I became really interested in @teacherselfcareconference via Instagram because of their focus on self-care for educators. At times, there is so much healing that needs to occur in our school systems, that it can become mentally and physically taxing on an educator. Especially, if they have deep feelings for the well-being of their students. Self-care can be a lot of work, but it is also really fun and effective when you are doing it with other people that are able to relate and help each other out.
After visiting TeacherSelfCare.org and learning more about the conference, I also wanted to know more about the organizer, Franchesca Warren. Franchesca Warren has been teaching reading, writing, listening and speaking since 2002. She is also a blogger, author, consultant, and founder of the world-class educational website, The Educator’s Room, for teachers to showcase their expertise in the classroom.
Franchesca's resumé is very impressive, and I urge you to get familiar with her. You can also get to know her more via the interview we had:
YOU SHOULD KNOW...
English, Instruction and Curriculum
Do you feel like your educational college courses effectively prepared you for the classroom? Why/Why not?
Absolutely not. I learned all that I needed from veteran teachers in the classroom. Most courses in college and graduate school focus on theory- theory goes out the window when you're in a classroom of 30 kids and everyone struggles to read. You need practicablity and what's worked more than you need theory.
I noticed that you started The Educator’s Room to release anger and feelings you had/have about the teaching profession, this is relatable to me because I started Teacher Magic for the same reason. How has The Educator’s Room helped you to grow as an educator?
It's helped me stay abreast of the conversations happening around the world in education.
What advice do you have for educators that are struggling to stay passionate?
Remember why you started and keep with that in mind when it gets hard. The education blogging is vicious and it's important to not get into the popularity contests that usually goes on.
On Facebook, The Educator’s Room has over 80,000 people that have liked and followed your page. How did this grow from a passion project to a large net work of educators that support and learn from each other?
At first, it was just me and my writers just writing with our heads down. We started to have a viral piece at least once a week and six years later, we're HERE. After about a year, we published four books and then we've written five courses for teachers. This year, we are determined to continue to break boundaries.
Has The Educator’s Room ever negatively impacted your experience in education or been challenged? How/Why?
No, but I will say that when people realize I own TER they are surprised. For the most part, people don't KNOW, but when they do find out (via Google, etc.) they are super interested in HOW I do it all!
What do you think is the biggest mistake that educators make when trying to grow their following online?
Trying to please everyone. When I started The Educator's Room, it was just me and about 10 writers. Now we've grown to about 60+ teacher/writers and a HUGE social media following and I stay in my "lane". I don't go and stalk other pages like mine, instead I just try to make sure we're excellent and I believe that's how we continually grow our base.
Speaking of online followings, The Teacher Self-Care Conference has an amazing list of presenters. How did you go about choosing the presenters?
I sat back and said, "what would I get the most out of from presenters" and then I reached out to those teachers. We wanted to make sure our speakers were diverse in their backgrounds, work experience, etc.
I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Social Media Team for The Teacher Self-Care Conference. I look forward to sharing the ins and outs of the workshops and events. What do you expect educators to gain from attending The Teacher Self-Care Conference?
An outlook on how to make themselves HAPPY. Whether you're at the stage of leaving the profession or need help managing the stress as a special education teacher, we have over 60 workshops presented by teachers for teachers.
What makes The Teacher Self-Care Conference different from other conferences?
For so many years, I attended conferences that literally "shoved" strategies down your throat and all teachers hear is what they need to do differently. After a while, I stopped attending ALL conferences and used my online PLN on what they needed to do their jobs better. Overwhelmingly, teachers told me they needed to find the joy back in their teaching. So for a couple of years, I "sat" on the feedback because I was scared. It wasn't until 2017, that I got the nerve to have a one-day workshop around self-care. We had 120 people attend and overwhelmingly they told us that they needed more time and topics to digest the information. So now we're back for year two that's guaranteed to be BIGGER and BETTER.
You wear many hats as a mom, educator, business owner, etc., how do you find time for self-care and what is your “go-to” way to center yourself?
I've started to stick to a strict schedule because I'm torn in so many directions- but my number one rule is that I put ME first. If I'm worn out I can't be a good wife/mother/teacher!
Last Minute Pitch: Why should educators not take the chance of missing out on this conference?
There's not another conference out there that focuses on what teachers need and that's important, if we're going to be able to retain quality teachers. Also, kick in the AWESOME presenters and workshops- it's a win-win!
I look forward to meeting you all at the conference. If you haven't purchased your tickets yet, be sure to take advantage of the payment plan which is currently discounted.
P.S. If you can't make it in person, there is also a web version! Why not learn from home? OR You can use this letter to request funds from your school. (Utilize all your resources.)
Either way, make sure you are keeping up with Franchesca Warren and what she's doing in education.
Comment below if you are going! :)