About Michelle

Thanks for taking a little time to get to know me and what I hope to accomplish with this blog.


My name is Michelle Martinez and I have over 25 years of classroom experience. I have taught in 3 different schools and was also a substitute for multiple other districts. I am currently a non tenure track literacy professor at Illinois State University but I have taught every grade from preschool to 5th (except second) and I actually started my career as a Chapter 1 (now called Title 1) Math teacher serving first through sixth graders.

Then I worked for a year in a preschool setting with 2-5 year olds and spent 1 year as a classroom aide for six different fourth and fifth grade classes before landing the job of first grade classroom teacher at Midwest Central Primary. I changed grade levels every year for my first three years before settling into fourth grade for four years.

After that, life took a turn and I found myself changing cities and therefore schools and grade levels—this time to 3rd grade. I stayed there for 5 years before returning to fourth. Six years later, as my baby was no longer a baby and I was missing the interaction with younger kids, I decided to try my hand at kindergarten and have never looked back. There will always be a place in my heart for those intermediate grades but I love my kinders and truly feel at home with this age group.


I am married to the love of my life, the man I know God created for me, and we are blessed with three fantastic kids – Diego, 15, Ellie, 14, and Gabe, 13. We rescued our gorgeous German Shepherd, Brinkley, a few summers ago to make our family complete.

Here’s what I know for sure: teaching is hard. It is also the most rewarding, fulfilling, amazing thing we can ever choose to do (at least in my humble opinion.)

On this blog, I will share tips, ideas and stories to help cut through the overwhelm, triumph over the things that make it so darn hard, and help ease the frustration and loneliness many novice and even experienced teachers feel in the classroom.

If you want to refine your teaching practice, grow as an educator and have someone to lean on for help, this is the place for you. I hope it serves you and I am thrilled to be your mentor and guide!

Thanks for stopping by!