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Teaching across the USA (interview & linky) - Heather from Virginia


The number one reason for me to have a blog is the chance to connect with teachers all over the world. I love getting to know people who feel strongly about education as much as I do.

I have this series of interviews with teacher-authors around the world, but I've also been meaning to start another series to spotlight my American friends. So here I am today!

I love the USA! Don't get me wrong - I love other countries as much, but I haven't been anywhere as often as I've been to the US.

One of my goals is to create a way for American teacher-bloggers to get to know one another.

This is how it goes: every month, I'll be interviewing an American teacher who teaches in one of the 50 American states. (I really want to cover ALL 50 states!) I'll also be hosting a linky party for American teachers to connect. The linky button is at the end of the post and there will be a different prompt every month on the 4th. The linky will be open for a week.

My first guest is Heather Meek from Virginia. She's the mastermind behind The Meek Moose. If you've never read her posts, you're totally missing out. She's also a great virtual-hopefully-some-day-to-be-real-life friend!

Clipart: Stacey Lloyd and Sonya DeHart Design


1. I know you were born in Alaska. How long have you been living and teaching in Virginia?

Yes, I was born in Alaska and lived there until I was 15. Then I moved to Tennessee, then New York, and now Virginia. I moved to Virginia in 2000, and started teaching that year as well. I had a year break in that time, so this is my 13th year in the classroom.



2. What's the best thing and the most challenging one about living/teaching there?

The best thing about Virginia, for me, is the changing of the seasons and the mild winter. Therefore I rarely get too hot, or too cold, and time goes by relatively quick because I can see it in the passing of the seasons. Right now, for instance, the fall leaves are unbelievable! As far as challenging, I don’t know that we have anything more or less challenging than any other state. I think we all share the plight of standardized testing and how this impacts not only our ability to teach best practice, but also how children ultimately view learning.



3. How long have you had your "The Meek Moose" blog and how did it get started?


The Meek Moose

I started my blog in the Spring of 2012. It initially began as just a way for me to write about what I was teaching and how I felt about teaching. I wasn’t ever expecting an audience, actually. Like, I figured my Mom might read it. And then, as it turned out, she doesn’t. So I was definitely thinking it was just for me. However, I ended up conversing with a handful of people that said they enjoyed reading what I wrote, and I ended up shifting my focus on not only dissecting my own teaching for reflection, but sharing ideas with other teachers.

Erin (left) and Heather (right) - two 2nd grade teachers

4. Does your city/state influence the creation of your teaching/clipart resources?

Absolutely. I started making clip art and teaching resources with my sister because I needed them in my teaching. The first two things she made for me were the Famous Americans and the White Tailed Deer sets. Some of the Famous Americans we are meant to teach in Virginia for second grade are difficult to find resources on, and the white-tailed deer lifecycle is a new standard, and we weren’t given much to work with through the state.

Making clip art and teacher resources take a lot of time. I’m a single mom of three, so my time is limited. Everything my sister and I work on begin as things I need or want to use with my students. I teach a diverse population, and wanted to have clip art images that represented them. Our Meek Moose Kid packs were born from that idea. I wanted my students to be able to see themselves in the art. Which is another reason we also always include the line art- so kids can color the images anyway they see fit to represent themselves.


5. If you had to move to any other state, where would you go? Why?

Hmmm. I don’t know. Sometimes I get really interested in the idea of moving to New England, because it seems so beautiful up there. But then I remember that it snows a lot there. I have heard that Ohio and Pennsylvania have very happy teachers. But who knows if that’s a case of thinking the grass is always greener? Right now I’m happy where I am.

Heather and her youngest son

Thank you so much, Heather, for being my first guest on this new series of interviews! You rock!
You can connect with Heather on InstagramFB, Pinterest, Twitter, and G+.


If you're a teacher in the US, come link up by using the image below. Just fill in the blanks with your name, where you teach (city or state), blog about any aspect of teaching where you teach, and add your post url to the linky. Then, and this is really important, stop by the two blogs before yours to read and comment.


Thank you for reading and linking up!

P.S. This is my first linky. If there's anything that doesn't quite work, please let me know :)




6 comments:

  1. Heather is one of my blogging buddies too, and her writing is hilarious! We met up this summer and had such a great time. I love this idea, and I will put your linky on my list to organize for next month. It would be amazing to connect up with someone from all 50 states. (Reminds me of the Flat Stanley Project).
    Great post, Lucy!
    Carla
    Comprehension Connection

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  2. I adore Heather! We have only connected on IG through pie and our love of sarcasm- but I look forward to her posts!!
    Great idea for a linky!
    Squirrels
    Go Nutty with Me!

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  3. Yup, I'm a fan of Heather's as well. Great interview!
    Barbara Leyne Designs

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  4. So nice to learn more about face behind the Meek Moose - what a great read! :-)

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    Replies
    1. So glad you liked it! I love interviewing people, but you know that, right? ;)

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