Why Create the Perfect Website?
It all started with a vision. That vision was simple. To create one location where teachers can come and no matter how they want to learn, be that single place where everyone wants to visit for their professional learning. What could be so hard in achieving this dream … right?
Let’s take a look at where education has been, where education is, and where education is going. In July 2011, I created TeacherCast by putting a mortarboard graphic on top of an apple graphic and adding the letters TC. With those few strokes of the mouse, my life changed forever.
Creating, Accepting & Living Up to Personal Goals
TeacherCast has always been a personal challenge. A challenge that asks “Can You Really Do It?” For the last 7 years, I have had countless conversations with both friends and total strangers who have at some point asked: “how do you do it all?” I have always taken that question with great pride and have always used it to push myself forward both personally and professionally. I have always looked at that question and said to myself “let’s keep moving the needle forward.”
The first TeacherCast website was created on a relatively inexpensive Mac app called Sandvox. It was nice, but I quickly outgrew it and in only a few months found myself reimagining TeacherCast using a new platform called WordPress. The beauty of WordPress is that you can virtually have any website, any feature, and any type of content you want … all you have to do is imagine it and find a way to build it.
In 2012, I started my love affair with themes, plugins, PHP, and set out on a course to create the TeacherCast of my dreams. I started attending WordCamps, listening to podcasts on WordPress development and even began having some of the big names in the WP Community on the podcast. I even went as far as creating an entire section of TeacherCast dedicated to teaching others what I was learning so that they could learn how to create amazing websites.
Family First … Always Family First
In 2013 something amazing happened. I became the father of TRIPLETS! My attention suddenly went from learning about hex colors to learning about diapers and formula. On top of the fact that there were three of them came the amazing experience of having those babies 4 months early and having to direct my attention to the simple concept of helping them survive the first few months.
Here is the thing that I have learned over the last 7 years when it comes to designing anything “of your dreams” … sometimes your eyes are bigger than your skills. Sometimes you need to take a reassessment of what your passions are and decided when to pass the torch.
It’s Like Dating… but the other Person doesn’t know it at the time
In 2015, I attended the first Mid-Atlantic Podcast Convention in New Jersey. I had the opportunity to not only bring the TeacherCast booth with me to do some live recording, but I was also given the honor of being one of the keynote speakers. I didn’t know it yet, but that was where today's story actually started. It was at that conference where I met Mark Asquith, the creator of Podcast Websites. We met briefly and I learned how Podcast Websites was helping podcasters by providing a solution for them that included a great looking website and podcast support.
Fast forward a year and Mark and I briefly connected at MAPCON 2.0. It was great to learn about how wonderful Podcast Websites was, but at the time, I was still in full “I can do everything all myself” mode and wasn’t yet ready to admit to myself what was glaringly obvious to everyone around me.
Fast forward again another year. On top of the fact that my babies were turning 4 years old, my wife was about to start treatment for Breast Cancer. The wall hit me and hit me hard. I could no longer sustain my current path of creating dozens of pieces of content each month while keeping up with the daily hassles of web design and development while attending to a full-time job and oh yeah…. Cancer and Triplets.
The First Step is admitting that you have a problem
In 2017, I attended MAPCON 3.0 and did a presentation on working with clients. To prepare, I took a look at how I worked with clients as a web developer and podcaster. What I didn’t realize I was doing was actually taking a look at myself as a client to someone else.
I think I was ready to make the jump and admit that in order to move forward with TeacherCast, there were some things that I had to admit to myself. The biggest being that you sometimes can’t do EVERYTHING… and that it’s totally ok to reach out to others for help.
The Next Step … is even harder
In the fall of 2017, at MAPCON, I met Mark and had a long talk with him about my goals, my vision, and my passion for helping educators worldwide. I updated him on where TeacherCast was and where it was heading and we talked about both business and family.
It was then and there that I finally became comfortable enough to look him in the eye and say “I need help.”
His answer was simple and exactly what I needed to hear. “Let’s do this together”
TC & Podcast Websites … the Perfect Partnership
Why Podcast Websites? For starters, Podcast Websites is created by podcasters FOR podcasters. I sat down with both Mark and his business partner Kieran McKeefery and explained the concept for this website. The goal was to move a mountain and to somehow create an experience where we find Jeff sitting on top of the mountain.
From October 2017 through February 2018, I worked very closely with Mark, Kieran, and my project lead Daniel Ocock to create the perfect experience for my readers and listeners. Each page, post, featured image, and menu item has been redesigned and reimagined to create what we hope to be an enjoyable learning experience for you.
The decisions we made to create this new website were not easy. As a client, the first thing you have to do is trust the big picture, not the small. You always have to remember that it’s the destination that is important.
The first major decision that Daniel presented me with was the hardest for me to approve. After a long talk about branding, and future directions, it was decided the logo needed to change and in doing so, the hat needed to be removed from the apple. I admit, it was an emotional conversation, but the results as you can see are that TeacherCast has brand new and very beautiful new logo and color pallet. Looking back, it was time to take the hat off and finally graduate as they say.
As our new website launches, I wish to send a big THANK YOU to Mark, Kieran, and Daniel for their time, energy and support to ultimately bring you the best version of TeacherCast that I possibly can. It wasn’t without much fear, hard work, and several sleepless nights that we launch this website into the water to support educators worldwide.
We love your feedback
I hope you like the new TeacherCast Educational Network and have the opportunity not only to look around at its many features, but subscribe to our newsletters, social channels, and podcasts. It’s been an amazing 6+ years and I’m looking forward to working with you all for many years to come.
Thank you for your support,