It is our absolute pleasure to introduce you to Ceri (of @ourcreativeclassroom on Instagram). We ADORE Ceri's bubbly and friendly disposition - she is seriously just like a human ray of sunshine! Ceri is a Teacher / Creator / Writer / Editor / Podcaster / Mental Health Advocate / Lanyard Lover / Jack (or Jill) of all trades!
Ceri's very own podcast and magazine 'Wine With Teacher' are incredible and we highly recommend you check them out. We couldn't be more excited to have Ceri as our very FIRST guest lanyard designer. We've invited Ceri to do a quick Q&A so you can get to know her a little better.
RO: Tell us a bit about yourself?
CERI: I am a colourful and creative teacher who started a teaching Instagram account in my third year of teaching as a way to share resources, find ideas and connect with other educators around the world. I shared whatever I wanted without any social media strategy or motive.
Each time I danced or lip-synced to music in the kitchen to get motivated before the school day, I shared it. Each time I laughed or cried about a heart-warming or funny moment with a student, I shared it. I kept receiving messages of support and kindness from other teachers who related to each experience. They appreciated my positive personality and honest reflections about the rollercoaster of highs and lows that comes with being a teacher. I spoke openly about daily wins, challenges and frustrations. And eventually, 36,000 teachers followed along to find out what was happening in my life.
RO: Was there a defining moment that made you realise your passion had moved outside of the classroom? Did something just click one day?
CERI: I finally earned a permanent position as a middle primary classroom teacher at the school that I loved -And I quit. It was my fifth year of teaching and I had developed severe anxiety. Did you know that on average, teachers spend more than 47.5 hours per week on school-related activities? How about that 30% to 50% of teachers are leaving the profession in the first five years? These statistics are from countries like Australia, United States and United Kingdom.
I love teaching and making a difference in the lives of my students, but not at the expense of my mental health. After having a panic attack while at school, I came home and made a list of golden ideas. I still have that A4 page with almost 100 ideas for projects that I could pursue in 2020. It was in that moment that I decided to use my creative passions for income and my platform for advocacy of mental health, in particular teacher wellbeing.
This community of teachers has changed my life. They have listened, supported and cheered for every idea. They have downloaded educational resources from myTeachers Pay Teachers store over 5000 times. They have shared photographs of the resources I’ve created being used in classrooms across the world. It’s because of them that I can keep reaching for my dream goals!
RO: Can you give us a little more insight into your podcast and magazine?
CERI: My podcast and magazine are both striving to build a supportive teaching community that values conversation and connection. This digital staffroom is a space where we can make a difference by openly sharing our collective experiences.
The podcastWine with Teacher was created to help teachers unwind on a Friday afternoon. The average episode (when I’m not interviewing another teacher) is made up of four segments. First isGrinding My Gears where I’ll have a funny or frustrated vent about anything teaching related. Then comes the game ofToot or Boot where I judge a small list of teaching topics or items, like films with teachers or teaching stamp puns and I will give a TOOT TOOT if they’re good and a BOOT! If they’re not so good. Later will be theResource Review of anything helpful for the classroom. And finally I goDown the Rabbit Hole in search of funny, interesting or entertaining information online, in the past I’ve shared about a Witch School and historical rules for teachers.
The magazineWine with Teacher was created to shine a light on the diverse community of educators who come from all walks of life with an innate desire to help others and make a difference. It’s interesting to read about how each teacher brings their own set of skills, life experience and personality to the job. Every journey is different and there is so much that we can learn from each other. The second issue has articles written about finding balance, improving Aboriginal Education and mentoring teachers in all stages of their career.
My fiancé and my parents are all currently working in schools. They are all lifelong learners who positively impact the lives of others, especially my own.
I am inspired by my mum’s passion and curiosity for finding and sharing new information. She is always learning, creating, sharing and helping others.
I am inspired by my dad’s empathy and compassion for others.
He is always understanding of challenges and working hard to advocate for others.
I am inspired by my partner’s knowledge and humour.
He can always fix a problem and explain it to anyone, no matter their level of understanding. He also makes me laugh every single day.
RO: One of your funniest moments from the classroom?
CERI: There are countless funny moments that teachers collect over time. Memories of inside jokes, silly facial expressions and childhood laughter. There is nothing more beautiful than a shared moment with a class of 30 children. My classroom is usually filled with music when students are working and during an art afternoon, the song from the previous year’s school concert came on. One by one, the students smiled and began to sing. Each child stared around in amusement as more and more students joined in. Soon the whole class were belting the tune to the Greatest Showman, with dance moves that hadn’t been dusted off in months. There is a buzz of pure joy when every child in the class agrees to push their differences aside and come together for a once-off performance.
This is the funniest and most treasured memory of my teaching career.
Ruby Olive are such a colourful, quirky and kind brand who celebrate the achievements of others. They have been so open with their support and it was genuinely lovely to work with them. Special mention to Skye, Chief Dreamer for going above and beyond to create this golden lanyard!
A huge big thank you to Ceri for being our first Guest Lanyard Designer! Check out Ceri's GORGEOUS lanyard HERE