Episode 7: So You’re Thinking of Going Full Time TpT?

In this episode, April & Angie discuss the pros and cons of quitting your teaching job with their special guest, Michaela from Especially Education

Episode 7: So You’re Thinking of Going Full Time TpT?

 
 
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Thinking of quitting your teaching job and going full time TpT?

Our Stories Leading up to Going Full Time TpT

In this episode, we were lucky enough to have Michaela from Especially Education join us as we chatted about quitting our teaching jobs and working on our businesses full time. Michaela shared with us that the main reasons she went full time was because she was struggling to keep up with her business while teaching in the special education classroom.

Angie’s main reason for going full time TpT was her health. She was getting a lot of migraines during the school year, and it was really hard for her to teach. If you have any health issues that make full time teaching difficult for you, or you care for someone that does, it’s really a blessing to have the option to go full time TpT.

My main reason for leaving the classroom was having twins. I was due the first day of school and was seriously concerned about balancing TpT, school, and them. Teachers who go back to work the first year after having (or adopting) a baby are serious rockstars. My first year was a struggle, even with full time teaching out of the picture. I worked on my business when the twins slept, and when they turned 1, they started daycare so that I could focus on my business. If you’re trying to do TpT full time and have your kids at home, it is a definite struggle. Putting them in daycare was a good choice for them, and for me. They love it.

Struggles

We all agreed that the biggest struggle with going from the classroom to full time TpT is getting on a schedule and staying motivated. All three of us really struggled the first few months to find a schedule that worked for us.

If you’re not easily self motivated, full time TpT might be a struggle for you.

We miss the students. And other teachers.

I shared that my biggest struggle is really missing that interaction with teachers and students. I have a small closed office because I’m not very productive at home, but it doesn’t allow me to interact with other people like I would in the school setting. Finding people to connect with during the day has really helped me. I talk to Angie daily, and Michaela mentioned that she has another TpTer she connects with in person (and her husband works from home as well).

Routines

Michaela has an excellent routine setup. She uses a block schedule and answers emails first thing in the morning (like I do!). In the morning she does blog posts and social media because she works best on resources in the afternoon. Her and her husband meal prep, which is a great way to keep from eating out every day (now that you have the opportunity to do so as a full time TpTer).

Michaela’s Block Schedule

Angie just focuses on two main things to work on each day: a resource and one additional thing for the business (photos, blog post, social media, etc). She gets overwhelmed and doesn’t do anything if she has too much on her list. Like Michaela, she also does resource creation in the afternoon. We use a collaborative calendar so that we can hold each other accountable.

I just started a new routine where I get up at 6am, have coffee, eat breakfast, and answer emails. That way, after I drop my kids off at daycare and get to my office, I can start creating. I’m more creative in the morning, so that’s when I do all of my resource creation.

What We Love About It

The flexibility: Hands down, this is the best thing about being full time TpT. You can travel when you want to, take breaks if you’re not feeling good, and pee WHENEVER YOU WANT!

The relationships: We’ve made some seriously strong relationships with other full time TpTers. We have more time to connect during the day, and more opportunity to connect for meet ups during the week. Angie and I were recently in San Diego, CA together for Social Media Marketing World, and in Boston before that for a 1-day conference and work vacay.

The opportunities: Michaela is participating in the Teach Your Heart Out conference (so cool!). This is something that would be a challenge to do around a teaching schedule. I had the opportunity to write a book on project based learning over the last year. I could NEVER have taken this on while teaching.

And finally – no school politics!

Final Thoughts

We really, truly feel blessed that we have this opportunity to do our business full time. We worked our butts off to get here, and continue to work very long days to keep it up. The flexibility is amazing, and we really do LOVE it!

It really is a difficult choice, and it’s different for everyone. Some people go back to teaching within the year, and some have been out of the classroom for years. It’s important to consider all options – maybe take it for a test drive during the summer if you can, pretending that you are working on your business full time for a couple of weeks.

Make sure you follow Michaela’s Instagram account. She is totally ROCKING IT!

Going full time tpt

Written by April Smith

April runs her business Performing in Education, LLC full time. Her main focus is on her Teachers Pay Teacher store, but she also has an online course for teachers and has written a book on project-based learning!