True Confession of TpT Teacher-Authors - Created for Learning

I've been a huge fan of the TpT married team of teacher-authors behind the store Created for Learning for a long time.  Fortunately for me...and you...they agreed to share some of their true confessions with us.  I think you'll find them to be candid and funny and down-right daring (wait until you see Lisa's video). 

First, things first, who is Created for Learning...

So...Lisa and Jonathan...

We started our TpT store...
in October of 2012 in the month after Jonathan finished writing his 4th unpublished young adult novel. We heard about TpT for months and had colleagues suggest we put our stuff up there and see what happens. So we did. We started off with the free account, and after 2-3 weeks decided we should get the full membership. We just kept polishing up all the resources we’d made over the years, making them super awesome, and the store grew and grew. It continues to humbly blow away our expectations.

We named our store Created for Learning because...
we like things with more than one meaning.  Our resources were created for learning and we, as people, were created for learning, to always be curious about our world and those we share it with. So in a way . . . our store title is (1) our stuff and (2) us.

Our store is filled with...
OK, OK, we have mostly resources for secondary English and Language Arts.  Our big sellers are the novel units that Jonathan has created.  You can buy all the activities for a novel in one teaching package or each activity can be purchased separately.

Our favorite part about creating resources is...
Jonathan: . . . harvesting the thematic truths, imagining the journey students need to travel to learn them, then creating engaging, good-looking resources to get them there.

Lisa: . . . visually organizing something to help students understand specific concepts.  I also like things to be just the way I want it. :-)

In terms of TpT, we'll never forget when...
Jonathan: . . . we went to the 2014 TpT Conference in Vegas. We learned so much and got to see the widespread awesomeness of the TpT community. We also got to feel a few of those moments when close communities feel a little like junior high with the insiders and outsiders, and we decided we wanted to do everything we could to help people feel like part of the family.

Lisa: . . .My answer is the same as Jonathan’s but with the added bit of me realizing that I had gifts to add to running our store.  It switched from me feeling like TpT was Jonathan’s thing because he was making so much and still in the classroom, to us being partners.  I better understood parts of TpT, like customer service, collaboration, and marketing, that I could do even while being home with our kids.

Where in the world do you live now?  Have you ever lived anywhere else?  If so, where?
We’ve lived in Southern California within a half-hour of Disneyland for most of our lives.

Jonathan was born in Germany and lived there the first two years of his life while his father taught English. Lisa grew up in the same town she lives now.  She lived at Hume Lake Christian Camps for a month during high school when she attended a leadership camp and then she lived there for a summer in college when she worked there.  This is where Jonathan proposed to her.

We are moving this summer to Charlotte, North Carolina.  We are excited to experience some seasons for a change.

After someone meets you, what do you hope they say about you once you leave the room?
Jonathan: . . .He has such amazing knees. Okay, seriously, I wish they would say, “That guy really cares.” Lisa: . . .She is such a loving person.

If you had a day completely free of obligations, what would you do?
Jonathan: Free of parenting obligations too? In that case, sleep in, romantic adventure, eat breakfast at the infinity pool bar and grill, read a book and sip some kind of mango yummysauce drink, skydive, lunch, take a nap, romantic adventure . . . err . . . it’d probably really work better with romantic adventure, then nap . . .  jet ski through some caves and between small islands and watch the sunset from somewhere epic, eat dinner by fire pits, drink some more mango (or maybe berry, this time) yummysauce drinks, watch a movie projected on a screen that looks out over the ocean, romantic adventure, go to sleep.

Lisa: Sleep. If I was not tired, I would go somewhere pretty, probably the beach, to walk and do some quiet time in a shaded area because I hate sunscreen.  I’d eat some tacos or pizza and read a book with an ice-blended drink.  I’d meet up with friends to share dinner and “play games” but really I just enjoy being a part of deep conversations about our life curiosities and other funny thoughts about our quirky interests and stages of life.  If it was a kid-focused day and money didn’t matter, we would take a train to San Diego and go to Legoland since we have never been before.  We would sleep there in the Legoland hotel in the pirate-themed room so my girls could pretend to be Tinkerbell.

Describe the worst haircut or outfit of your life.
Jonathan: All growing up, my mom cut my hair. Just one of the ways families save money when your dad is a private school principal and your mom is a stay-at-home. Most of the time, my mom was pretty doggone fab, but his one time...let’s just say that I was in high school in the era of Vanilla Ice and an accidental line buzzed into the side of your head was not as cool as it sounds.

Lisa: I’m am a child of the 80s and early 90s and most of my outfits were pretty bad then and so was my hair.  The black and white outfit was one that I got very memorably bullied for wearing.  The students in my class called it a cow outfit.  I thought the outfit was so fun and still wore it anyway because the only thing that connected it to looking like a cow were the colors so I thought the kids were dumb.

If you had to enter a talent contest, what talent would you showcase?
Jonathan: Ask me in high school and I totally would have turned my belly button inside out. These days though, I’m pretty good at lots and super-talented at little that’s interesting. I think I’d create a kid’s story on the spot.

Lisa: I am mediocre when it comes to typical talent show talents. So maybe a theatrical read-aloud of a picture book or showing off my baby-wearing abilities. OO, OO, wait, I can roll my stomach like a belly dancer but I think it looks much cooler when I’m pregnant.  (Check out the video evidence! It was filmed the day before our second child was born. EDITOR'S NOTE: It's incredible!)

Name two things on your bucket list.
Jonathan: Beer w/ Bono & travel to Israel and see the world Jesus walked in while he was here on Earth

Lisa: I don’t have a bucket list. . . I’ll pick two now: Learn enough Spanish to feel comfortable having a basic conversation and travel with Jonathan and our daughters to London to stay for a few weeks (and hopefully many other international places).

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Jonathan: A wise, active, and fun-loving world traveler. I want to mentor young dudes in life, women, God, those crucial life skills no one talks about, and Otter Pop flavors.

Lisa: A wise, active, and fun-loving world traveler. I want to be the old grandma lady that gives lingerie at wedding showers and brings up the topics people are often thinking about but that are too taboo to say. I want to be able to dance whenever I feel the urge even if I become the star of a viral video.

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Anything from out Parts of Speech Complete Unit - Lesson, Assessment, Answers - Grammar Ninja

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Well, that's the end of Lisa and Jonathan's true confessions!  If you want to learn even more about them and see what they're up to, be sure to head over to Created for Learning!

P.S.  If you're a TpT teacher-author and you're ready to share your true confessions email me at

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