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Honest Teacher Vibes with Bri Richardson [episode 14]

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Click below to hear honest teacher vibes with Bri Richardson:

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This past school year has been really difficult. That’s a phrase that I’ve heard over and over from so many teachers. And it’s no wonder based on all of the various obstacles, tasks, and expectations that teachers deal with on a daily basis. On today’s episode, I have guest Bri Richardson from Honest Teacher Vibes to discuss the realities of teaching and the importance of listening to your physical and mental health. 

Bri Richardson is a 7th grade ELA teacher with a passion for bringing humor and joy to the classroom. She uses humor as a way to relieve stress and deal with all the craziness that comes with being an educator. You may have seen her on TikTok as Honest Teacher Vibes and she is also a part of a podcast called Teachers Off Duty!

One of the things that I love about Bri is that she has such a unique story to tell and she’s not afraid to be fully transparent. We have a very open conversation about her struggles with physical and mental health in the education environment, which ultimately led to her decision to leave the classroom. Bri emphasizes how much she loves teaching and the kids, but when it’s affecting your physical well-being, you should never sacrifice your health for your job. 

Since leaving the classroom, Bri has also started a YouTube series called Teacher Stories, which has a very different feel from her Honest Teacher Vibes on Tik Tok. By doing this series, she is now a voice for all teachers who are dealing with a lot that are afraid or can’t speak up about what’s happening in the classroom and school environment. 

Bri is a successful woman, who like many of us, wears different hats. She’s a mom, educator, influencer, and most importantly, has a passion for helping others. Bri has made it her mission, with the platform that she has created, to bring awareness to what teachers are dealing with in schools today, and sometimes with a little humor.

There are so many exciting things happening at Wife Teacher Mommy, and one of those is our virtual summer event: Educate & Rejuvenate. This is an event we’re hosting and it’s going to be so fun! We have sessions including life coaching skills, talking teacher burnout, and learning amazing teaching strategies that you can implement in your classrooms. Another bonus is you can get PD credit and tickets are only $5! Check out the links below for more information!

In this episode on honest teacher vibes, we discuss:

  • Bri’s journey through education and how she got to where she is today
  • The importance of recognizing when your job is affecting your physical and mental health
  • Tips for surviving if you’re going back to school
  • A sneak peek at what Bri will be talking about at Educate & Rejuvenate

Resources mentioned:

Meet Bri:

Bri Richardson is a 7th grade ELA teacher with a passion for bringing humor and joy to the classroom. It is her 4th year as an educator. She uses humor as a way to relieve stress and deal with all the craziness that comes with being an educator. You may have seen her on TikTok as Honest Teacher Vibes. She is also a part of a podcast called Teachers Off Duty! Briana is one of those people who has never met a stranger! If you ever meet her out in public, feel free to stop and say HEY BEST FRIEND!

Related episodes and blog posts:

Connect with Kelsey:

Read the transcript for episode 14, Honest Teacher Vibes with Bri Richardson:

Hey teacher friends, you are in for a huge treat today. Our guest on the podcast is Bri Richardson. And you may have heard from her she is Honest Teacher Vibes on all major platforms: Tik Tok, Instagram, YouTube. And she is so funny. If you do not follow her yet. Make sure to go follow her ASAP. Like right now or as soon as you’re done listening to this episode because you are going to want to follow her. She is so fabulous. She is going to be one of our keynote speakers at Educate and Rejuvenate on June 28 and 29th. It is going to be such a great time. So if you have not grabbed your ticket yet after this episode, I am sure you’re going to be convinced to grab your ticket. So make sure to go to educateandrejuvenate.com to snag your ticket. If you are a Club member, you do not need to buy a ticket because you already have access and all the replays and a bonus day where my team and I are planning lots of fun bonus content just for members. And Bri will actually be coming back and doing a q&a only with members of Wife Teacher Mommy Club. It’ll be so fun. It was so fun to talk with her face to face today. And during that q&a, our members will be able to do that as well. It is going to be such a great time. Also if you are a Club member, make sure to also hop over to the private podcast where you can hear a bonus segment with Bri as well. So without further ado, let me introduce Bri. She is a seventh grade teacher with a passion for bringing humor and joy to the classroom. It is her fourth year as an educator she uses humor as a way to relieve stress and deal with all the craziness that comes with being an educator. You may have seen her on Tik Tok is on his teacher vibes. She is also part of a podcast called Teachers Off Duty. Briana is one of those people who has never met a stranger. If you meet her out in public, feel free to stop by and say hey, best friend. And she really is she is so friendly and easy to talk to and get along with. This was such a great interview. So let’s get to it. Hey, Bri, I’m so excited to have you on the show today. Hey, Kelsey, thank you so much for having me on. I’m super excited.

