Rotations format for delivering instruction with great success and can not wait to add lots of new hands-on learning activities that support the CCSS to my plans! Also, with my twins getting ready to start part-time Kindergarten in the fall, I’m super excited to start making lots of resources to use with them to supplement their learning at home.”

Nicole Shelby: Teachers Pay TeachersNicole Shelby

“I’m always looking for ways to improve my teaching, so during the summer, I read professional books. My goal for next school year is to motivate and encourage a passion for reading inside and outside the classroom. Currently, I’m reading Donalyn Miller’s Reading in the Wild and will be participating in a book study with a group of fellow bloggers/TpT Sellers this summer. As I’ve been reading, I’ve found that one of my freebies, Encouraging Your Students to Read Across the Genres, aligns perfectly with the philosophies in this book about encouraging students to read a variety of genres.”

Rachel Lynette: Teachers Pay TeachersRachel Lynette

“One goal I have for the coming year is to increase my connections and collaborations with other teachers. There are so many fun and creative ways to collaborate! For example, a teacher recently wrote me with a question about behavior issues that were coming up in her classroom at the end of the school year. I posted her question on my Facebook page and dozens of other teachers contributed ideas to help her. Their ideas were so inspiring that I put them into a blog post. Now thousands of teachers are benefiting from this collaboration!”

Teaching With a Mountain View: Teachers Pay TeachersTeaching With a Mountain View

“My major goal this year was to maximize student engagement while minimizing my prep time. I want my students to look forward to coming to school and feel that every minute of their day is filled with meaningful learning — even in those moments when they finish the original assignment before the rest of the class. Reflecting on this year and planning for the future, I’d like to continue to weave in current content-related tasks with early finisher work that reviews concepts, offers enrichment opportunities for early finishers, and continues to implement creative and critical thinking journals to keep those wheels spinning!”


Middle School

Lindsay Perro: Teachers Pay TeachersLindsay Perro

“This past school year was my second as a full time TpT’er and mommy of two (the two best jobs ever, in my opinion)! It also was my first school year in the role of a parent of a student, as my daughter just finished Kindergarten! Being able to volunteer in her classroom this year was a lot of fun (but, Kindergarten teachers… I don’t know how you do it!) I hope to continue volunteering this coming school year, and professionally, I hope to branch out and explore more cross-curricular resources as well as develop more products that bring math to life!”

Lovin Lit: Teachers Pay TeachersLovin Lit

“I use the last weeks of the school year following testing to experiment with new methods I’m considering implementing the following year. And the best new ‘thing’ that’s come along during my 12 years of teaching is definitely interactive notebooks! If you’re curious about them and what they entail, you can try out my most popular FREE lesson for interactive notebooks, Interactive Reading Notebooks ~ FREE Bonus Lesson! Making Inferences. A Getting Started Guide is included in the download in case you’re a total newbie. If you’re all ready to fully implement interactive notebooks for next year, don’t miss The Ultimate Interactive Notebook Template Collection (Blank Editable Templates). It can turn any lesson interactive!”

Runde's Room: Teachers Pay TeachersRunde’s Room

“We all have subjects we’re a little more comfortable teaching — subjects we’re confident we teach well with strategies that we know work for our students. One of the best things to happen to my classroom this year was when I really thought about WHY a particular strategy worked for my students, and then worked to make that strategy fit with my other subjects. Watching my students’ growth this year in their reading responses because of our color-coded success criteria strategy was so rewarding that I knew I had to find a way to make it work to help them explain their thinking with problem-solving activities during Math. And with that, my Building Better Responses resources were born. I love how my students became accountable for their own thinking and could independently identify what they needed to add to their answers in order to demonstrate their comprehension. This is definitely a strategy I’ll continue to use in the classroom.”

High School

All Things Algebra: Teachers Pay TeachersAll Things Algebra

“After teaching only Algebra for seven years, I was excited to take on a new prep this year: Geometry! Teaching a new course was challenging, but the change of pace proved to be incredibly rewarding. With a year complete, my goal for next year is to create my own Geometry materials that fit the style and activity-based instruction my students enjoy most. I’m very excited to have posted Unit 1 (Points, Lines & Planes), along with an Angle Relationships FREEBIE! Beyond creating Geometry materials, I plan to take some time this summer to relax. We all need a refresher!”

Laura Randazzo: Teachers Pay TeachersLaura Randazzo

“The biggest (and best!) change in my classroom this year has been the addition of more non-fiction resources to enrich literature studies, thanks to the new emphasis on informational texts in the CCSS. For each of my novel and play units, I found compelling non-fiction materials to make our literature discussions even more dynamic. Students loved the additions, such as this real-life Romeo & Juliet tragedy that occurred in 1993 (you can download it for free right here) and my “Let’s Get Real” lessons that I used throughout the year (check them out here). I’m definitely looking to add more non-fiction resources in 2014-2015!”

Secondary Solutions: Teachers Pay TeachersSecondary Solutions

“As an ‘old pro,’ it’s still exciting for me to continue creating and publishing new materials each year! This year, my goal is to help ELA teachers across the country gain confidence in the Common Core State Standards. I’ve done a ton of research on the CCSS… and the result? SmartFlip Common Core Reference Guides (available in grades 3 through 12)! You can find them all in my store. Initially, I created these to help our Teacher-Authors create CCSS-aligned lessons and assessments, but these have turned out to be so much more, giving teachers the confidence and tools to tackle the rigor of the CCSS!”

Tracee Orman: Teachers Pay TeachersTracee Orman

“I had a difficult group of students this past year, so I had to be a little more creative mixing up my activities each period to keep them engaged. I found bell ringers and exit slips such as Common Core Reading & Writing Bell Ringers Exit Slips BUNDLE Vol 1 to be extremely helpful in not only practicing multiple standards each day, but maintaining my students’ attention as well. An area I wish to improve for the coming year is my students’ writing skills. I plan to start with the basics by helping them write stronger paragraphs and also by devoting more time to meeting one-on-one with them for genuine feedback. I’ll certainly make use of my free Writing Paragraphs: Common Core “PEELS” Anchor Chart resource.”

And there you have it. Honest observations and attainable goals, from some of Teachers Pay Teachers’ Top Teacher-Authors. 2014-2015 is going to be one amazing school year. I can feel it now.

(Thank you to The 3AM Teacher for the “Months of the Year” clip art)