Well, if you're here, that must mean that you want to know more about the two owners of The Teacher's Bookbag and how we got started in this. :) So here's our story ...
This site is owned by myself (Cindy) and the Teacher's Assistant that I work with, Bobbie. I'm a Special Education teacher and I've been teaching Special Education for 18 years. This is the 3rd year that Bobbie and I have worked together.
The whole reason behind this website began with Victoria, at Kinder Korner. After she got her digital camera, she started posting pictures on the web of student books that were created by Vicki Witcher. I became interested in producing books like these for use with my students, since Vicki wasn't interested in selling hers. That's about the same time that I found out that Bobbie could draw. So I began creating the books, and Bobbie would illustrate them.
Once I began building my website, The Virtual Vine, I slowly began creating books to go along with the units that I put online. As we went along, I became more and more impressed at how well Bobbie could draw. Then right before Christmas last year, I purchased a digital camera for myself. After we created the books and I put the text online, I began adding digital pictures of the book pages as well. That's when people online began asking me about purchasing the books or sharing the reproducibles with them. Unfortunately, at that time, I was unable to share those resources because I was having problems with my scanner. However, even if it was working, I still couldn't share them because I didn't know how to scan and e-mail the pages (and I still don't!!!) to where they could be printed out.
Then a couple of months later, Bobbie found out that her husband had cancer and that she'd be out of work for a couple of months with him. I approached her about possibly illustrating some books and things during the time she was off, as a way of filling in her time while at the hospital, and also helping to get her mind on other things. She agreed and began illustrating the books at home.
During the time she was off, she toyed with the idea of setting up the website on her own as a way of bringing in money, as both she and her husband were out of work. But after some consideration, she decided that she didn't have what it took to pull everything together on her own. So she talked me into delving into this with her. She had time on her hands and needed the extra money, so why not.
After a couple of months off, she was back at work really talking the idea up, and that's when we got the ball rolling. Unfortunately, she was only back at work a couple of weeks before her husband got more bad news, and now she's back at home with him. However, she still continues to impress me with her drawings. The more she draws, the better she gets. Now we're down to e-mailing back and forth, and sending packages back and forth to each other. We're praying that her husband will get some good news and that she'll be able to return to school soon.
our story .... :)
Well, you might have noticed that there have been no updates to the site since the beginning of school and that I've recently started changing the site from "we" to "I". And there's a reason for that. When school started back this year (2002 - 2003), Bobbie did not return to work at the school. Her husband spent the summer in and out of the hospital and was not able to return to his teaching position either. Due to the circumstances, Bobbie has turned her attention to other areas and found that she no longer had the time required to draw the illustrations for the books. Soooo ... I've now got the "business" all to myself so to speak. The orders still come in and I still manage to get them filled and mailed, but with a full time teaching position LOADED WITH PAPERWORK, a family, keeping up The Virtual Vine, and then this, there's very little time left for me to put my very meager drawing abilities to work. It takes me a WHOLE lot longer to turn out something that Bobbie could whip out pretty quickly. I miss having her drawings to fall back on. So I hope that you understand. I still hope to get more materials done for The Teacher's Bookbag, and have in fact, probably 15 - 20 books already written ... just waiting for the pictures!
So .. now you know "the rest of the story." :)
Lots of things have changed since I last posted here. I took on a sister-in-law as an illustrator for a short period of time, and now my sister is illustrating the books. My sister is an artist with some free time on her hands and boy can she turn out the books in a hurry! Sometimes its hard to keep up with her!!! She didn't know how to draw on the computer prior to illustrating the books, so she's learned a lot in a short period of time and does an awesome job with it as well!
Recently Bobbie's husband succumbed to the cancer that was ravaging his body, so please keep her and their family in your prayers. She's gone on to open her own business and I wish her well in her endeavor.
I mentioned above that my sister is now illustrating the books for me, and she does an awesome job. I also wanted to add that she opened her own graphics website last year, so I don't know how much illustrating she'll continue to do now for The Teacher's Bookbag. Her website is Tickled Pink Graphics if you'd like to stop by for a visit. She has very affordable web, printable and scrapping graphics.