Of course, I’m so glad you’re able to be here. So can you introduce yourself to our listeners, like where you’re from your teaching background? Anything you’d like to share?

Yeah, my name is Bri Richardson. I’m from a little small town called Jackson, Tennessee, went to Union University, graduated with sports medicine degree and ended up going back to school to become a teacher. This year was my fourth year teaching. I obviously a lot of people know like I quit teaching on March the 22nd. You know, due to health concerns. So I love education. I love teaching. I love laughing I love having a good time. Honest Teacher Vibes on Tik Tok Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. And I love to act a fool and make people laugh. So it’s fun to like, have followers because you know, that’s already my natural personality. So now it’s fun to you know, be able to do that on the internet. It’s so fun. And I love watching all of your videos and everything that you do on Honest Teacher Vibe. So can you tell us a little bit about how you started Honest Teacher Vibes and how your presence online grew to what it is now?

Yeah, so it’s so crazy, like this was two years ago, right? You know, at the end of 2020. We went back to school, you know, the pandemic, we got out in March. And then we ended up going back to school in August. But it was, you know, half of our students were online. Half of our students were in school. And so in each one of my classes, I had like 15 to 17 kids. And then I had like 15 Kids online for each class. And so that was a very interesting year. Yeah. And so it was also very stressful year and so in October of 2020 Toward the end of October, I made a video there was like a sound that was trending on Tik Tok. And I really didn’t do Tik Tok like my twin sister did it and she, you know, had to call her and ask her like, hey, how do I do this like how do I make this video? And I made an anchor chart in my classroom. And there was the sound on Tik Tok that was trend in called Try Jesus Not. And so I made this anchor chart of you know me telling my kids they better act right when I have a substitute teacher. Oh yeah, I roll and like blew up on Tik Tok and have like, 100,000 views and I was like, What the heck, like, the most I’ve ever gotten was like three or 4000. And so I kept making like videos from there, and they all flopped. And I was like, Oh, that was like a one time thing. And then at the end of November, I had a student who you know, is now known as my Tristan character on Tik Tok. A student who I saw him do something and I said, Hey, stop that. And he said, That wasn’t me. I didn’t do that. And I’m like, I have eyes. I just watched you do that, like, and so I came home, and I was like, You know what, I’m gonna make a Tik Tok with that character. And it like blew up, it had like 200,000 views. And so I realized, you know, the teachers like to see content that was relatable to them, and what they dealt with in the classroom every day. And so I just kept making content like that, and my account, like blew up from there. I am still, like, it is the craziest thing ever. To me. I’m still like, in disbelief.

That is amazing. And that was so fun to hear. Because I feel like I found your profile, you’d already kind of, you’d grown that following. And I feel like that’s what a lot of people found your profile. So it’s really fun to hear, like kind of the origin story behind Honest Teacher Vibes. And I didn’t realize you started like during the pandemic, that is like, so cool.

Yep, my account started to get big at the beginning of December 2020. When we got out for Christmas break on December the 15th. I remember my account was at like, 50,000 followers, and I was like, What the heck is going on? And then when we came back to school on January, the fourth for the beginning of the spring semester, I had just hit 100k that day. And I was like, What is going on?

That’s truly amazing. But you know, I think I actually really make sense, because when you think about it, teachers, they were in need of some humor during that time, like I still are, but like, that was like, you know, in the heart of the pandemic, when everything was going on. And like that was the time where even like COVID, memes and everything were going around, and it was like, Yeah, we needed some humor to balance out all the really hard things that were going on. Yeah, it was, it was definitely a stress reliever for me. And it was kind of cool. You know, I didn’t do it for money. I didn’t do it to be popular on social media. It was honestly just like this project that I took on. And it was kind of fun to like, make a video and like views and see teachers interacting with it and saying, that’s what I did with my classroom too. And so I just, I remember those, like, first days of little baby Tik Tok Honest Teacher Vibes. And it’s grown into like this huge thing. And I literally everyday, like I’m still in disbelief.

Yeah, we’ve built an amazing community. And, you know, you can see that with all the followers you’ve gained, people really relate with you and the humor, and the stories you have to share. And I really feel like that’s one of your amazing talents, like on Instagram and Tik Tok is like being able to find the humor in every day. And it’s brighten many teachers days, including my own. How are you able to find the humor in everyday things and turn it into these videos?

