Happy New Year and Thank You


As we end 2019, I want to thank everyone who follows and/or reads my blog.  You can’t imagine what this means to me, that there are people out there reading what I write, and hopefully benefitting from my experiences as an educator.

Before my retirement, I watched other teachers retire.  I watched many crying and visibly upset about leaving education.  My reaction was honestly, “You have got to be kidding me.”  I loved what I was doing, but was also overwhelmed and exhausted.  I couldn’t wait for retirement.

Well, retirement came and I was devastated!   Physically I was done.  I needed to move on and take care of myself.  But emotionally I was left adrift.  I missed the children I worked with, I missed my peers, I missed my friends.

At this point, Peggy – my principal – and I had started to work on One School’s Journey.  This became so important to me.  To tell our story about what we were doing, about what worked reaching and engaging our students.  I also started to work on my children’s books with Eyen – my former student.  These books filled a huge hole for me, giving me a new purpose.  While sometimes frustrating – formatting a book is extremely challenging – I found books to be very emotionally rewarding to work on.

At some point, friends of mine suggested I start a blog to share my authentic project ideas.  I still saw projects everywhere I looked, and the idea of sharing them was really exciting to me.  The slight problem that I had never even read a blog, and didn’t know what a blog was, and certainly had no idea how to write one, was the first obstacle to overcome.

I persevered, and The Educational Journey was born. I was thrilled when people I didn’t know started to read my blog.  When my blog hit 100 views I was ecstatic!

This year my blog passed 10,000 views.  I am overwhelmed and honestly so grateful that people are still benefitting from what I know.

I wish a wonderful New Year to all of my followers and all of those folks who visit my blog every day. That I can still make a difference in the lives of children is so huge for me.  I thank you for allowing me to continue to do this.

Happy 2020 to everyone!

Most Sincerely and With Love,



TEX THE EXPLORER: JOURNEY AROUND THE EARTH By Ellie Smith, Illustrated by Eyen Johnson

front cover

I am very excited to announce that the second book in our award-winning “Tex the Explorer” series is finished and published!  Tex the Explorer: Journey Around the Earth is available on Amazon.  Eyen and I are really proud of this book!

Tex is a young T-Rex.  He loves to explore.  For his birthday his parents gave him an airplane.  Tex is off to explore the seven continents of the Earth!


Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars Wins Several More Awards!

Tex the Explorer Journey to Mars (1)

SM_Dragonfly_Royal_Seal_Winner-01Royal Dragonfly Second Place: Best Illustrations                                                    Honorable Mentions: Children’s Picture Books 5 & Under, Children’s Picture Books 6 & Over, New Author (Fiction)

SMA17_Approved_Seal_2-01 copyStory Monster Approved

Blog Shortlist-OSJ copy Chanticleer International Shortlisted

Available on Amazon



Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars Receives 2018 Mom’s Choice Award

Tex the Explorer Journey to Mars (1)

Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars is a

2018 Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient!

Available on Amazon


TEX THE EXPLORER: JOURNEY TO MARS By Ellie Smith, Illustrated by Eyen Johnson

Tex the Explorer: Journey to Mars is an early-reader book written by me, and illustrated by an amazing young man, and former student of mine, Eyen Johnson.

Tex is a young T-Rex who loves to explore.  For his birthday his parents gave him a rocket ship.  Tex is off to explore Mars!

Available on Amazon.