about Kindergarten Cafe
Hi! I’m Zeba McGibbon and I am the founder of Kindergarten Cafe, an online resource for early childhood teachers. I am a classroom teacher, early education consultant, skier, cat-mom, traveler, and self-taught painter, but my greatest joy comes from helping others. Through Kindergarten Cafe, I support early childhood teachers with classroom-tested strategies and materials that help take stress off our plates and support our students better from arrival to dismissal.
But how did I get here? After several years in the classroom, a masters in curriculum and instruction and early childhood leadership, and a lot of trial and error, I found I had some tricks of the trade to share with other teachers. I have always loved collaborating with other teachers and had created tons of lesson plans, strategies, and classroom resources that I had seen work with my students, so I thought, why not expand the pool beyond just my school and connect with more teachers? But as soon as I started looking into how to sell my teaching resources online, I realized quickly how little I knew about launching a business!
But I learned, and I soon found that building my company and making engaging resources actually reinvigorated my excitement for teaching in my own classroom too! I started really refining the systems that had worked well for me and adding activities and lessons to what I knew was missing. I found I could give my students what they needed and see the results every day—both in their learning and in a more manageable classroom. I felt empowered every day to give my students exactly what they needed. And by sharing these ideas and materials, I’ve helped thousands of other teachers across the world. I know because they tell me!
Here are some examples: “I love the IG posts and stories because they are real and they provide me with things that I can do to improve my teaching. It is also nice to hear from other teachers about how they are doing this year and activities that you are doing in the classroom.”
“The resources you have on Teachers Pay Teachers are easy to use and very fun for my students to do in the classroom. Particularly I love the name activities and the class books! These have been a favorite every year that I’ve taught kindergarten!”
I know what students and teachers need because I’ve been there - I am there! I was that first- and second-year teacher staying until the custodians kicked me out at 8 or 9pm. I was that third- and fourth-year teacher trying to make sure I was doing everything perfectly and dealing with lots of behaviors I had never learned how to deal with in my teaching program. I was that fifth- and sixth-year teacher trying to reclaim my time outside of work hours and be more efficient with my time at school and all the tasks that have to get done every day. I was that seventh- and eighth-year teacher struggling to deal with the crushing weight of the global pandemic and just get through the day.
Through all these years of teaching, and lots of real-world trial and error, I created the systems and approaches that work best in my classroom and for my students. I found the most engaging lessons and activities, as well as the instruction that best supports the struggling learners. Most critically I’ve learned the importance of social and emotional learning. Without that key instruction and opportunities to build these skills, my students would not have shown the academic growth they did. When my students learn to read, write, add, or subtract, those are very sweet moments… but I think the best moments are seeing students use the strategies I’ve taught them to calm down, work with others, and stay on task with their work. Those are my proudest moments. And now I get to help other teachers find those moments too! Ready to start saving time using lessons students love, and regaining control of your classroom? I’m here to help!
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