I think that some of the funniest thing is like when I look at, like stand up comedians and things that make me laugh. They’re funny because they’re true. You know, some of the things that we deal with, you know, when we call admins come get a kid, and they come get them and then the kid comes back with like a snack and the juice, like 10 minutes later, and it literally like I can feel smoke, like coming out of my ears. And so, you know, my account, like I was just like, I’m just gonna, this is gonna be like a satire. You know, when I was teaching, I was like, Oh, this is satire and like, making fun of it. And now I’m not teaching anymore. I’m like, not as I noticed that. This is like 100% True. It was one of those things like let me try to laugh to keep from crying. And so I tried to present it in a humorous way to make teachers laugh. Because the situation in itself is like really frustrating. When you call admin and you send a kid to them, and they send them back. Like that situation is just so frustrating in and of itself. But I’m like a class clown type of personality. And so I was like, let me just try to do something funny. Laugh with this.

Yeah, were you the class clown like growing up and everything too?

100% Absolute, like my twins. I have a twin sister, and she’s actually on Tik Tok as well. Her name is Made To Rise on Tik Tok. And she and her husband do like fun Tik Tok videos and I think they’re like almost 200K, but in high school, my twin was like the even now still, she’s like the more serious one like kind of has her life together. And I’m like, just I fly by the seat of my pants. Now when I did not fly by the seat of my pants, like I was very like type a teacher had to have things like organized I type things. Because I was always paranoid they were going to come in and observe me.

So yeah, those observations, those observations like why please why? So yeah, I’m a class clown type of personality.

Love that. So what is your favorite video you’ve ever created to be posted on your Tik Tok?

The crazy thing is my favorite video is actually one that was not teacher content. It was one that I made where I did different memes of people misspelling words. And it was like the funnest thing, and I added like this little chipmunk voice, and I would just like laugh and he got like, 11 million views. And I was like, What the heck, like it was just that was my favorite video to make. I mean, I had like Vanessa Hudgens. She shared it on her Instagram Stories. Kiala Settle who was the bearded man from the grid? Yeah, she shared it on hers. And we’re like friends on Instagram now. And like, that’s amazing response. And I’m like, who am I? Like, I remember that video. I didn’t realize that was you? That’s so cool.

It was so fun. And the crazy thing is that when I made the video, I got a community guideline violation for it because Tik Tok is just so crazy, sometimes like, and so I almost deleted it. Like I almost took it down when it was like 50k. And he got a community guideline violation. And I was like, No, there’s nothing wrong with this video. So I submitted an appeal and Tik Tok put the video back. Oh, good. So and it got to like 11 million views, because I was just so tickled at the way that people were spelling things like, person was like, at the end of the day, we’re all human beings. And instead of human beings, he put like human beans. And I just was howling. I just thought that was like the funniest thing I had ever seen. And so that was actually my favorite video to make. Because it was it was so fun.

Do you have the link to that video handy? So I can put it in the show notes. Yeah, yeah. Because I think our listeners will want to watch that after hearing all about it. It was a hot mess. It was. And that’s the cool thing about Tik Tok is like you as a content creator, like you just create the content, and you put it out there and you let your audience decide, you know, like, because, yeah, delete stuff as content creators. And it’s like, no, just leave it. Like if you create some content and just leave it and see you let the audience decide if they want to watch it or not, don’t you decide. Because you’re just naturally critical, you know, of yourself. So true. That can be with anything, you know, like just put it out there. And and it see what it does. And don’t be, you know, critical of yourself. Because if I would have took that down, those main videos kind of pushed me to I think I was at like half a million followers when I started making them. And those main videos pushed me to like 700,000 followers, because I kept making you know, those type of videos. And so that’s so cool.

And you’ve been going on tour, too. So you aren’t only online, but you’re doing in person like comedy.

My life is like wild, right? Like it. I am still like in disbelief like I still am like, am I gonna like wake up and like, this is a dream or something like, Yeah, I’m on the Bored Teachers Comedy Tour. Boredd Teachers is a social media teacher entertainment platform, where they do like a lot of funny, they’re, they’re bigger on Facebook and Instagram. Yeah, 2 million followers on Facebook. And I think like 800k on Instagram. And so they had like several comedians that worked for them. And so they wanted to do a comedy tour, and they were like, Hey, do you want to be on the comedy tour? And I was like, Heck no, like, I don’t want to stand up on stage in front of people because I was scared. I was like, what if I’m, you know, not good at it. And you know, social media is way different than being on stage bunch of people. And so I did like my first couple of shows and I was like, Hey, this is kind of fun. So we just finished we did a tour in Florida for spring break in we just last week finished our Northeast tour in Boston and Philly, got to perform in Time Square like it was it’s yeah, and then we’ll our summer tour will probably start the second week of June.

