I’m Jan at Jan’s File Cabinet. I’m a pet mom, an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, and a MASSIVE book hoarder. My philosophy of teaching is simple… start where students are and build them up with the right interventions at the right time. I teach middle school language arts, and I enjoy incorporating strategies and techniques such as the Gradual Release of Responsibility (I Do-We Do-You Do), aspects of Whole Brain Teaching, and structures for cooperative learning. In my free time, I enjoy making digital and printable resources for upper intermediate and middle school language arts.
So why Jan’s File Cabinet?
I know… it’s an odd choice since I mainly sell digital resources. When I was thinking about a name and a logo for my TPT store, I wanted to include an object that symbolized my journey as a teacher, and I kept coming back to a file cabinet.
I began teaching in 1996. (Yep… it feels like a lifetime ago!) Back then, computers were more of a novelty in our classrooms, and Google Drive wasn’t a thing yet. I remember my first classroom had one teacher computer and only three student computers, so almost all of our lessons were completed on paper. It was fun to search the Internet for teaching ideas, though, and I printed every good one I could find. I’m a bit of a hoarder, so I had A LOT of ideas on paper! (Hey, you never know when you’re going to need something. Am I right?)
Anyway, in celebration of landing my first teaching position, my mom gifted me with a 2-drawer file cabinet. I was so happy to have a place to store all of the good ideas I had been hoarding. Since my classroom experience has ranged from grades 3-12, I’ve packed up my room and moved many times. I always took the file cabinet with me, though- it was my lifeline as a teacher. (Keep in mind that this was long before platforms such as Teachers Pay Teachers existed.)
Over the years, I became more tech-savvy and began to use Google Drive to store my files. I have been slowly converting all of my old paper files to digital ones and creating interactive lessons and activities based on all those ideas I saved and some new ideas I’ve had as well. I decided to open Jan’s File Cabinet on Teachers Pay Teachers in February of 2020. The products in my store truly reflect what I’ve learned over the years.
If you’re wondering what happened to that 2-drawer file cabinet, I still have it in my basement (see photo). It’s an older model, and it’s a little banged up, but I think it’s held up amazingly well. (Like me!) It represents my journey as a teacher with all that I’ve learned and experienced throughout the years.
I’ll never get rid of it.