Today, we are so proud to profile our first TOP EDUCATION blog!
Not only is today’s blogger an amazing Kindergarten teacher, she is also competing as a top blog to win a charity donation to benefit one of her students.
Katie Mense, we are in awe.
Enough about us.
This is Katie’s blog…
It’s called Little Warriors. And it’s adorable.
After spending a little (okay, a lot) of time on the blog, we wanted to know more about Katie, her class, and why she took her experience to the web. Here’s what we learned…
Katie, how would you describe your blog?
Little Warriors is a Kindergarten blog and a place to gain and share teaching ideas, tips and materials. I love to share tons of pictures from my kinder classroom and have lots of free downloads available!
I have to ask. Where did the name come from?
The name of my blog “Little Warriors” comes from our school mascot. Our mascot is the Warriors and since I teach little kids (Kindergarteners), I thought the name “Little Warriors” was cute and appropriate.
What I hope to achieve through my blog is just to share my ideas, resources and “things that work” for me in my classroom with other teachers. If a teacher comes across my blog and finds just one idea or resource that they can take and use in their classroom, then it is all so worth it to me! I hope that I can inspire others like some of the other bloggers have inspired me.
How did it all start?
It all started one night when I was searching online for some new, fun and creative ideas to use in my classroom. I stumbled across this totally amazing teacher’s blog, which led me to other teaching blogs. I was so incredibly grateful and inspired by their sharing, that I wanted to share some of my own ideas with others as well!
How long ago was that?
I started Little Warriors last February. So, it’s been about a year and 4 months.
What’s your favorite thing to write about?
I just love writing about new ideas and things that I have tried in my classroom. (Whether it’s one of my own ideas, or an idea I may have “borrowed” from another blogger.) I LOVE adding LOTS of pictures to go with what I’m posting about. I think it’s important for readers to not only read about, but actually SEE how to implement an idea. I LOVE visiting other teachers’ classrooms and getting new ideas from them. I feel like through blogging, I’m giving others the opportunity to “see” inside my classroom and take any ideas that they might find useful.
How would you describe your blog community?
The teacher blog community is absolutely AMAZING!!!!! I love them all so much and have gained many new friendships through blogging. I have been VERY surprised with how generous people are with their personally created materials and ideas!!!
I have also been impressed, grateful and humbled by the support that other bloggers and my amazing followers have given me! There are so many wonderful people out there that take the time to thank you for what you are contributing. I’ve gotten so many nice comments and emails from people just thanking me and who appreciate what my blog is about, that it makes me want to give more! It’s also an amazing feeling when another blogger recognizes an idea or product that you’ve created by posting about it on their blog. The support system in blogland is truly unbelievable! I’m so proud to be a part of it!
What has been your best experience as a blogger?
I have to say that my best experience as a blogger has to be the friendships and relationships that I have made. I have met so many generous, amazing and inspiring people through blogging. It’s so nice to have met other teachers that you can communicate with to get advice, opinions and feedback on issues that you might be facing in your own teaching.
What have you learned from the other bloggers?
Oh my goodness!!!! I can’t even begin to express the things that I have learned through blogging! Teaching blogs have brought my career to a whole new level. I thought I was a good teacher before I discovered and got involved in teaching blogs. Through the things I have learned, inspiration that I’ve been given, ideas I have picked up, and knowledge and resources that I’ve gained through this experience has made me 100 times the teacher that I used to be! Every time I blog hop through teaching blogs, I learn something new. It’s like going to the best workshop of your life every single day!
If you win, who will receive your charity donation?
I would like to donate my winnings to http://www.debra.org/. Debra stands for the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) Research Association of America.
There is a little girl that goes to our school named Mareyna, that has EB. She is definitely a “Little Warrior.” The simple way to explain what she has is that she doesn’t have the fibers that keep the layers of her skin together so, with any rough touch, she blisters. Her Mom has to pop the blisters every night. If they break open she has raw skin that is similar to a burn patient’s skin.
Mareyna gets these blisters even from simple, everyday tasks like: her clothes rubbing against her, walking and through the movement and pressure of writing with a pencil. She has visible sores on her body EVERY day of her life. But, Mareyna is a little girl who you will NEVER hear complain. She works through the pain each and every day and is a very tough and brave little girl.
Mareyna actually has the least severe type of EB. The more severe people do not have the top layer at all and have to be totally bandaged. Many insurance companies don’t cover the “bandages” because they say they are “just bandages.” But, there are actually special bandages that are needed and a month bill for them is $5,000. Usually one parent has to stop working to care for the child, so the income is cut. Debra also had a wound care clearing house where people can get some of the bandages for free through donations. Debra also puts on a conference every other year to bring the families together and better educate them about this condition. They are working on a cure through bone marrow transplants.
(Katie wrote an awesome blog post about EB and little Mareyna. Check it out here)
We’ve had such a great experience getting to know Katie. It’s no wonder her blog has taken off and has such a great community around it. If you want to vote for Little Warriors, click here. To check out more of Katie’s materials and postings, click here! Thanks, Katie!