So fun and I will link to that as well in case anybody wants to come see you and the rest of the Bored Teachers who’s all on that tour?

Devin Seibold is on there, KC Mac Funny, Jess Smith, who’s teacher tales of Miss Smith on For Teachers, Mr. Thomas English if you know him on Tik Tok, he’s the guy with a British accent. He does like all the different Disney videos and he’s so fun. And then Gerry Brooks. That’s a fun tour. We have a good time because like all of us are class clowns. So fun. You put all the class clowns together, and it’s like a huge party, I’m sure a huge party.

Okay. And then you will also be joining us at our virtual event this summer, Educate & Rejuvenate. And we are so excited to have you. And you plan on talking to us about balancing teaching and being a mom, is that right? Yep, absolutely. And you’ll be one of our keynote speakers, which is going to be so much fun. I’m really excited. It’s going to be so fun.

Can you tell us a little bit about your experience with balancing teaching and being a mom?

Yeah. So you know they always say like there’s no time like teacher tired. Now they’re you know, tired like teacher, Mom tired? You know, dealing with kids all day long, and then you come home, your kids are hyper. That’s why I’m like people who have more than one kid shout out to you because I want them on when I got because I can look at her and get tired. Like it’s so true. They’re tiring. Yeah, it’s definitely definitely a balance. You know, even before I started social media, with being a teacher, and being a mom, you know, there were times where I came home, and I have papers to grade or I had lessons to plan and, you know, you know, your kids, like they climb all over you. They think you’re a jungle gym, they’ll never climb on their dad like that. As a mom, they think that we’re a jungle gym. So I’d be trying to grade papers and, you know, do lesson plans and my daughter’s, like, pay attention to me, they want the attention. Yes, that sounds like my little girl.

Yeah, they want that attention, and maybe they will do anything to get it. And so, you know, I came to a point where I was like, okay, breathe, like we got to, we got to figure out, you know, a way to, you know, have some balance and don’t ever feel like, you know, you’ll have like complete balance. No, that’s just not the way life is like, you can try, you know, for balance, but life is just not that’s not realistic for life, you won’t always be able to find balance. But, you know, one of the things that I do is if I’m working on something, especially now, you know, with social media, and working for teachers full time and traveling, one of the things that I try to do is when I am at home, I try to spend very, very intentional time with my daughter. So if I’m working on something, and it’s something you know, for social media that I have got to get done, you know, I’ll say, hey, you know, mommy’s working on something right now. But Mommy will stop, you know, set a timer or something. And I’ll stop, and then I’ll play with her for like, 15 or 20 minutes, because kids like they want you to pay attention to them. But then like, they get to a point where they’re like, Okay, you can go away now like I’m, I’m done playing with you. So true. Yeah. So I’m like, you know, she might be trying to get my attention that time that I’m working on something. But, you know, if I stop and play with her for 10 or 15 minutes, then she’s bored. And she’s like, Okay, mommy, I want to do something else. You know. So when I’m, you know, working from home, and I’m working on a lot of stuff and things that I have to get done. I try to be conscious of the fact like, okay, my little girl’s name is Peyton. And I’m like, Okay, if Peyton is like, all up in your face, put your stuff down, take a second play with her because, you know, if it’s a minute, she’s gonna be bored with you, and she’ll do something else. And so, being a mom and being a teacher, just being a mom and in working, you know, and being in the workforce in general is just such a juggling act. You know, I’m not gonna say dads don’t have dad guilt. I think they do. But moms, there’s just a level of mom guilt on us that society puts on us and that we put on ourselves. Because, you know, we feel like we should be doing more or, you know, we feel like we should be playing with our kids more and it’s like, the reality is like, we can’t do everything. And so, you know, I had to learn you need to give yourself some grace that time you stop and play with Peyton. It’s unrealistic for you to play with her all day long, because you’re not three like you’re, you’re her mama, not necessarily her playmate. So you can stop and spend some quality time with her. And then, you know, she’s bigger now. So I can say, Okay, Mommy has to do this, or Mommy has to do that. And as soon as I get done, I’ll play with you. And so it’s just, it’s just trying to find a balance.

And I love and totally relate to basically everything you said there, like, especially I loved how you talked about, like, you know, after 15 minutes she’s done or whatever it was, it was actually, I can’t remember what it was reading. But there was something saying that for every, like, 20 minutes you spend with your child, you like by yourself two hours to work on whatever you need to which obviously, I’m like, I’m not looking at my time with my daughter’s like a transactional type of thing like that. But it is like, we want that intentional time with our children. But that’s like what it is we can have very intentional quality time. It doesn’t have to be quantity time all the time. Because like you said, we’re not their playmate. We’re their parents. Yeah. So like that.

