- What inspired the idea for the calm classroom?
It started as insight into my own classroom experience teaching the 6th grade in LA. There was no mental health for students and no support for teachers. I had no one to turn to for help that had any experience with what I was facing.
Reaching out to the world via Instagram and sharing my experiences of how I effectively dealt with challenges felt right and was welcome by fellow teachers that needed support too. Over time I noticed followers were drawn to the teacher self-care I was posting. I started a subscription box service packed with items for teacher self-care. I expanded that to include self-care boxes for both the teacher and student, hand-selected by wellness educators. I have a variety of support materials in an array of topics. Among the favorites are breathing exercises and tools to help identify feelings.
- How many followers do you have on your social media?
In a year’s time, 32,000 including followers from California, New York, Melbourne, and Sydney Australia.
- Do you think this is also helping parents that are teaching from home?
Yes, it’s a big audience group I’m tapping into because of the need to teach at home in this pandemic. They ask questions via messenger and I give them advice regarding sourcing social and emotional materials when they ask me for advice. Whether you’re a parent at home or a teacher in a traditional classroom, everyone that is teaching needs support, now more than ever. About 30% of people buy the subscription boxes and really appreciate the teaching tools and self-care.
- What are your dreams for growing The Calm Classroom?
Growing the subscription box resources is an immediate goal. Long term would be writing curriculum and training teachers to use the skills I found most useful in a crowded classroom that lacked student and teacher support for things like behavior management and helping students name and deal with emotions. Also making a space in the classroom for students to self-regulate what they are dealing with.
- If you could make just one change right now that would have the biggest impact, what would it be?
Put teachers in charge of making important decisions like, where the budget is spent, how to best teach the students and design the curriculum that serves them best.
*Katie is offering us a 20% discount with the following code: LEMONS2LEMONADE You can follow her on Instagram at The Calm Classroom where all posts and link to her store are located