My name is Shanon Juneau and I run a website and TPT store called Shanon Juneau We are Better Together.
We are better together has been my mantra since I started teaching in 1999. Even though teaching can be an isolated position, I know that when we collaborate and share, our teaching strategies are stronger, we are better at management, and we are happier in our classrooms. I’m an introvert, so going into my classroom and closing the door and teaching was pretty easy for me to do, but I knew that I needed to hear what others were doing as well as share what was happening in my classroom. I hope that we can all learn from each other. Please share thoughts and ideas!! I’d love to hear from you!
2019: This is my 21st year in education. I taught first grade for my first ten years and truly loved first and never thought I would move. Then we received a $100,000 technology grant, and I was asked to move up to middle school to help implement the grant. I taught 6th – 8th ELA and technology for four years. It was a wonderful experience, but I was glad when my wish was granted to move back down to first grade. I figured that 1st was my last stop, as I was in my happy place, but as we all know, things don’t always happen the way we expect. There’s a whole other story on this, but for now… we will just say that things happen for a reason.
When my administrator asked/told me that I needed to move back up to middle school… my heart was broken. The same day I was informed of this move, a spot opened up in our technology department at the district level. I decided to apply, and ended up being offered the spot. It was too good of a move to pass up. I spent three years working with 2 fabulously smart ladies and helping our teachers as we moved to a 1:1 district. Our goal was to help our teachers integrate technology effectively. Our days were full of laughter, for sure.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with cancer, and thank God I was in this spot, because I was able to take care of me, and didn’t have to worry about students. It truly was a blessing! We “moved” to another state and I spent a month and a half going through chemo and radiation. In the summer of 2016, I went back to work – but I found my purpose had shifted gears. I always loved being around kids, and this job just wasn’t fullfilling something I needed. I had gotten my masters in leadership when I was teaching middle school, but I honestly didn’t feel like that was the direction I wanted to take. BUT… once again – things aren’t always what we plan.
My school, where I had spent almost all of my teaching years (16 years) had a big change in admin – and they were looking for an AP. So… I had to apply! It wasn’t a smooth process – the first interview was done with me sitting in the busiest airport in the US trying to remember the questions they were asking me! It didn’t go well AT ALL! But the 2nd interview was much better, and I ended up getting the job.
Now I’m one of the APs for the school that has always HAD MY HEART! Last year was my first full year, and I can’t wait to work really hard to make this school year even better! And when I say, work hard – that’s no lie. I’ve never worked harder in my life. From walking in the doors at 6:00 am, and not leaving on some days until 5:30 or 6 in the evenings on a good day. We worked ourselves to the bone. I love to work, I really do – so for a while, I loved what I was doing. BUT…
UPDATE: Well, after a year and a half as an assistant principal, I’m moving again! Even though I absolutely loved my principal and our other AP, as well as the students and teachers, I just felt that the time given to that job was truly taking a toll on my family and my well-being. PLUS… I wasn’t able to focus on the one thing that I truly LOVE doing… and that’s making resources for our teachers. The position allowed for me to see what our teachers truly needed, but it was so hard to find the time to actually create those resources. As in NO TIME… not even time for my family!
So back to the school board I went – my old job opened back up, and I applied and got it. I’m ready to get back the time in the evenings and weekends to do what I truly love!
ANOTHER UPDATE: So reading this you might think that I’m someone who likes change. BUT YA’LL… I seriously don’t! But here’s another update! After moving back to the school board, COVID happened. Just like everyone – life turned upside down for a while. BUT… as I talked with my old principal and friends – life was much crazier at the school level. So even though we spent countless hours trying to navigate a new world (since I was in the technology department – it was madness FOR SURE), it still wasn’t anything compared to what my friends who were in the schools were going through. And because I was still compromised with my health, I was very grateful that I was not in a situation where I had to be around a lot of people. My office only had two others, so it was a better situation for sure.
BUT as life would have it, things changed again. After covid craziness, and things got back to a new normal, my boss decided she was going to move on. I knew that I didn’t want to work for/with anyone else. She went on to do amazing things for an amazing company, my co-worker went back to the classroom, and I retired. It was bitter sweet, but once the papers were signed, I felt like this was something coming for a long time, but I just never allowed God to have control.
So now… I spend 6-8 hours daily working on teacher resources. I’ve added a website store for the teachers, an ETSY shop for the homeschoolers, and in 2023 I have created a membership that will help teachers on a daily basis at a very reasonable monthly fee of less than $1.00 a day. My days are filled with doing what I love. Every once in a while, I think about going back into a first grade classroom – and I’m honestly not saying it would never happen, but we shall see.
Right now… I’m going to enjoy being a new Nana to a precious baby boy, a new Nana to twin puppies (coming in a few days) and a hopeful Nana of more grand babies to come.
A Bit More About Me
I have been married for 31 years and have three wonderful children. All three are on their way to creating wonderful lives for themselves. My oldest is married and is a geologist. One of the twins, Courtney, is a graduate of Informatics and paving her way through this technology world, and our other twin, Jeremy, is going through a program to become an electrician. We are super proud of all three of them!
UPDATE! I’m finally a NANA! Our first grandbaby was born in 2022 – EEEEEKKK!!!! LOVING IT!
Another update – another grandbaby coming in February 2023. EEEEEEKKKK!! And we’ve added “twin” dogs to the family – Luna and Levi!