Yeah, it’s definitely it’s definitely a balance. And I love her man. When she goes to bed at night. I’m like, oh, thank the Lord. Asleep. I’m like, Oh, I miss you wake up. Isn’t it so funny? How that works is the weirdest thing. Oh, my God, you’re driving me crazy. What time? Is it bath time bedtime yet? And then when she goes to sleep, I’m like, Are you gonna wake up? Like I miss you.

I think every mom every period can relate to that for sure. Okay, so you’ve mentioned before, you’ve recently left the classroom. And so you on your platform, you have lots of humor and fun. But you also aren’t afraid to shy away from hard topics and telling things really how they are. And you shared a lot of that journey on your social media platform. So tell us a little bit about the decision you made to leave the classroom recently.

Yeah, so I actually left the classroom in October to go work for teachers full time, just to try and see, you know, if I if I liked doing social media full time, because it was one of those opportunities that I felt like I couldn’t pass up. Well, I left. And you know, by the end of November, I was like, I miss my kids, I miss teaching. And so you know, I called my principal and I went back to the classroom, but I taught sixth grade for three and a half years. And so when I went back in December, right before Christmas, they had already given my sixth grade position away. So I moved over to seventh grade. And, you know, seventh grade was a different beast than sixth grade was, but there was a lot of, you know, a lack of structure. You know, there was a lot of, you know, disciplinary problems, there was a lot of stress, and not necessarily just from the grade difference. But because of the type of systems or structures that were not in place in the seventh grade building, like there were in the sixth grade, because our sixth grade building is in a separate building than our seventh grade building was. And so there was just there were a lot of seventh grade teachers that had quit, because the situation up there was so stressful. And so I went back. And you know, I had never been sick at school before. And you know, how as moms like, we don’t realize we’re sick until right when we start to feel our symptoms, because we’re trying to push through a lot of stuff. And so, you know, I consider myself as somebody that has like, really good classroom management, like, I grew up in the hood, like, I’m like, the patron saint ratchet kids, kids don’t really stress me out like that, like, I have a good relationship, you know, with my students, and, and they, you know, look at me, like they’re auntie at school, you know. And so, I didn’t realize that I was getting stressed out until I was being put into the back of an ambulance from school. You know, your body tells you when you doing too much. And so I’m one of those people that I feel like I can handle a lot. But in the education world, when they feel like you can handle a lot, it’s almost like you get punished for being able to handle they give you more. Yeah. And so because I could handle, you know, kids with like, large disciplinary problems, and things like that, that gave me you know, a lot of kids like that. So like, one day, I got, like, really dizzy, you know, sitting in my desk. And you know, I got up to take my kids to lunch and I was still so dizzy. And I was like holding on to the wall. So I was like, Man, I feel like I’m about to pass out. And the crazy thing is, I’m one of those people like I tried to like push through to the point where like, my body has to be like Hey fam, like we we can’t push through, you know? And so, and like hindsight looking back, I’m like Bri, why did you not like grab another teacher and say, Hey, I feel like I’m about to pass out like I need somebody. And I think in my mind at the time, it seemed like such a you know, minute thing to pull another teacher who’s already busy, you know, to say, Hey, I’m feeling a little dizzy, and I got downstairs, you know, had to hold on to the rail really hard, because I thought I was gonna fall down the stairs and like, I got to the cafeteria and I sat down, and I got like really sick and I like put my head down. And I just was like, something is not right. Like I can hear, I can hear people talking to me, because like, some of the other teachers were coming up and like talking to me, and I could hear them talking to me, but they sounded like really far away. And so and they were like, you know, trying to get me to like, lift my head up, and I couldn’t lift my head up. And I was just it was, it was one of the scariest experiences I’ve ever had. And, and they, you know, they got the nurse and you know, the nurse took my blood pressure, it was like 217 over like 133. And, you know, she called the ambulance immediately, you know, she was I vaguely remember, you know, being wheeled down the hallway to the front of the building and getting, you know, in the back of the ambulance. And it was like a really scary experience. And it was like a wake up call for me because I was like Bri, this situation that you’re in is like really stressful, this is too much stress for you, you know, you can’t handle this kind of stress. And so I went to admin, and I tried to talk to them, you know about this one particular class that I had that, you know, it doesn’t matter how great a classroom management that you have, sometimes a class may have like too many behaviors too many sped kids in there. You know too many kids in one class too many kids that have returned from the alternative school so that one particular class was the one that I came to realize was actually making me sick. And this ain’t no shade on the kids because kids just they are going to be Kian they aren’t and I love those kids. But I came to a point where when I came back to school there next week, I kept getting sick that same way not as extreme as I did, where I had to go to the ER but the same, like lightheadedness, feeling like I was gonna pass out like heart racing and kind of stuff like that. And some of my followers on social media was like, it sounds like you’re having a panic attack. And I was like, I’m not having panic attacks like these kids are stressed me out like that, like, you know, and I kept like, just getting sick. Like when that you know, when that class came in, and I tried to talk to admin about it, it completely blew me off. And so the last day that I was there, my my oldest sister is a nurse. And she kept telling me this way, you’re getting sick at school, like Bri, I know you want to stay and I know you love teaching, but do you want to have a stroke at school? And I was like, no, she was like, You got to. And I heard her and I was like, Okay, I hear you. But I didn’t plan on quitting, because I was like, I’ll just try to manage it. And you know, my last straw was that particular class, there was already 30 kids in there. And I had requested some of the kids be moved to my other classes to kind of balance it out. And you know, I was trying to help find a solution. Because it wasn’t that I couldn’t handle the kids. It was too many of them in that class. And it was too many behavior kids in that class all together.

