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, over the next few months we’re going to be 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 this month’s Vibrant Health series, we got to catch up with Kelsea Adams, a 4th Grade Elementary School Teacher with a Masters in Special Education.
In this inspiring interview, we chat with Kelsea about navigating the new “normal” as a teacher during Covid-19, the invaluable lesson she’s learned from her students over the years, and her go-to self-care practices. We hope you enjoy our series…and remember, keep being you!
Kelsea Adams, 25, 4th Grade Elementary School Teacher
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Optimistic, Caring, Fun
What does a typical day in the life as an elementary school teacher look like for you?
A typical day (pre Covid-19) as an elementary school teacher looks something like this:
Leave house at 6:30 AM/6:45 AM and eat breakfast on the way to school
Before School (7:30 AM-8:30 AM) – Advisor for Intramurals Sports Club
During School (8:35 AM-3:00 PM)- Teach 4th grade all day with planning meetings, professional development trainings, IEP meetings, parent teacher conferences, grade level collaborations, etc.
Lunch around 11:45 AM/12 PM with a few pieces of chocolate to hold me over!
After School (3:00 PM- 7:00 PM) – Advisor for enrichment club, home school instructor, dance teacher, tutor
Dinner around 7:30 PM/8:00 PM, workout if I have time, and a dessert before bed!
How has the pandemic shifted your schedule? Have you been doing distance learning or have there been any other adjustments you had to make?
The pandemic has definitely shifted my schedule a lot as I moved into virtually teaching from home. I no longer have to wake up super early and get ready in work clothes every day, which is definitely a plus! I usually start my day around 8:00 AM now, shower and eat breakfast, and then start online distance learning around 9:00 AM. The morning is filled with online planning, lesson creating on all Google platforms, and grade level collaborations every day.
We have to recreate online lessons for Reading, Writing, Math, Science and Social Studies every day, along with planning virtual small group lessons, weekly field trips, daily social emotional check-ins, collaborating specials (Gym, Music, Art) and student services (Speech, ENL, Resource Room, OT/PT). Between 1 PM-2:30 PM, I hold virtual small group instruction meetings on Google Meets and have “Virtual Office Hours” to do social emotional check-ins with my students.
The late-afternoon is filled with grade level meetings, faculty meetings, professional development trainings and collaborations with other specialist area teachers. I usually eat lunch during my workday and then break for dinner around 6:00 PM. If I am not finished with lesson planning, I will continue after dinner until the work is completed.
What’s your favorite part about being a teacher?
My favorite part about being a teacher is being with my students! Every year is so different with a whole new group of kiddos – different personalities, family lives, interests, backgrounds, ages, etc. I just love coming into our classroom and being together every day, as we have so much fun together!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from your students over the years?
The biggest lesson that I’ve learned from my students over the years is to have fun each and every day! I try to live my life like a “big kid,” and even though I’m a fairly young teacher I hope that my students will keep me young forever!
What’s one piece of advice you’d tell your childhood self?
One piece of advice that I would tell my childhood self is: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” As a kid and even now, I put a lot of pressure on myself to always strive for perfection in everything I do and I definitely feel defeated if something doesn’t go as planned. I think if I listened to this advice at a young age, I would be able to relax more throughout life even when things don’t go “as planned.”
Do you have any go-to wellness rituals or self-care practices? What’s your favorite way to unwind after a long day of school?
My favorite way to unwind after a long day of school is to go to the beach with my family/friends, go on the boat or take my dog Shelby for a walk. I think getting outside at the end of the school day and seeing other people to hear about their days makes me happy!
What’s your go-to healthy lunch or snack to energize your workday?
My go to healthy lunch during my workday is a salad – usually spinach, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, assorted nuts, blueberries, and sliced chicken with balsamic vinegar dressing.
What does health and wellness look like for you?
Wellness/health looks different for me throughout the year because my job changes between the school year and the summertime. During the academic year, my main job is being a 4th grade teacher and I follow the schedule I mentioned above Monday through Friday. I find that with this strict schedule, it is much easier to eat healthier and work out because it is all “penciled in” throughout my planner.
During the summers, however, it is much more relaxed. I work at the Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center as a marine science educator. I usually work on the tour boats every day, give lectures about the animals, and help with feedings on the exhibits. After work, I am usually always meeting my family/friends on the boat or at the beach to do something outdoors whether it is wake boarding, scuba diving, paddle boarding, etc. With this being said, my eating habits are usually more sporadic and I don’t usually work out like I normally do throughout the academic year.
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