threadTALK Blog Series 8: Thoughts of a 2nd Grade Teacher with Vanessa Brooks
We all have dreams of becoming a doctor, engineer, scientist, astronaut or the next President of the United States. Those dreams are supported by the people who have dedicated their lives to teach. Our next threadTALK Blog features a 2nd Grade Teacher who is definitely making an impact in her student's lives and sharing her knowledge with fellow teachers through her social media outlets. Say hello to Vanessa Brooks our special guest in this month's blog series. Let's learn more about her role as a teacher/influencer and how she's able to tie those together.
Q Tell us a little bit about yourself and your YouTube channel. When did you start and what made you want to start creating videos?
A I'm Vanessa! I am 27 years old and I've lived in Southern California my entire life. I'm a 2nd-grade teacher and currently finishing up my 5th year in the classroom. I run my Youtube Channel and Instagram page (both my2ndgradelife) with my husband. I started my channel back in September of 2017 as a way to take my Instagram to another level. I have always wanted to have a channel, but I never felt like I had something different to share. Once I came across the Teachertuber world, I knew that was my place. My channel is made up of sit down informative style videos and also vlogs. I share teaching tips but also my life inside and outside the classroom. My goal is to share what a teacher really goes through on a daily basis. My husband really pushed me to start the channel after saying he would help me by editing and we've enjoyed every bit of it!
Q Why and how did you choose second grade? Have you always and plan to continue to only teach this grade?
A I'd like to think second grade chose me. In the teaching world, you don't typically get to pick your placements (you can request, but that doesn't always happen). I was originally hired as a 4th/5th grade combo teacher, then moved to a 1st/2nd grade combo, and once I moved to a new district I was placed in second grade and haven't looked back. I love the age of 2nd graders because they're independent, but still, love the heck out of you. Their curiosity and drive to learn are motivating for me, and the content in 2nd grade is just fun. I don't plan on leaving second grade for a while, but I know one day I will venture back into another grade level.
Q What would you say is the best and not the best part about being a teacher?
A The best part of teaching is seeing that light bulb moment click and seeing the excitement in a child's eyes when they finally grasp something. I work a lot on reading in second grade and nothing makes my heart happier than seeing a child realize that they can really read. It is incredible to see the progress that these students make at such a young age. The unfortunate side of teaching is the amount of work we put in. I get to school around 7:30 am and don't get home most days until 7 pm. We constantly have a to-do list that is a mile long and can only complete most of those things outside of school hours. I wouldn't trade in my busy schedule for any other job though.
Q When did you find out teaching was something you want to do as a career? Did you know at an early age? Or did find the passion for teaching later in life and how?
A I have known I wanted to be a teacher for my entire life. My grandmother was a teacher and I would go to work with her when I would visit her and I just loved being in the classroom. I changed my mind for a very brief period of time in high school, but I always like to think teaching is what I was born to do.
Q Being the teacher, what is the most important life lesson you have learned throughout the years?
A As a teacher, I see a lot of what goes on in people's personal lives, and I think the biggest thing I have learned is that there is so much more to life. I grew up in a very average home and was never exposed to anything like I see others go through. I've realized that so many people I come across have gone through so much more than I could ever imagine. I've learned to never take anything for granted and how to truly care for people.
- Favourite break time snack? Chips
- Favourite classroom activity? Escape rooms
- Any funny/embarrassing classroom moment? Literally any time another adult walks in the classroom when you're just being silly with the kids
Q Lastly, we love that you were able to relate your story with our designs. If you were to give a title to your life story, what would it be and why?
A “The Best is Yet to Come” because every school year gets better and better.
Photo of Vanessa Brooks wearing Be A Kind Human Tee
Keep up with Vanessa to learn more:
"Be an author of your own life story."
Thank you so much for reading this month's blog feature.
Every month we feature an individual we believe have something amazing to share. They're not celebrities or high profile individuals. But normal people who are living life in their own extraordinary way. ThreadTALK is a way for us to showcase how we're all authors of our own life story.