Yeah, it wasn’t each individual one, it was the combination.

So you know, instead of helping me out and moving, you know, some of those kids, they added another kid, and the 31st kid was a kid who just came back from the alternative school, and who was sped. And I was like, yeah, got me messed up, like, and so I tried to like, communicate, and I tried to talk to them, and I got sick. That day, I got sick again. I was like, Oh my gosh. And so when I talked to the principal, and I talked to the counselor, I was like, Hey, I asked y’all not to put any more kids in his class, like, can you be moved to another class, and it was like, they, they ended up moving the kid but not until I made like a big deal about it. Cuz I’m like, Yeah, I was gonna let me have 31 kids there. And it’s my most off the chain class and the class that I have to take to lunch, like, I’m not going to, you’re not going to kill me. And nobody’s going to call my baby, my three year old and say mommy died at work because she was trying to stick it out for school that did not care about her health. And so it was really hard for me to put my keys on my desk, and leave, but I was just like, I can’t even fully do it justice, trying to explain the environment that it was like, and it sounds you know, to people, it may sound like well, you know, you could have gave them a two weeks. So you could have waited until the end of the year or whatever. And I’m like, message them two weeks before trying to find a solution. And I got no response. And I was basically ignored. And I’m like, No, I’m not giving y’all two weeks. Y’all don’t even deserve it. Two weeks I quit. This was your health we’re talking about which like you said, it’s like you know, at the end of the day, what’s most important is your health and you want to be there for your daughter. You know, it was hard for me because I’m like I love teaching. And you know, I think had I not been getting sick I was still be there because I love teaching and I miss my kids, and I miss the classroom, but it was like, my body was like, Yo, you are going to not be okay, if you keep because this is too much. This is stress that you can’t deal with, that you think mentally you can deal with, but you physically I’m trying to your body is trying to tell you, you know, you cannot deal with this. And so people have asked me, you know, would you ever go back to teaching and I love teaching you like I love teaching, you know, if I can find the right, you know, environment and a place that is I feel safe at school because I had some situations when I went back when I felt completely unsafe. And you know, brought it to admins attention and nothing got done. And, you know, I had never had the type of experience I had, when I went back to teaching. I had never had any experiences like that three and a half years, I was teaching. And I almost feel like God had me, you know, go back to teaching and experience those things. So that now I can be a voice for those teachers who are dealing with those same things and they can’t leave. Yeah, there was a teacher that was standing there talking to me the whole time, that I was like crying and it was the end of the day, you know, we had like 40 minutes of school left, and I was just completely zoned out because I was like, I felt really sick. And I was just I had like this bad gut feeling in my stomach. I was like, breathe, we ain’t gonna be able to keep doing this. And that teacher stood there with me the whole time. And I mean, Kelsey, I was like, bawling, crying. And she stood there with me, and God only knows what my kids was in there doing. But I was just like, at that point, I was just so numb, and I was just so done. And you know, when I quit, and I drove away, and you know, and left, I felt like I was leaving that teacher behind. And you know, so when I quit, and I told my story, and like it blew up on YouTube, I had no idea it was gonna blow up. It made me realize, like some of these teachers, these things continue to happen, because these teachers can’t speak out, or they’ll get fired. Yeah, and I’m like, I don’t work for you anymore. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna say exactly what these teachers are dealing with. And so I started a series on YouTube called Teacher Stories. And it’s not funny, you know, people know, Honest Teacher Vibes gonna be funny. But these stories, they’re not funny, man. And I’m just like, you know, to whom much is given, much is required. And I feel like God gave me a platform. And I’m gonna speak out, you know, for these teachers that they get hit and kicked and bid and slapped. And, you know, admin snapping on them, they’re being gas lit by county office admin, like, somebody has to bring awareness to what these teachers are dealing with in these classrooms every day. And I’m like, I’m gonna do it. And you’re like, I’ll make me be quiet, because there’s my own platform. And I can say what I want.

