Calling all first-grade teachers who want to start their day with a smile…

instead of a massive stress headache or
secretly wishing it was already 3:00 pm.

I know your type, and I like you already.

You bend over backwards for your students and want the very best for them. It’s why you’re constantly putting in extra effort and spending late nights scouring the interwebz for engaging teaching materials – instead of watching your favorite shows on HGTV. 

 You do this because you know what’s at stake: When kids are taught with dull or repetitive activities, they get bored. And when they get bored, they don’t learn. And that’s NOT OK with you.

You want your classroom to be a fun, productive environment for your little learners so you BOTH love coming to school each morning.

(Is that too much to ask?)

But let’s be real for a sec …

I’ve been where you are (more on that below) and I know you’re not always given the time and tools you need to engage your kids and address different learning styles and skill levels. 

*Understatement of the year*

Meanwhile, you may be dealing with an oversized classroom, student behavior issues, an ever-changing curriculum, pressure from your administrators, and a Mount Everest level of paperwork – just to name a few! With all this on your plate, it can be hard to show up and give each lesson your all.

While I can’t “magic wand away” all your struggles, I can help cut down your lesson prep time and keep your kids more engaged.

Hi there, I’m Mary.

I’m the name behind Mary Had a Little Classroom, and I create easy, engaging first-grade resources.

Since I was a little girl, I wanted to be a teacher. Too bad my shyness got in the way, so I didn’t initially pursue it. Instead, I had many jobs after college that were all so unfulfilling. My heart was calling me in a different direction.

I finally entered teaching during a teacher shortage in New York City.

I had no teaching degree and no prior education courses. I was given an emergency temporary license to teach in a neighborhood in Brooklyn. I was thrown in to sink or swim, and I loved it! Teaching gave me a sense of purpose and was a natural fit for me. I eventually got my masters in early childhood education and continued for nearly 30 years in the classroom.

(Don’t get me wrong. That first year was TOUGH. I went home crying every day… but I was determined to learn everything I could and eventually became the best teacher I could be.)

If you’ve been a teacher for more than a minute, you know how important it is to implement structure in your classroom. Without it, those cute little kiddos will turn into Gremlins and run the show!

But don’t forget the fun.

While I love what digital platforms have brought to education, I firmly believe that first graders need tactile, hands-on, interactive activities to get them out of their chairs and into productive play mode. This could mean sorting, playing pretend, holding and feeling objects, or anything else that engages their senses.

The result: Kids happily stay on task, out of trouble, and focused on the lesson so you’re not wasting precious time course-correcting a chaotic classroom.

Ready to bring back the fun?

Speaking of good times…

I’m retired from teaching, so I have lots more time to create TPT products and pursue other hobbies. I love anything creative – i.e., painting, drawing, photography, and baking. (I was a cake artist for a few years.) I also love the outdoors, cycling, traveling with my husband of 30 years, and spending time with my family. Life is good and I’ll never stop learning!

Have a burning question?

Here’s where you can find me if I’m not on my bike or planning my next getaway. 

In the meantime, don’t forget to swipe my free guide:

50 Tips for Improving Your First Grade Center Time For Math or Literacy