Probably Polka Dots The Big News | Probably Polka Dots

06 May 2015

The Big News

I'm finally sitting down to write a post that has been on my heart for weeks, months, if not years, and I am a puddle of emotions. I've heard that when something is difficult, that you just have to rip the band-aid off, so that's what I am going to do. It's something I've been hinting at for a few months on the blog...are you ready? I am, too.: this school year will be my last year of teaching.

Whew. It's out there which means it must be real, right? Read-on for a bit more background as well as what's happening next.  

Teaching, for the most part, has been a wonderful experience. I teach at an incredible school in metro-Atlanta that is full of the most professional, educated, generally amazing staff in the world. I started my journey as a teacher in 2007 and was hired just after the end of the school year. I interviewed at 3 schools in the same day, and I knew that my last interview, the one I had at my current school, was where I was going to be. I remember eagerly setting up my classroom and spending the summer pouncing on eBay bundles of YA literature for my classroom library. My parents were proud, and I was one elated first-year teacher. Even though we were dealing with my dad's cancer diagnosis, it was a truly happy time in my house. A few weeks into my first year of teaching, my dad's cancer took a turn for the worst, and he passed away just a month after school started. My colleagues hand delivered a box of construction paper cards to the visitation. They never complained, but they drove at least an hour if not two to the funeral home. I knew that day that I had hit the school jackpot.  

Over the course of the next few years, my school allowed me to sky rocket into leadership positions. I said yes to every opportunity that came my way; I attended conferences; I got my Masters degree, my gifted certification, and my Specialist degree; I leveraged myself into a position to really be the best teacher that I could be, and I have to say that I think I was. All in all, I have loved it. 

However a few years ago, teaching lost a little bit of its luster, so I sought a creative outlet in blogging. I was happy teaching during the day and blogging on the weekends, and it was a side hobby that I maintained for a while, but then I saw how I could professionalize the blog, and I watched it grow into something a little more than what I thought it could have been. It was both exciting and humbling, but as has always been the case with me, I craved something more. I began to realize that teaching, while an incredibly fulfilling profession, wasn't fulfilling to me anymore. I wasn't challenged. It came so naturally to me that I lost the drive to try to be better, and that scared me. So I looked for opportunities to challenge myself. I knew that my skill set as a teacher was pretty specific, but that I could leverage it along with my blogging skills to seek a new adventure. So, at 29 years old, I applied for and accepted an unpaid internship position at a fashion start-up as their director of social media. I worked for the start-up at night, along with my blog, while teaching full-time.

I kind of consider landing that internship my big break. For one thing, it gave me confidence that I could try and learn a new skill set. For another, getting the job showed me that someone other than me believed that I would be good at social media. I began telling people that I teach full time, but do social media consulting on the side. I began to take social media classes and webinars for fun. I also picked up another web-based client. This little side hustle started gaining speed

Fast-forward to this winter: I decided that it was time to see if I could really make something out of my side gig. I was presented with an interview for a job shift at my school as well as an opportunity to pick up some work in the social media realm. I decided that if I got the job at my school, I would keep teaching, but if I didn't, I would consider going out on my own. So when I didn't get the job, I began exploring my options, and that is why I can say that...

I will be launching my own social media consulting business this summer. In the coming weeks I will be packing up my classroom in favor of moving into a home office (read: tiny desk). I'll be continuing my work with the fashion start-up and will be looking to pick up other social media clients. While I'm not ready to reveal my business name, I can tell you that I will be specializing in small businesses who are ready to relinquish some of the control of social media without the pressure to hire a full-time employee. As you know, small business has been a huge part of Probably Polka Dots, and as I shift into this new role as business owner, I cannot think of a better group of people to represent. 

Shameless plug: if you are a small business or know of a small business, please have them send me an email! I'd love to get the ball rolling with them. :)

Let me also go ahead and say that I am still passionate about education. Once you are a teacher, I don't think you ever lose that part of you. I will always be passionate about kids and learning, and I am not naive enough to say that I won't ever be back in the classroom, but I do know that I don't want to live my life wondering "what if?" I'd rather say "Oh well..."

In the meantime, I can't wait to develop an LLC, to write some contracts, to create a home office space, and to really see where this ship is headed! Thanks for following along! 



  1. So excited & proud of you, friend! 👏👏

  2. So very excited for you & your new adventure!

  3. So excited for you, Nicole! You are so good at what you do as far as digital strategy. I know you'll do great. I can't wait to see what's to come. Best of luck!


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