I have been nervous about this change for a while, but now seems like a great time to go for it. I’m changing my blog name to Jackie Anne Blog! I’m excited, anxious, scared, practically all of the feels! But I want to be transparent about why I am making the leap. This post is raw and vulnerable. I’m hoping that sharing my journey on here gives you more insight as to why I’m changing my blog name and expanding my content for you. Grab a cup of coffee or glass of wine, because this post is long!
How my Little Space on the Internet Began
If you’ve been following me from the beginning (and a HUGE thank you to those of you who have been my supporters from the beginning), you know that I started Teaching with Tira to simply share my lesson plans. I’ve opened up about this a bit in the past, but what really drove me to start my teacher Instagram (and then later blog) was that I was fighting teacher burnout every. single. day. I want to be cautious as to how I state this, but here are the facts: I teach in a small school, we have no alternative school for students with challenging behavior, and I was teaching a science course many of those students needed in order to graduate. I’ll leave it there. It was really difficult. Every day felt like pure chaos… I came home crying regularly. I drank wine, a lot of wine. My anxiety was the highest it had ever been, stemming from the combative and futile behavior that stormed into my classroom each day. I know some teachers thrive in that environment, and I am not one of those teachers.
Last February, I decided I needed to be intentional about finding the positives in teaching, since there seemed to me SO many negatives. I felt like the best way to do this was to start an Instagram. A few months later I started my blog… if you consider posting once every 3 months as a blog lol.
This year’s motto: Fill your Cup
Then came this year. Ya’ll, my kids are great. Simply put, I love my kids. Every single one of them is such a blessing. I really feel like God knew I needed a break with behavior and blessed me with my roster this year (thank you baby Jesus)! They’re smart, respectful, and give me their best. I was SO excited to start this year off – I had a fire inside me. I started August off strong, really strong. I was so excited to implement things I had learned from reading The Wild Card (you need to read this if you’re an educator). And the great thing is that I have implemented so many creative and engaging things this year. But, at the same time, I started to notice some stressful and uncomfortable feelings this fall.
Having this teacher Instagram and blog has been SO amazing, I love the community and outpouring of support. I need to make that clear – I love the teacher online community, I know it constantly helps prevent teacher burnout. But, as this year continued, I started experiencing major anxiety because I was constantly comparing myself to other teachers and never felt like I was doing enough. I became hyper-focused on teaching and rarely did anything outside of school that wasn’t related to lesson plans or teaching. It became an unhealthy balance.
A couple of months ago, I did some major self reflecting, and realized I needed to fill my cup. I needed to do my best to keep my teaching role at school and do things at home that make me happy and rejuvenate me. Things like home projects, DIY, healthy cooking, unhealthy baking (lol), and self care – those things make me happy! I firmly believe that taking care of yourself makes you a better teacher. I started putting less stress on elaborate lessons, so I could complete a home project. And you know what? I don’t think my students cared. Sure they like fun activities and room transformations now and then, but do they need it every day? No. I think they mostly care that I show up and teach them to the best of my ability and let them know I care for them each day.
Eventually, I started sharing my home decor, DIY, and healthy lifestyle tips on my blog and Instagram because they were making me so much happier. I figured, if these small things are bringing me joy, then maybe they will inspire someone else and add value to their life. Worth a shot right? I expected very little interest, but was shocked when y’all started engaging with my new content. And when y’all started telling me you were going to try the recipes I was sharing or use my decor as inspo, my heart was so happy!
What I’ve realized these past few months is that I enjoy sharing my home, DIY, and lifestyle tips more than my lessons. Eek I said it! And that’s okay! I still love teaching, and I’m not leaving the classroom anytime soon, but I’m also passionate about sharing attainable inspiration to help brighten your day. Maybe you’re that teacher who has a difficult class this year (like what I went through), or a mom who feels stressed by the elaborate decor projects on Pinterest, or a 20 something year old who wants to adult but doesn’t know how (lol this was me fresh out of college) – I hope that my blog brings attainable inspiration to you! I hope you leave my blog feeling inspired and motivated to do something to fill your cup!
The Name Change
Which brings me to the blog name change – I hope to expand my content to home, DIY, healthy lifestyle, recipes, and maybe even some personal stuff (the married to medicine journey is no joke, and kind of interesting) to bring value and inspiration to you. Teaching with Tira will forever be special to me, but if I would like to expand my content for y’all, I need to change my blog name to something less niche. Before I got married, Anne was my middle name. A part of me was was pretty upset when I had to choose to keep my middle name or maiden name when it came time to change my last name. I thought I would never have a connection to Anne again… which is why I am SO excited to bring it back with Jackie Anne Blog.
My hope is that my posts give you confidence and inspiration to try some of these projects and ideas out in your own home, and that they make you happier. I love teaching, and if y’all want, I’ll continue to share snippets of my classroom activities on my Instagram stories! I hope the direction I’m going with the blog is something you are excited about too! Leave me some comments about what you think! Thanks for always being so supportive and keeping up with my journey.