Jul 30, 2008

Have Fun Teaching

To start off, a little bit about myself. My name is Mark. I grew up in Michigan and moved to Florida to finish college and start teaching elementary. In the summer of 2005, I created the free educational website Have Fun Teaching. This year will be my fourth year teaching and I love the classroom environment. Two years in second grade, one year in third, and this year will be fifth grade math.

This has been a summer of rejuvenation, as well as hard work. As a teacher, I can't complain about the holidays and summers off. People say that teachers are underpaid, but I would say that for the amount of time we work and the benefits we have, it's a pretty good deal. Living in America comes with the pressure to be a "consumer" and to "have the biggest and latest thing." Society tends to make us think that teachers don't make very much money, when really if we can learn to spend less on some things, we can have more for other things.

I love being in the classroom and teaching, but is it really necessary to work throughout the week from 8:00-4:00? Sometimes I feel that I am just going to "work" until retirement, then it will be too late to enjoy the things that God had intended for my life. There is a lot of stresses and to-do's that come with the job of a teacher.

If there was only a way to do what I love to do, but without all the wasted time in meetings, lesson planning, grading and checking emails, it would be wonderful. Don't get me wrong, meetings, planning, and grading are all necessary for effective teaching, however, there is often wasted time associated with these things. I absolutely love teaching in the classroom and interacting with the students, but I don't want my job to define who I am as a person.

When I meet new people, usually the first words out of their mouth is, "What do you do?" I don't want to be the one who says, "I am a teacher." That does not define who I AM. There is so much more to life than working a 9-5 job (or 8-4 in my case). There is more to life than just a job.

So with this in mind, I started a quest for generating some supplemental passive income. This is money received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it. This is not about MONEY though, it IS about creating more TIME to do the things I love to do, be the person I would love to be, and have the things I would love to have. If I had a million dollars, I would still want to somehow be in the classroom part time and impact children's lives, just not with all the wasted time.

Then I decided I would create a free resource website for teachers. I basically, and very basically, took worksheets that I had created for my 2nd and 3rd grade students, compiled them, and posted them on HaveFunTeaching.com for people to download. I had no idea HOW to build a website and never thought it would make any money.

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