Classroom Teachers Who Inspire

i heart teachersOne of the best parts of being a classroom teacher is being inspired and awed by your co-workers – the big ones and the little ones.

Classroom teachers are freaking amazing, multi-talented people. And these teachers are truly inspirational. They not only spend their days in the classroom, they also spend time on a yoga mat.

Find out who and what inspires them:

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Jenna Francisco of This is My Happiness:

People who are kind, simple, and interested in the betterment of all humans.  People, especially quirky or creative ones, who are 100% comfortable being themselves.  Societies that value slowness, simplicity, and equality.

I’m inspired to be in the moment every day, whether it’s just relaxing, spending time with my sons, or even going to work.  I’m inspired by history and art, and I won’t lie—I love to travel and want to live overseas, (both very outside-of-the-moment!), so I’m inspired to see as much of this world as I can in my short life.

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Amy Estes (formerly of Just a Titch) and now Coffee and Sunshine

I think working in a profession where I’m forced to be creative is good for inspiration—teenagers see the world so differently than I do, and also, kids are brutally honest about how they’re feeling, which definitely inspires thoughts. Otherwise, I find inspiration in a good book, a song that makes me want to dance or cry, conversations with my closest friends, a long drive on a sunny day, in cooking or baking, during a long bath or shower and the things that I write off-line, in my paper journal.

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Jed Brewer of Lather Records

I’m drawn to people that are smart, creative, and weird.  Occasionally, I need some boring down time to recover from everything, but I like watching, hearing, and talking to people that let it all hang out.  People that risk embarrassment or being misunderstood to do something that’s a little different.  Not the Jackass people, but creative or even political people.

I also get off on stuff from the natural world.  I’m fascinated by topography – land shapes, gorges, mountains, rivers, etc.  And animals, of course.  The Amazing Yans inspires me just about every day.

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Ryan Fong of Deep Homework

I have many people who inspire me. 

  • My partner, Eric, inspires me to see myself in the way that he sees me—with unconditional love and compassion. 
  • My uncle is an inspiration for a life lived well and very mindfully.  He’s a friend, mentor, and model in addition to being my blood relative. 
  • I’m inspired, as I think many of us at IAY are, by the way the community there supports us in experiencing the challenges and joys of really embracing it *all* as yoga. 
  • But mostly, I’m inspired by the universe’s generosity in giving us this present moment to do and be right.  Not right as in correct, but as in right here, right now and just right.

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Who or what inspires you?

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Want to learn more about the Teacher Goes Back to School Featured Teachers? Here’s the full archive.

Do you know a kick ass yoga practicing classroom teacher? Is that you? Please let me know!

Image source: Abstract light photography pink heart bokeh photography … by mylittlepixels on Etsy

In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 40

{photo credit: Etsy – click image for source – PS I would not be sad to have this in my classroom if anyone is feeling gifty}

I’ve found some links to posts that made me laugh, cry, think or at least raise an eyebrow. Please click the links and check out the posts. You may find something that rocks your world too.

Leave me some feedback in the form of comments below on what you liked, what you hated and what you’d like to see more of. I’m here to help you find the best of what is online.

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My Best Of…

Over the last year I’ve become a walker. Partly because I need to get the girl outside and partly because I find life is more manageable once I’ve taken myself on a walk.

Andrew from A Peaceful Resolution posted about The 10-Minute Worry Walk and I decided to share with all my freshly back a school teacher friends. I believe walking with your worries works better than sweet or savory carby snacks. Plus 10 minutes is shorter than recess, so you can still hit the bathroom before picking up your class.

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Vegan frosty and fudgesicles? Yes, please! Being dairy-free just got a lot more delicious thanks to Amy at Coffee and Sunshine. These may be the only reasons to celebrate the still hot as blazes temperatures.

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How To Be Unhappy – from Chris at The Art of Non-Conformity. The comments are as brilliant as the post itself. Read it and add to it.

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Have you ever been physically and emotionally exhausted from your job as a teacher? Or a mother? Or a daughter? Me too. Jen Louden has some very brilliant tips on How To Stop the Cycle of Over Providing.

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Have you read the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin? The book? I did and found it to be super helpful. I also read the blog and am very much looking forward to her new book Happier At Home coming out in September.

Anyway, I find her writing style simple and compelling and this post about getting up earlier to find time for yourself to be brilliant. Easy for me to say because I’m a morning lark, but I thought it was worth sharing. The more I talk to other moms and teachers, the more I realize how hard it is for women to take time for themselves.

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That is the In Case You Missed It Edition, folks.

Remember to click the links and leave some comments. This is a conversation, you know.

In Case You Missed Edition Archives -click it to see them all.

Just A Titch: On the Mat – An Interview with Amy Estes, Part 2

Teachers.

Don’t you just love them?

I know I do.

There are those that inspire me and those that make me laugh. Some help me solve problems in my classroom and others that help me solve problems in my life.

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite teachers here.

Teachers in studios, classrooms and in the world at large. These are the folks you will see featured in my new series of interviews here at Teacher Goes Back to School.

