Here at Vibrant Health, we believe health is an inside job, unique to you. After all, you’re one-of-a-kind and your needs are complex – that’s why your supplements should be too.
To celebrate all of the beautiful complexities of our lives, each month we’ve been highlighting individuals in our community – taking a peek into the behind-the-scenes of their work life, wellness rituals and all the wonderful things that make them who they are.
In honor of World Teachers Day on October 5th, we wanted to celebrate and thank all the teachers out there for the incredible impact they make on our children. This month on the Vibrant Health blog, we caught up with New England based Early Childhood teacher Jessica Presutti to discuss all the ins and outs of being a teacher.
In this insightful interview, we got to chat with Jessica about her morning ritual that sets the tone for the day (before hanging out with 20 littles), the loving advice she’d give to her childhood self, and why being kind is #1, always. We hope you enjoy our series… and remember, keep being you!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Compassionate, loving, driven
October 5th is World Teachers Day. What’s your favorite part about being a teacher?
My favorite part about being a teacher is having the honor of being a source of love for my students. When my kids say “I love you, Ms. Jessica!” my heart melts a little and of course I tell them, “I love you, too!” It never gets old.
What does a typical day in the life as an Early Childhood teacher look like for you?
Holy Cannoli. Well, picture playing a game of Whac-A-Mole while keeping those 20 cute little moles safe, engaged, and educated, tending to their very different and ever-changing needs.
Once I get to school in the morning, I make sure the classroom is prepared for the kids. I have a morning meeting that will set the tone for the day. We read stories and respond to books with conversations and drawings. We play. We build. We solve world problems. We experiment. We create art. Of course, a lot of this is pre-COVID, but I try to recreate the same environment as best as I can online or while being socially distant. What a challenge! I am really looking forward to returning to the days where we can have big group hugs, work close together, and share.
By the time my day ends, I am usually driving home in silence just decompressing from the day. I get to come home to my husband, Bobby, and my dog, Addie. We make dinner, maybe go for a walk, and share stories about our day. By that time I am able to laugh a lot of stuff off from the day in order to relax into the evening. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to find me in Target looking in the Dollar Spot section for my kids. Lately at night, I’ve been into Bedtime, Cup of Calm, or other herbal teas that promote relaxation at the end of the day.
Do you have a morning routine to help start your day?
Yes. A more clear cut morning routine has been somewhat new to me when I started teaching from home. I realized the importance for my mental health of having routines that clearly define the different parts of my day. My morning routine begins when I wake up. I take a few moments and place my hands either on my heart or my belly (or sometimes one on each) and take a few deep breaths thanking God for everything I can think of. Some days I add in a short prayer for someone or ask God to use me to serve. No one really knows about that practice, not even my husband (they all do now!)
Before work, I always give my mom and dad a phone call just to say hello. I also like to listen to something as I get ready or drive into work. It can be a podcast where I am learning something new (I love Jay Shetty’s On Purpose, SoulShine, and With Good Energy — the last two are local friends who are inspiring people!) or just music that resonates with me that particular day. And coffee, always!
As much as you teach and empower your students, what would you say is the biggest lesson the kids have taught YOU over the years?
To do things with love and to be yourself. They remind me that the things I loved to do as a child are still the same things that I love to do as an adult — things that keep me mindful, aware, and light. The kids soak up all of your habits and your words so you need to be intentional with your every move. Because I want them to truly grow into the best versions of themselves, they remind me to express the best version of myself — because they are always watching and unknowingly, keeping me accountable.
What’s something you wish for all your students to know at the end of the school year?
I want all my students to know that being kind is the most important thing they can do in school (and in life!)
What’s one piece of advice you’d tell your childhood self?
Oof. This one hits me in the feels. I want young Jessica to know, to really and truly and deeply know, that following her heart and being herself is the best thing she can do. Stop worrying about being the prettiest. Stop being consumed with what he thinks about you. Stop being compliant to keep others comfortable. DO take up space. DO use your voice. DO focus on what ignites a fire inside you. Do you, because that is exactly what the world needs.
Do you have a go-to healthy lunch or snack to energize your workday?
I love the RX Protein Bars and Trader Joe’s individually packed trail mixes.
When you’re not busy teaching, what are some of your favorite ways to spend your time?
I love practicing yoga. Going for walks has been one of my favorite ways to exercise and mentally reset. Reading a good book on the beach is awesome. I love talking over a cup of coffee with good friends. I am truly a homebody and love all things home. You can always find me rearranging the furniture in my house or decorating in a different way. I enjoy cooking and baking as well.
What does “health” look like for you?
For me, health is using my body in ways that benefit me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Health is finding ways to nourish myself that will allow me to use this body for a long time here on Earth. Health is paying attention to how things make you feel and responding in a responsible and beneficial way.
It is having a burning discipline to make yourself better, not just for you, but for others. It is finding gratitude every single day. Health is living intentionally with love and kindness. It is learning to forgive. Health is trusting the inner knowing of your purpose and then giving that gift to the world.
Thank you for being a part of our community! Want to be featured on our Vibrant Health blog? Send an email to Ashley at email@example.com