I’ve debated writing this blogpost for a few days and who knows I might not even share it when I’ve finished but I just wanted to set the record straight on a few things.
Irish Primary Teacher
I started Irish Primary Teacher as a way to keep track of good ideas and resources. Over the past 3 years it has grown to a very popular blog for teachers in Ireland. Each blogpost takes hours of research. I started the blog on the free platform of Blogspot but I wasn’t able to add features that I wanted so I bought the domain name (www.irishprimaryteacher.ie) and decided to use WordPress instead. This means I have to pay monthly for hosting costs and yearly for the domain name.
I spend countless hours making resources to support teachers and yes I do charge for some of these resources. My plans took nearly a full month to complete as I wanted them to be of a high standard for my pupils. My termly plans are based on the curriculum and I spent hours of my summer holidays researching lessons and brainstorming ideas for activities to use with my class – all of which are in the termly plans. The costs of the resources on my blog are low but they save teachers around Ireland hours of time.
Personally I prefer to complete my own plans but I do buy resources from other teacher bloggers in Ireland through Mash.ie and from further afield on Teachers Pay Teachers. I’ve also paid for a membership of Seomra Ranga. I don’t see the problem with this – if one teacher spends their time creating resources I have no problem paying for it if it will save me time!
On a daily basis, I receive lots of emails and messages from teachers who are concerned/worried or who need advice or clarification on something. Sometimes, these teachers just need a little bit of encouragement after a tough day or a difficult meeting. There is no service that can answer many of these questions and bloggers fill this gap.
I have never claimed to know everything – I certainly don’t. I’m a relatively new teacher but since I qualified I have taught in many different settings and worked with hundreds of children. I’ve made countless mistakes but I have also taught many good lessons that I’m proud of. I share what worked on my blog and offer advice based on my own experience – is it a foolproof way to a ‘perfect’ classroom; no. As far as I’m concerned there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ classroom or a ‘perfect’ teacher. We just work hard and try to our best to help the children to achieve their full potential in a caring, happy and motivating environment.
In the weeks leading to Back to School, a number of teacher bloggers (myself included) have arranged giveaways for our followers. Teachers often spend lots of their own money on resources and supplies for their classroom so these giveaways are a way to ease the burden for some teachers. (Yes it is also a way for companies to advertise their products – but I personally only organise giveaways with companies that I use regularly myself!)
Every few weeks, a company gets in touch with me about reviewing a new product/resource for Irish primary teachers. I’ve thankfully received a lot of fantastic resources free of charge from these companies which I look at and use with my students and then decide whether or not to review the products. I don’t review everything that is sent to me – I don’t agree to review all the products that I receive emails about; I pick and choose based on which resources I feel will be most beneficial to my followers.
With every review, I look at the products critically and decide whether I would buy it myself – if the answer is yes; I feature the product on the blog. If the answer is no; I don’t. For each review, I look at the product as a whole, I take lots of pictures and I then give an overview of the product on my blog. I sometimes do an Instagram Story of the product. It’s completely up to my followers whether to purchase the resource or not. Reviews are a great way for teachers to find out about new products/resources.
If I am ever paid to feature a product – I will always use the #ad or #sp.
I don’t get paid by companies to write reviews. All reviews are my honest opinion; if I don’t like a product – I just don’t bother wasting time reviewing it!
Overall I just wrote this blogpost to clarify a few bits and pieces in case there was some confusion about anything. As always if you have a question/concern – please don’t hesitate to contact me either through Facebook messenger or email firstname.lastname@example.org