The Story Behind Our Logo Picture

http://www.jennyknappenberger.com/2014/12/30/whats-the-story-behind-the-logo/
We are linking up to Art with Jenny K. for this blog post and letting you know the story behind our logo picture.
When we were preparing for last year's TpT conference we started to think that maybe we should get business cards.  We realized that we did not think about branding or anything like that when we started our TpT store. We still don't have a logo we like (stay tuned because that is in the works).  Our brand is currently represented by a family picture.

 We were trying to decide if we should have separate TpT stores or just have one store so we only needed to pay one seller fee.  We are frugal and on a budget, so the one store idea won.

When we first filled out the TpT account profile we were thinking the "Profile Picture" was like a profile pic on Facebook and we weren't really thinking of it from a marketing standpoint . . . "Store logo" was not what we were thinking.  
We chose our family picture with us both leaning against the pole because we could both be fairly centered. I also thought it was fun to show we are a family and people would know that if they buy from us they are helping us provide for our family.  

There is more story behind the photoshoot that our "logo" is from.

Want to hear it?

That photoshoot was something I had hoped for for awhile, like years. Remember we are frugal (cheap, like, I use the JCPenney $3.99 a photo sheet coupon, cheap) and yet I had admired Karey Michelle's photos for a long time and said that someday she would take our family pictures.  I waited until our second child, Miss Outgoing, was born and could sit up.
I had told Miss Responsible (our oldest) that she would get to choose what she wanted to wear but I was meaning she would get to choose from my selection for her. The day of our pictures she walked out of her room wearing her Cinderella dress and she had completely accessorized her outfit all the way down to a veil (a hand drawn handkerchief craft from VBS), a "wedding" ring (a broken plastic ring from a goodie bag), and her dress-up heels.  When I tried to explain what I had planned she started to get upset since she had been planning her outfit for a few days which I realized her intentions with that pile of clothes after she came walking out.  I decided that I would prefer her to be happy than dressed all matchy matchy with us and hoped that I could slowly get her to strip away some of her accessories and possibly change into a different outfit.  
When we arrived, Karey, the photographer, acted so excited about Sarah's outfit and Sarah was beaming with pride.
I got a little emotional and realized I almost took that away by making her change because these were our pricey pictures and people normally have matchy-matchy outfits in these types of family pictures. I vowed that I'd always let my kids choose their outfits to document their style and personality.

Our logo picture was taken near the middle of our photoshoot after we had walked out in a field of yellow mustard seed flowers.  I remember those flowers had pokey things on them that were itchy on our legs.  
 Miss Responsible had stripped away her accessories and she actually matched us since her Cinderella dress is also blue.  Miss Outgoing was quite tired and we were trying to keep her content for the pictures. You'll notice she isn't smiling or looking at the camera . . . But she isn't crying :). 

Our logo pic only has two children in it.  We actually have three.  When we started TeachersPayTeachers we weren't yet pregnant with our third child, Miss Monkeygirl (she is a climber now and was quite the mover even in utero).  Our brand is currently represented by a picture that is missing one of our kids.
Miss Monkeygirl
At the end of this month we are going back to the same field, if the mustard seed flowers are there, and trying to reenact the picture but with all three of our girls. Jonathan and I will be wearing the same shirts but we will be surprised with what our girls choose to wear.       
So that's our story . . .

Head on over to Art with Jenny K's blog to see other teacher bloggers and read about the story behind their logos.
These family pictures are so amazing by Karey Michelle Photography.  They were well worth the price! :-)  
What's a fun story you have behind a family picture?
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Created-For-Learning

Walking in A Line: How to Stay Sane While Your Students Are in Line...

http://createdforlearning.blogspot.com/2015/01/walking-in-line.html
       As I returned to occasionally subbing and volunteering in Miss Responsible's (our oldest) first grade classroom, I've been reminded of classroom management strategies that I used and just some quirks I have as a teacher.  

       During the first week or two of school, I taught my first and second graders how to walk in a line.  It's similar to Jonathan's reasoning behind making his kids practice lining up at his door . . . to help teach them respect but also I have an issue with noise when I'm stressed.  Small noises can become overwhelming during tense situations (my distraction by the noise can be so bad I've wondered where it would put me on the autism spectrum). Anyway, walking with 20-30 kids in a line can, at times, test a person's patience.  

I like to preemptively address the noise issue of kids dragging their feet while they walk . . . lots of kids do it.        
       If you have 20 out of 30 kids dragging their feet as they walk, it can get loud.  As my class walked past classrooms, I wanted them to be as non-disruptive as possible; for me this meant quiet mouths and quiet feet. 
       I would take them to the blacktop and have them line up next to each other on a line facing me.  I would demonstrate two ways of walking, one with dragging feet and one with me picking my feet off the ground.  I asked the kids if they notice anything about how I'm walking and see if they can figure out the differences.
Which is quieter? 
Why might it be bad to drag your feet?
What can it do to your shoes?

Some vocabulary that I define for them:
dragging
shuffling
scuffing
"pick up your feet" - meaning don't drag them while you step

       After I've modeled the differences and we've discussed them, I have them walk and see if they notice things about how they walk 
Are they shuffling their feet? 
Are their feet noisy or quiet?  
Can they walk quickly and quietly?  

       While practicing, some kids tend to walk slowly so that they are more quiet and others try lifting their legs too high and thus start marching.  I act out what I see kids doing and help them to become aware of how they walk. My goal is to get them to realize what it feels like to walk with "quiet feet" or without dragging, shuffling, or marching.
         You might be thinking that this seems a bit strict or obsessive on my part but it just plays into my teaching style.  I like to have an easy-going, fun classroom environment but this cannot be achieved if there is a lot of time being wasted or we aren't being respectful to each other.  By modeling and using language to help them understand what I mean, I can use that language the whole rest of the year to remind them of my expectations.  

       Quiet mouths and quiet feet, let's respect the students trying to learn in the classrooms we are passing.   

       We want to hear from you . . .  What do you do with your students in line to keep sane?



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