One of the realest things I read so far on this road to entrepreneurship is that THERE IS A LOT OF BAD INFORMATION OUT THERE!
Now one would think that with 10 years of traditional classroom teaching, six years of active duty military service, and six degrees (2 associates, B.A., MPA, Ed.S. and an Ed.D.), I should be where I want to be. Wrong…Wrong…Wrong! I’m trying to crack the self-publishing market and offer a message to aspiring and new teachers (THAT IS MY PURPOSE—To Inspire!)
When I initially wrote my first book, My Fourth Year In Middle School: The Truth About Teaching, I was and still am completely behind on not doing enough to properly market my book to get it into the hands of the people that I feel could benefit from it the most.
I would attribute writing this book to being just like the formative years of education because in my first three years I learned A LOT. Mostly through trial and error and faulty circumstances. But in those first years I found my purpose and knew that I have a lot to offer as an educator. As an individual. As a person who is not afraid to make mistakes and take a risk.
Since the release of my book in July 2016, I still want to do more with it. I am almost desperate to do more with it because I know that there is some really good information embedded inside to keep teachers motivated. Now I’ll be honest, I have definitely taken some heat for my book but this was about some real stuff that I experienced as a new teacher. Much like my recollection of a having a teacher tell me I’d never be successful; I never wanted a child to feel that way about themselves in my classroom. I do not want new teachers feeling left out and ostracized unnecessarily… even with the good support of my mentor teacher, I felt alone when I started teaching. So I ask myself, was I supposed to paint a pretty picture of the people that were hard on me or was I supposed to tell my TRUTH.
Year One: This was the toughest year ever and I remember feeling like I was being tested to see if I could really hang in there with my high poverty stricken kids. But the thing about the students is that once I won them over, they were not the problem. IT WAS THE ADULTS. I cried a lot that first year because I felt like I was failing miserably at teaching. During pre-planning I had been whispered about because of a skirt that I thought was appropriate, but clearly it wasn’t. I felt so embarrassed by my assets…the skirt was long but that wasn’t the problem. I was body shamed before body shaming was a thing.
Dealing With Divorce: My first marriage fell apart during my second year of teaching. I was holding on by a thread. I had had a huge fight with my husband, got a mugshot for bursting out his truck window, separation, and watching the security I once felt in my marriage be shattered. All of this was going on while my boys were toddlers (Lil Phil-5, Preston-3). I was home alone with my two boys, cooking for them, dropping them off at daycare, working my full-time teaching job—stressing and wondering when my husband was going to come back home. HE DIDN’T! The divorce was finalized September, 2011!
Is This Really Happening: So many things happened to me in a few short years that I am blown away at the fact that I’m still in the classroom. I admit my very first administrator was hands down the bomb. She had very high expectations and as a new teacher I had no choice but to meet them. I’m extremely proud of my results after my first year of standardized testing…I can boast that 97% of my students passed the Criterion Referenced Competency Test (Phased out CRCT). But I dealt with a different administrator my 3rd, 4th, and 5th years of teaching that was so passive, it was difficult to feel productive under his leadership. I dealt with my car being stolen from the school campus my 5th year and instead of being sympathetic his reaction was, “It was a simple repossession.” That made my blood boil, and I knew it was time to GO!
A Different Perspective: Transferring to a different school was what I thought I needed and while I was yet again able to foster relationships with my students…I also had to deal with adults. I will say that I am brash and unfiltered at times, but I’m committed to my stance on things, and that doesn’t make me wrong; it makes me passionate about my kids. I respect other people’s opinions, but I think I have run into others not really respecting mine. In my ten short years, I have dealt with court cases with my now second ex-husband in 2014, the murder of my half-brother in 2015, middle of the year moves from one content/classroom to another in 2016, and truly feeling undervalued for my experience and knowledge. In a one on one conversation about leadership I once told an administrator, “Your perspective is skewed by what you think you know about me. Until you see me or in action, you have no idea what I’m capable of. I take my content very seriously. I’m not changing! But you’d have to talk to me to know that.”
Even through all of that I have experienced, the nonconstructive criticisms, and being told I’m not qualified or experienced enough to be an academic coach I still forge ahead. I’ve also been told I’m “social media heavy”, whatever that means. I mean, is this the wave?!?!? Criticize others for the moves they are making because you are not making them yourself?!?!?
Yes my career is teaching but my vision is much bigger than being in a classroom forever. I refuse to be one dimensional. Just as I heard today…not everyone wants you to be successful. I’m building my platform one blog, discussion, experience, post, and video at a time. I am not a traditional teacher…I have a bit of an edge about me and I’m not afraid to share my experiences.
As I’m figuring this all out I know that the LaTilya Rashon brand and PSB2 Publishing will rise as I coach myself through the necessities.
To learn more about my self-published titles please check me out here. Be sure to connect with me on social media.
Be sure to share and leave a comment. Thanks for reading.
2 thoughts on “Figuring This All Out: Brand, Business, and Marketing”
It’s great to read such a sensative yet real story from a real place. Latilya Rashon has a great pen and I am looking to hear more and read more from this author.
Todd thanks for the support my friend. We can ALL only go up from here!