I hope you enjoy these teachers as much as I do!

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Have you met Amy yet? She’s April’s Featured Teacher and kick ass high school teacher.

In case you missed it, here’s PART 1.

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When did you start practicing yoga?

My first yoga class was in 2004. It was a Bikram class and even though it was hot and scary, I loved it.

Why did you start?

True confessions: a girl I worked with told me she knew someone who lost 20 lbs in two months doing Bikram. Since I’d have given my left arm to do that, I thought a yoga class seemed pretty reasonable.

I went a few times and on my third session, I found myself laying in corpse pose crying (and not just from the heat!) [Ed. note: What is up with all the crying in yoga?] and realized that it wasn’t just a physical thing happening. I was hooked and used to get up at 5 AM every single day to go to hot yoga before work.

Where did you practice?

I initially started at Bikram Yoga Granite Bay because I was living in Rocklin. When I moved to Midtown in 2004, I moved to Yoga Loka, where I practiced for nearly two years. I tried out It’s All Yoga because I wanted a break from Bikram and then for a variety of reasons, I stopped coming to IAY and/or doing yoga at all.

I found you and Michelle via Twitter, and decided to come back. I’ve slowly gotten more into it and am trying desperately to make it a weekly, regular thing. I think that yoga is hard for me to commit to, because it’s not just a physical workout, all the emotional stuff comes out, too and that can be a little intense for a Wednesday afternoon, you know?

[Ed.note: Yoga can ruin your life as you know it. – as per Michelle].

How has your practice evolved over time?

I love Bikram, and still go occasionally, but I think that often times, the emphasis in that class is about pushing really hard and finding your max. I often feel insecure in those classes because I’m a curvy girl and I can’t do some of the poses.

I prefer to be a lot more gentle with myself. Yoga isn’t just a “workout” — it’s a time when I feel really connected to my body and all of those feelings I have around it, both positive and negative. Also, my practice has changed — positively — since attending Michelle’s classes because I really do feel safe there to bring all my “stuff” because she’s incredibly nurturing, and also a friend.

The older I get, the more okay I am with myself and my particular body and feelings, and that makes yoga more of a joy and less of a competition or place to push myself.

Do you have a home practice? What is it like? How often? Where? How’d you start and how do you keep at it?

My home practice has increased since I started going to CrossFit, simply because I need to stretch all the time. It’s usually a few poses at night, in my living room, with terrible reality TV on in the background. I know, not very yogi-like, but it’s better than nothing, no?

[Ed.Note: Always].

What’s your favorite pose? Why?

Tree and Warrior make me feel really strong and grounded. I love Pigeon because my hips and low back are always tight. I also look forward to a long Savasana after a good practice.

What’s your least favorite pose?

Downward facing dog is my least favorite. Actually, anything inverted at all. It makes the blood rush to my head and I hate that feeling. This probably means I need to do them more, right?

[Ed. note: Or you could kill the dog and NEVER do it again].

What other blogs do your read? Why?

I read well over 100 blogs, so listing them all would take forever. My absolute favorite blogs are Yes and Yes (because she’s smart, funny, and insightful), Mimi Smartypants (because she makes me laugh out loud) and Caffeinate Me (because the author is one of my best friends, and I think she’s an insanely talented writer). I tend to read blogs that I find inspiring but also real.

I love lifestyle blogs, but I also need to feel like I could have the author over for dinner and they wouldn’t judge my pile of laundry. I like blogs that are funny, well-written and helpful in some way, or blogs that belong to people I hold dear (and usually fall into one of those categories anyways!).

Who or what inspires you?

I think working in a profession where I’m forced to be creative is good for inspiration—teenagers see the world so differently than I do, and also, kids are brutally honest about how they’re feeling, which definitely inspires thoughts. Otherwise, I find inspiration in a good book, a song that makes me want to dance or cry, conversations with my closest friends, a long drive on a sunny day, in cooking or baking, during a long bath or shower and the things that I write off-line, in my paper journal.

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If you’d like to learn more about Amy check out her blog, Just A Titch.

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Please leave any questions or comment love below – we’d love to hear from you.

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INTERVIEW ARCHIVES:

March 2010 Anna Guest-Jelley, Founder Curvy Yoga

February 2011: Jed Brewer, Public School Teacher/Music Executive

December 2010: Madeleine Lohman, Yoga Teacher/Massage Therapist

November 2010: Alicia Herrera – 4th grade teacher/Textile Artist – Spirit House Designs.

October 2010: Ryan Fong – Teaching Assistant/PhD Candidate in English at UC Davis.

September 2010: Michelle Marlahan- Proprietress/Fairy Queen of It’s All Yoga in Sacramento, California.

Just A Titch of Awesome: An Interview with Amy Estes

Teachers.

Don’t you just love them?

I know I do.

There are those that inspire me and those that make me laugh. Some help me solve problems in my classroom and others that help me solve problems in my life.

I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite teachers here.

Teachers in studios, classrooms and in the world at large. These are the folks you will see featured in my series of interviews here at Teacher Goes Back to School.

