Let’s go all the way back to the very beginning our of Top Teacher story… back to 2008! We met in a small mining town in Western Australia while teaching Year One in classrooms next door to each other.
Newman was one those towns with not much going on so we would often spend our weekends at school. Bringing in our little fur babies - Stella and Darla, and spending hours fluffing around going between each other’s classrooms.
With our lovely friend Bec we choreographed the Bollywood event of the year for the end of year concert. We always had to be that bit extra! Ha!
When up in Newman, things were a bit different then… god the old back in my day! Wooldridges was still your main source for teacher resources – think black line master books, display borders etc for those too young to remember.
There would always be a big shop up when you came to the city for the school holidays! TpT and online downloadable resources wasn’t a major thing – so we'd spend hours designing our own activities and games!
Back in 2009 with some of
our Newman teaching crew!
One of the best things about going
country is the people you meet!
At the end of 2009 I made the move back to the city and Bridget stayed in Newman, but we both started teaching Pre-Primary.
It was this year Bridget become pregnant with Keegs. She moved back to Perth and during her maternity leave we would meet up for coffee and chat about how much we loved creating resources and how we could help other teachers. By the time Bridget had had little Keegs and he was about 6 months old we still hadn’t stopped talking about it! We decided it was finally time to take the plunge and do it!
Bridget had a friend from high school who worked in web development and we arranged to meet with him. That was the first step we took to start our little dream! (Even if I did have to hit my Dad up to loan me money to buy a new laptop – because I leased a department one for work stuff!)
The START UP DAYS
Did you know we only started as a Literacy website?! We were super passionate about Early Childhood Literacy and it was where we felt most comfortable! We decided Literacy would be our thing and then we got to work. Oh did we work!!
It pretty much consumed our lives there for a while! I would be at Bridget’s after I finished work and then wouldn’t leave until midnight most nights of the week. I can even nerd-ily say I may have spent way too many Friday/Saturday nights there.
Poor Stephen (Bridget’s husband) - I was the third wheel and he became the CoT Manager (cup of tea) to keep us going! Thanks Stephen!
We went live in November 2011 with maybe 100 resources and my amazing supportive work colleague (love you Gay!) was our very first subscriber.
People were loving the resources and kept asking for Maths – so we again worked our butts off creating a heap of Maths resources to add!
Then came people asking for class resources, theme resources and planning and assessment. Before we knew it we were doing it all and becoming your one stop K-3 shop!
As we expanded it came time for Website 2.0. We changed our logo to show our growth (our previous logo was a tree with letters when we were back focusing on Literacy only). We added new features and wanted to make it easier to use for our growing members!
The REAL DEAL
Cue to 2018! Previous to this even though we absolutely loved Top Teacher - it was more of a side gig which fit around our teaching jobs. We both also had two kids by now and with work it was becoming harder to find time for TT.
Top Teacher was our passion, so we decided to just take the *plunge and jump right in* - to focus solely on Top Teacher and took time off from our teaching jobs.
We had set meet up days, a better TT action plan, completed courses and looked at ways we could continue to grow Top Teacher. Let’s say it was our 'MAKE or BREAK’ year!
Thankfully, we grew TT in one year more than we could have ever imagined, and 2019 saw us both resign from our teaching jobs to continue to live our dream!
Then the beginning of 2020 saw us both bring new little babes into the world (Yes 6 TT boys…crazy hey!!) and cope with Covid 19 – which definitely threw a little spanner in the works. All kids at home and not quite the maternity leave we imagined… but we got through it and helped our members through Distance Learning.
We are working harder than ever and the drive we have for TT is insane. We absolutely love being creative and getting to have a job that is flexible around our family…. Cue the endless amounts of late nights working. But hey we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Thank you all so much for being on this journey with us! We have some gorgeous loyal members who have been with us from the very beginning and are still members today.
We cannot tell you just yet… butttttt *oh my gawd* we have some super fun things in the pipeline that we are just bursting with excitement to share. So please continue on this journey with us! We love your feedback, your requests, your in action photos and just being the amazing TT Team that you are!!
Top Teacher really is our happy place!