We had the good fortune of connecting with Joe and Kristin Merrill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Joe and Kristin, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
For us, we believe authenticity is the key to it all. To be successful in any type of business you need to be relatable and have a connection with your audience, When you speak, share or give advice it needs to be “from the trenches” so to speak, and we feel like we do this. When we share on social media you will see the good, the bad and all that falls in between. We are in no way perfect, and we embrace those flaws and love turning them into learning opportunities. We thrive on showing the true potential of our students and this upcoming generation of learners. It is vital to resist the fear of change and to teach in a way that integrates technology into our daily lessons so students walk away from public education ready to participate in our society in meaningful and productive ways. We work to teach our students that technology is a more than just a means of entertainment, and it can be a powerful tool when it comes to design, communication and gathering information. By sharing what we do day in and day out, this is authentically communicated to those in our own learning network. We want other teachers to see that the things they experience every day are normal, and hopefully by connecting with us they can find ideas and lessons that will help them create their own perfect learning environments.
What should our readers know about your business?
We got to where we are today because others believed in the power of our story. We were active on social media, and through this presence we were approached to write a book about all we had shared up to that point. We never could have imagined a career path that would allow us to stay in the classroom, but that would also give us the opportunities to travel across the country, author books and share our passion for teaching and learning with other educators. This process has been incredibly difficult and time consuming, especially with two young children at home. There have been years of early work sessions before the house awakes, and countless late nights designing and editing before bed. Setbacks and disappointments come just as frequently as the accomplishments and achievements. Despite the challenges, the rewards have been unimaginable. The new friendships we have made and the community we have connected with is 1000 fold what we would ever have had within our school building. From books studies, to success stories, to partnerships–we are so grateful for what has come out of our hard work. We feel blessed to have been given this platform–how ever small it may be–to help other educators grow in their journey.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We shoutout our students. The ones who show up day in and day out. They are unaware of politics, blind to prejudice and excited for their future. They remind us daily what learning looks like and they help us fall in love with our job over and over every day.
Youtube: TheMerrillsEDU !
Other: TikTok: @TheMerrillsEDU