I hope you enjoy these teachers as much as I do!

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Have you met Amy? She’s the sassy writer for Just A Titch and a high school English teacher.

She kills me. So, so funny. I wish she would have been my teacher.

Meet Amy Estes -April’s TGBTS Featured Teacher.

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What and where do you teach?

I currently teach 9th grade English and 9-12 grade Speech in Stockton, CA.

What is your teaching history?

I had always thought I wanted to teach English, but as the end of college approached, I felt unsure and decided to work for awhile before getting a credential. I tutored students aged kindergarten to adult in reading when I was first out of college and really enjoyed it.

My first job doing any sort of “real” teaching was working at an art center for developmentally disabled adults. I taught Life Skills, like health and budgeting, and eventually, some creative writing. My time there ended unexpectedly, and I went into massage therapy because the idea of nurturing others and building my own business was really appealing to me. I had a successful practice for a year while sharing a space with two other therapists, but when my studio situation changed, I started feeling unhappy and realized that I missed teaching.

Finally, I got a job working in a classroom at a group home for emotionally disturbed girls ages 12-17. It was by far the most challenging job I’ve ever held but it also confirmed that teaching was where I belonged.

I enrolled in a credential program that gave me two weeks of training and then threw me in a 7th grade classroom to teach while earning my credential. It was awesome and scary, but I loved what I was doing, despite crying nearly everyday from fear and exhaustion.

I taught middle school for three years before being laid off due to budget. Over last summer, I found a job working for a local online newspaper, writing and doing social media. Since those are my hobbies, I thought I’d love a job doing them.

When my district started school last year, I found myself feeling incredibly sad. I had a hard time seeing my teacher friends and hearing about school because I missed it so much. After a few months of feeling sad and a lot of soul-searching, I decided to see if I could go back to teaching. I called my former district and they had an open position teaching high school English. It literally took me 15 minutes to get set up with the job and I came back to the classroom in November 2010. I don’t plan on leaving ever again. Every time I’ve tried to deviate, I’ve come right back so I’ll consider it a lesson learned. I feel fortunate to know what my passion is and to have a chance to do it.

What brought you to teaching?

My third grade teacher was a really incredible woman. She really “got me” as a person (we’re still close to this day!) and encouraged me in reading, writing and generally just being myself. I loved watching her and I thought as a little girl that I wanted to do that, too. As I got older, I continued to love English so teaching it seemed like a natural fit.

As an educator, I like teaching grammar and reading and writing, but I actually live for those other moments. Teaching adolescents means there is a lot of room to impact their journey in some crucial times. I really love it when I get to talk about life with students, and as a young teacher, I think I have a bit of an “in.” I can totally quote Lil Wayne and Ke$ha, we all watch the same TV shows and it’s easy to relate.

I think that teenagers are remarkable people—really smart and funny, and the time I have with them is a gift. I come to work everyday because I love nurturing them and seeing these awkward, gangly, pre-people turn into intelligent, caring, competent young adults. It’s a joy when they trust you enough to ask your opinion and (sometimes) listen. It’s a demanding job, emotionally and time-wise, but I find it so fulfilling.

 Tell us about your blog.

I write over at Just A Titch. I started a blog when I was 22 and it existed solely on MySpace. I got my first Blogger account shortly there after, where I wrote as Coffee and Sunshine for years before switching into several more anonymous accounts. I’d die a thousand deaths before letting anyone read my accounts of my early 20’s because GOOD LORD.

So dramatic!

I quit blogging all together for awhile before friends starting asking me if I was still writing and encouraging me to get back to it. I purchased my own domain in March 2009 and started posting there for my friends to read. I got hooked up with a group called 20-Something Bloggers and found a lot of blogs to read through that, and suddenly, it seemed like a lot of people enjoyed reading my blog, too!

Just A Titch is my mom’s phrase for “a little bit” so I think of it as my place to write about all the little bits and pieces of my life. My content is pretty varied because I write about my life and my thoughts, and god knows there’s no real “niche” there.

I try to write really honestly and be vulnerable about what I’m *actually* thinking about. I’ve met some of the best people in my life via the Internet (is that weird?) and had some crazy experiences as a result of my little corner of the blog world.

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If you’d like to learn more about Amy check out her blog, Just a Titch, and be sure to stick around for part 2 – coming soon!

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Please leave any questions or comment love below – we’d love to hear from you.

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INTERVIEW ARCHIVES:

March 2011 Anna Guest-Jelley Brilliant Mind behind Curvy Yoga

February 2011 Jed Brewer Teacher/Musician/Music Executive/Yogi

December 2010: Madeleine Lohman, Yoga Teacher/Massage Therapist

November 2010: Alicia Herrera – 4th grade teacher/Textile Artist – Spirit House Designs.

October 2010: Ryan Fong – Teaching Assistant/PhD Candidate in English at UC Davis.

September 2010: Michelle Marlahan- Proprietress/Fairy Queen of It’s All Yoga in Sacramento, California.