This week we are shinning the bosslight on one of my all-time favorite people, Madeline Brown. This woman is a master of positivity. Her optimism is contagious. I can’t help but smile when thinking of her. Basically she is the human version of good vibes only. Madeline is our official boss of the classroom. That’s right this gal is an elementary school teacher. Which is a perfect fit since she is constantly level headed, easy to talk to and gives the most wonderful advice without being judgmental. She is an amazing role model and shines her light brightly no matter the occasion. Madeline also contributes to the Hustle Darling blog (check out her post on being a boy mom here) I have always been in awe of her kind nature and consider her one of my very best friends. Madeline’s genuine love for life oozes from her whole being. Check out her interview below to see how she is helping to shape the lives of her students and family.
HD: Life as a teacher must get wild, what does your typical day look like?
MB: I have been an elementary teacher (4th and 3rd grades) for the last five years. I teach all subjects but love teaching math the most! I wake up at 6 Monday-Friday have coffee and do some type of workout, mostly yoga. I get my 7 year old up at 6:50 and we get dressed for the day. We then head off to school! I teach, mother, and love the kids until 3:15 then round up my day at 4:00. Grab Cayson (my oldest son) and head home. Certain days of the week I attend gym classes after school before heading home to prepare and relax before doing it all again. Garrett (my husband) takes care of my 4 year old and getting him to and from school, and also most of the time dinner- so I get to gather thoughts and hang with Carson (my youngest son) for the evenings.
HD: Math is your favorite subject to teach?! What about when you were the student, was math always a favorite?
MB: Yes, it was! I was part of an after school math group that would participate in competitions. #mathletes
HD: What sparked your interest in teaching?
MB: I love to teach. I also love being an inspiration to kids who might not get or have that outside of school walls.
HD: Who are your role models?
MB: My mom and sister Allison- they were/are both teachers and strong women. My sister Kate who is one of the best moms to her four children and always had to balance work and motherhood. And multiple teachers/co-teachers who I have had in my life: Mrs. Brockman, Mrs. Nichols, and Mrs. Rastetter to name the ones who are an inspiration on the daily!
HD: Is there anything you wish you could change abut the education system?
MB: There is a lot, but any changes would bring more issues. State testing would be the obvious answer, but I do see the need and benefit for both students and teachers. So, I would have to say that the minutes in the day in which we are given to teach need to revamped. Arts, music, and elective courses for enrichment need to be put back into elementary and other grades that it has been removed from.
HD: What do you want parents to know about their children at school?
MB: They are not perfect, and need to learn to become independent, so let them struggle to grow.
HD: Tell us a little bit about your journey, how did you get to where you are now?
MB: While I was on maternity with Carson I decided to get my teaching certification. I have a wonderful mother in law who worked at the region and knew people to help me do this. I didn’t graduate from ASU with an education degree but was still able to obtain what I needed. I then was lucky enough to be offered a teaching job as I did this! The rest is history. I passed my exams and became a teacher for grades k-6.
HD: Any setbacks or obstacles along the way? If so, how did you get past them?
MB: Time! I had two babies at home while becoming a teacher. I would sometimes be in the classroom until 8 or 9 at night after teaching all day to take my online certification classes. Garrett was (as he always is) the one to keep me grounded and tackle the evening jobs at home with the boys to make sure I could complete my classes. Also being a teacher in today’s world is so different from when I was in elementary. I had/have amazing coworkers who always were there for support and guidance as well. Also- wine. Lots and lots of wine!
HD: What is your favorite wine?
MB: Gelise it’s a sweet red non-moscato
HD: Do you find it difficult to juggle the responsibilities of work and family? Any additional advice for moms trying to balance bettering themselves (like you and continuing your education) while also being the best mom possible?
MB: It can be overwhelming if you don’t take a second to breathe. My husband is great in every sense and works well with me to help me balance and not become over stressed. My advice would be don’t over pack your day. Set boundaries for time. What can’t get done today will still be there tomorrow so make sure your still being present.
HD: Any hobbies? What are you passionate about outside of work?
MB: Hobbies include being a baseball mom and photography. I’ve always been passionate about photography, wine, and painting. Although I have not painted in years.
HD: Big plans for 2020?
HB: I told myself I was going to let things come as they come and go as they go this year.
HD: What have you learned along the way?
MB: Be in the moment. Don’t let work or outside struggles take away from the here and now. You don’t get your days back and you never know what teaching moment will happen. Being a mom and a teacher can be stressful and busy. You have your home kids and your school kids- you love them all the same and you play an important role in both. For a lot of my school kids I am the mom in their life for that year. Each day with your babies is precious and is making more of an impact than anyone can see.
HD: Advice for our readers
MB: Don’t let the struggle get you down. Don’t waste energy on the negative because it will take up room for the positive. Breathe, smile, and always have some time for yourself. You must keep yourself mentally and physically healthy before you can effectively reflect into others.
Want to help out Madeline and her students in Monahans, TX? Take a look at their classroom wishlist.