I love that. And I love that you’re willing to, you know, use your platform in that way to be an advocate for these teachers. Because, like you said, not everyone has something to like, fall back on to just be able to quit, you know? Yeah, that’s just amazing that you’re able to do that. What would you say to those teachers who are returning next year, who are facing similar challenges to what you were facing?

And listen, at this point in teaching, a lot of teachers don’t quit, because, you know, they either feel like they can’t transition, they don’t know what job they will transition into. Schools have pretty decent health insurance sometimes. And so, you know, there’s a lot of reasons why, you know, teachers can’t transition out of teaching. But if you, if you are a teacher who is going back next year, and you can’t transition out of teaching, you got to find some ways to help you survive. And so, you know, I hate to and everybody’s not in a school environment where they have to survive. But some of these teachers, y’all in school environments, where y’all feel unsafe, and y’all got to figure out a way to survive. And so if you are somebody who was in a school environment, like that, I will make sure that you know, each day and I know sometimes it’s not feasible because, you know, we cover in classes, they take our planning periods or whatever, but if you are a teacher who you know, you have your planning period, and you can, you know, cut your lights out, and you know, just relax for 20 minutes, put some music on, you know, saying talk to your doctor, if you need to have like anxiety medicine, it’s okay, no shame in that no shame in that, you know, do what you can and do what you need to do to take care of yourself. And as best as you can, especially in the day and time that we live in, you push back against the stuff that they asking you to do. Because a lot of teachers man, we fed up and retired and we have a right to be treated right at work and not be talked to like a doormat or a dog. And so, you know, if some people I know that’s not your personality, that’s not your style, you know, to give any pushback, but you know, if you need to go to counseling like some of these people, these schools have caused them PTSD. If you need to go to counseling and get you you know, some help, you know, for the things that you’ve had to deal with at school. But if it’s really, really bad, and you can transition out, I’m telling you transition out. And I have had people who are mad at me on social media for saying that, because they’re like, you have a huge platform, you should be encouraging teachers to stay in education, listen, I never gonna encourage nobody to stay in toxic environment, I never gonna encourage nobody to stay in a toxic environment where you got kids putting their head, putting their hands, I’m never gonna encourage anybody to do that. But if you are a teacher, who you cannot afford to leave, and you are in a toxic environment like that, you got to find some ways to survive, right? So is get yourself some Starbucks before you go into work, cut your lights out during your planning period, find your teacher bestie that you can vent to, you know, when you get out of school, in the evenings, if you have kids, give your kids some do, and you sit on the couch, and you have a glass of wine and you whatever you got to do to take care of yourself, because the people who have the power to change what we’re dealing with in the schools, it doesn’t affect their pocketbook, it doesn’t affect their money, so they don’t care. And you know, I’m trying to come up with some resources and some support and some ways to help and support these teachers that can’t leave and they don’t have an option to leave. And, and you know what, you know, quite frankly, I don’t know what the full solution is, but we’re gonna have to figure out something, because it is not, it’s almost like it’s inhumane. And it’s an injustice, what some of these teachers are dealing with in the schools, like, it’s just not, it’s just not right, like the stories that people send me. I mean, I have literally wept and cried over their stories. Because the situation that I dealt with is like some of the stuff that these teachers are sending. I’m like a Yo, like, that’s like 50,000 times worse than what you know, there was than what I was dealing with. And so I just, you know, I have a heart for these teachers, and my heart hurts for them. And again, I feel like I have a platform. And I’m gonna use it for people to become aware of what teachers are dealing with in schools every day.

