Meet Leslie Simpson
"Creating my own site provided a home for similar-minded teachers to find help, ideas and encouragement."
When did you start publishing, and what inspired you to create your site?
KindergartenWorks was created in 2010. As a full-time kindergarten teacher I began to share my lesson plans, classroom activities and ideas with other kindergarten teachers online.
So many other teaching websites were focused on cut-and-paste crafts, teaching a letter of the week or worksheets. None of that is really teaching. I knew that I wanted to share about the real side of teaching five and six-year-olds in today’s kindergarten – and to teach teachers how to teach smart so that their students will love kindergarten and by default they would too.
Creating my own site allowed my grounded teaching style to have a voice online and provided a home for similar-minded teachers to find help, ideas and encouragement.
What do you love most about being an independent publisher?
Flexibility is my most favorite aspect of being an independent publisher. I love that I can create, organize, work and prioritize when, where and how it best suits my business, my family and my time.
As a current work-at-home mom of four, flexibility has been key to being able to run a business and accomplish my personal and professional goals.
Do you have a team? How many people work with you on this site?
I run this site by myself.
What can you tell us about interacting with your audience?
As a result of creating my site, I’ve found that there are many other teachers, much like myself, who want to teach in a less-than-Pinterest-perfect classroom — a real one… and they want to focus on teaching kinders to read, write and think for themselves in a way that is fun, age-appropriate and the cool thing to do.
Those teachers inspire me to keep sharing.
How does advertising impact your business?
Advertising has made the biggest overall, long-term impact on my business. By advertising on my site, I earn passive income for work that I created years, weeks or days ago. I’m rewarded for creating new content and keeping older content up-to-date for my readers in a very tangible way.
The advertising for my website incentivizes me to bring the best I can to my readers and to not be afraid to dig deeper into my niche. It pays for everything to run my business.
What else should we know about your site?
Here’s a recent reader comment that reminded me of why I share the way I do:
“Never do I come away from your blog/website without being inspired or learning something new. I also leave with the feeling that “this is possible”. There are some teaching blogs where there are amazing wonderful ideas… but lack practical application. Not only does your blog have practical application, but you also have such a deep rooted understanding of child development that the ideas you share are simple yet revolutionary… There is such a creative element, intention and purpose behind what you do that it makes a [teacher]… like myself… be inspired to move beyond and dare to step into authenticity in my own gifts and abilities as a teacher for my students. (Its so easy to compare with other teachers who seem so perfect and good at what they do.)”
I’m not your average kindergarten teacher. I don’t claim to be – nor do I claim to know everything about teaching kindergarten or claim to be a guru.
But I do have enough experience challenging the status quo of teaching and challenging myself to know what works and what doesn’t in the world of teaching five and six-year-olds.
I’m best known for my Back to School Bootcamp with new kindergarten teachers and for learning activities with k teachers of all levels of experience.