We're oh-so-proud to introduce you to our Term 2 #TeacherFeature... the vibrant and passionate Sommer from @stayclassyclassrooms! Sommer is not just a dedicated teacher, but also a proud mum, business owner, RO lover, and a neurodivergent who brings a unique perspective to her teaching. Sommer's journey of creating educational resources that promote hands-on learning, inclusion, and differentiation is nothing short of inspiring.
Get comfy and join us as we dive into Sommer's story, and her infectious enthusiasm for teaching!
SB: Hi! My name is Sommer and I am a mum, a wife, a teacher and the owner and creator behind Stay Classy Classrooms. I make educational resources that encourage hands-on learning, inclusion and differentiation! I am neurodivergent, getting my ADHD confirmation (it’s not a diagnosis when you know!!) at 41. This meant that it finally all made sense to me as to why I could procrastinate on report cards even knowing that every year it would have the same result of panic BUT be able to name random plants by the proper name from a vague description of the leaf!! I am also a creative, an out of the box thinker, a plant lover and dopamine dresser!
RO: As a full time teacher, how did you find the time and inspiration to start Stay Classy Classrooms and create all of these wonderful resources for other teachers?
SB: When my first born was diagnosed with albinism at 10 weeks old I wanted to ensure that I could have for him or make for him ANYTHING that he needed to make learning easier for him. When he was then diagnosed with autism at 2, Stay Classy became our way to pay for some of the therapies that he needed. At this point I started to take it more seriously as a business and had such amazing support from friends, colleagues and my husband. I still have the notebook that my amazing friend and teaching partner gave me to write down all the ideas for resources that I would make!!
Stay Classy has continued to grow from there. I’ve made resources with two more newborns on my lap, more diagnoses in our neurodiverse household, changes of roles and schools! My husband is now part of the team and he creates all of our ready made acrylic and story stone resources! The 3 kids love earning pocket money by peeling acrylic letters!
RO: What do you find most rewarding about being in education?
SB: The ‘lightbulb’ moments for the kids. The realisation that they can do something that they couldn’t do before is such an amazing part of my job.
RO: We would love to hear a funny/touching story from your career, what is one of your favourite stories about all the kids you have taught?
SB: When I was pregnant and my teaching partner and I convinced 52 Year 1 children that they had turned myself and the baby into toy frogs with a spell that they had made up!!
RO: Tell us something we’d never guess about you?
SB: I almost didn’t go through to my internship. My second last prac was in Year 1 and the mentor teacher told me I didn’t have the enthusiasm to teach junior years. My internship I was placed in Year 2 and I almost walked away because of what she said. Turns out I just needed an amazing mentor, which I got, and Junior years are now my absolute passion and I enthusiastically teach them, make resources for them and advocate for age-appropriate pedagogies.
RO: Have you always wanted to be in the education field?
SB: In high school I clearly remember telling my accounting teacher that I wanted to be a teacher and she told me I was ‘wasting my brains’. I listened to her (I don’t know why!) and applied to study law. I walked into my first tutorial, listened to the people around me and realised in that moment that I wasn’t going to be a lawyer so I transferred to primary education. It proves the influence we have as teachers... good and bad.
RO: We love talented and amazing women (like yourself) here at RO. If you could only teach your students one skill or life lesson, what would it be?
SB: Always be yourself, embrace the things that are unique about you and learn how to use them as a strength!
RO: What are your top 3 Ruby Olive pieces?
Pssst... take 50% off Sommer's top picks for 48 hours only! Use code SOMMERSFAVES >>> Shop HERE!
RO: What are the top three things, or 'rules' you choose to live by?
- Inclusion isn’t an ‘add on’
- Online shopping is actual therapy
- Find your people and love them hard
And what fabulous rules to live by! Thank you, Sommer, for taking the time to chat with us and share your story.
Sommer is a true embodiment of the joy and dedication that teachers bring to their classrooms. From being driven by the desire to support her own children's educational journey, Sommer has grown Stay Classy Classrooms into a thriving business that benefits countless educators and students alike. Sommer's unwavering commitment to her craft, coupled with her gorgeous personality, has made her a cherished figure in the education community. As Sommer continues to empower her students with the gift of knowledge and self-acceptance, we are reminded of the transformative power of teaching. Let's celebrate Sommer's passion, creativity, and the extraordinary impact she has on shaping young minds. #celebratingamazingwomen #TeacherFeature