I love how you’re using that platform, because even just hearing like, you know, your story, and you know, I’ve heard other teachers stories like that as well. And it’s just like, you know, you should never be sacrificing your health for your job. I mean, that’s really what it comes down to. And mental health is health and mental health actually then spirals into physical health, you know, absolutely 100% I mean, you went in an ambulance, I ended up in the ER, at one point, I wasn’t teaching at that time. But I had like a similar kind of story like that, too, which, if anybody wants to hear that it’s on episode three of the podcast, but I feel like so many of us have kind of that moment where like, Okay, I need to change some things. And whether that’s leaving education, or whether that’s finding a different school that’s more supportive, because you know, not every school has, like, you know, a dire toxic environment and others do, you know, like, every teacher story is different. So it’s just figuring out what works for you. And then while you’re in the thick of it, like you said, finding that time for self care, because you’re the only one who can do that. Yeah. If it’s up to someone else, that won’t happen. Not the toxic self care, no, no, in professional development, my God, for sure, like, not the like toxic positivity, like, oh, yeah, everything’s great. It’s, you have to acknowledge your feelings, like your feelings are real, you can’t just like, make them go away.

Right, your feelings are valid in the mouth. Some of these admin county office people, they guess, like these teachers so bad, and hear me when I say, I know, there’s good admin out there, there are really great admin out there. Because when my six the three and a half years, I was in sixth grade, I had good admin. There are good admin out there, but there are some admin, y’all be gaslighting these teachers and treating them like they just click in hands bothering y’all. And that is not okay. That is not okay.

Yeah, and I think we’re both on the same page with like, you know, we want to be able to help these teachers like through whatever it is, they’re going through, whether it’s they have a toxic admin environment, like some people have, or others, like, maybe it’s smaller problems. But you know, everyone still has like, what they’re going through, your feelings are valid. And that’s why I’m really excited to have you at our event this summer, where we’re going to help teachers kind of rejuvenate themselves and feel ready to tackle the next school year, and really kind of just learn from everybody there. So can you give us a little sneak peek at what our attendees will learn from you at your keynote?

Yeah, so a little bit of what I already talked about, like the timer thing that I do with my daughter, where if I’m working on something, you know, I kind of say, hey, mommy’s working on something. So I’ll kind of talk about that. I’ll talk about, you know, different ways to kind of manage your schedule at school, you know, so that you have more time at home. Because, you know, people always tell teachers, like don’t take stuff home. Listen, learning how to work your contracted hours is a learned skill, right? So, you know, for a lot of first and second year teachers, they’re still learning how to do that. I mean, for a lot of teachers in general, they’re still learning how to do that. So you know, I’ll be sharing you know, some of the things that really helped me, I don’t even want to say like time management But just some things that helped free up more space because I almost feel like sometimes when people are like say something about time management, like that can be gaslighting as well, because it’s like, yeah, not always necessarily like, to my time management is bad. I’ll also be talking about, you know, mom guilt, and you know, the stuff that comes with that, and the stress that we put, you know, on ourselves with that, and some ways that I that I combat those things. And then, you know, I’ll also talk about being a mom, you know, and a social media influencer now, and kind of what my schedule looks like with that. And so, you know, by no means will I be speaking as an expert at all, I’ll just be speaking from one mom to another about the different things that we struggle with, and some ways that I have found that have helped me, you know, kind of work through those things.

I am so excited to watch your keynote, I think everybody’s going to love it. Oh, all the stuff you’re going to share. I can’t wait to hear about all of that. So excited. And then you’ll be coming back for a third day with just our members with kind of an open q&a, which I think is going to be so much fun because you know, I’m getting to talk with you face to face right now. It’s been so fun to finally, as we were talking about before we got on the call finally talk face to face. We’ve been chatting on email and Instagram a lot with this event. But this is the first time we’ve been chatting face to face. And it’s been fun. It’s super fun. I love q&a as man just never know what’s gonna pop off in the q&a.

Yeah, I think so it’s going to be a great time. So if you were in the club, definitely make sure to watch for the time for the q&a, because you’ll want to come to that one live. We will have a replay. But I mean, it’s way more fun to be live at a q&a. Okay, well, thank you so much for being here, Bri. And this has been so much fun.

More about Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast

Being an educator is beyond a full-time job. Whether you’re a teacher or a homeschool parent, the everyday to-do list is endless. Between lesson planning, grading, meetings, and actually teaching, it probably feels impossible to show up for your students without dropping the ball in other areas of your life.

Wife Teacher Mommy: The Podcast is the show that will bring you the teacher tips, practical strategies, and inspiration that you need to relieve the stress and overwhelm of your day-to-day. Your host, Kelsey Sorenson, is a former teacher and substitute turned homeschool mom. Tune in weekly to hear Kelsey and her guests cheer you on and help you thrive as a wife, teacher, and mommy. Because with a little support and community, you can do it all. For access to every single Wife Teacher Mommy resource, join the club at www.wifeteachermommy.com/club.

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