Inspired By: Ms. Brooke Hatch | @teachingwithms.hatch

purely inspired feature ms hatch

“I teach because no other job brings me so much joy and happiness, but also a lot of headaches and stress like being a Teacher does!” – Ms. Brooke Hatch on “Why I Teach” 

Ms. Brooke Hatch is a Texas-based teacher who created the @teachingwithms.hatch account on social media in order to share her student teaching journey as she prepares to become a full-time teacher next year. On her teaching page, Ms. Hatch shares creative and engaging lesson plans, fun classroom decor ideas, and everyday teaching essentials she relies on to do her job to the best of her ability.

This summer has been a busy one for Ms. Hatch as she went straight from student teaching kindergarten and fourth grade classes at an elementary school in Allen, Texas to teaching her own Pre-K class. Then in the fall, she’ll be going back to school herself in order to complete her last semester of student teaching. After she graduates from college in December, she’s planning on getting right to work as a kindergarten teacher. 

We recently had the opportunity to talk to Ms. Hatch about why she decided to become a teacher, where her fashion sense comes from, and how she’s able to juggle her busy schedule and a healthy lifestyle.  

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Q: We have to start by thanking you for everything you do each and every day as a teacher. So, thank you, Ms. Hatch! 

Was there a teacher who inspired you to become a teacher yourself? Or was there a certain moment or deciding factor when you knew that you had to become a teacher? 

A: “I had a third grade teacher who’s name was Mrs. Wilson, and she was an absolutely amazing teacher. She was the type of teacher that every kid dreamed of getting when the time came to move up from 2nd grade to 3rd. Luckily for me that dream came true and sure enough she was the perfect role model for me. 

One day I was talking to her and I said, ‘When I get older I’m going to become a teacher, so I can be just like you!!’ Mrs. Wilson replied and said, “I sure hope that’s true because you definitely have the ‘Teacher Trait’ and would make a wonderful teacher someday!’ 

At the time, I had no idea what having the ‘teacher trait’ meant, but now it is as clear as day to me and I see in me what Mrs. Wilson saw and believed in me at just 8 years old. 

Now, look at me, I am fulfilling my dreams and goals of being a teacher! She believed in every single one of her students and challenged us every day to conquer new limits. She showed us joy, happiness, and positivity every single day. For me that was exactly the type of teacher I wanted to be.”

MsHatchBackToSchoolCake

Q: Instead of taking time off this summer, we know that you’re teaching a Pre-K class to get more teaching experience. So, what is a typical day in your life like right now? 

A: “My mornings start bright and early. From 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. is the typical time for parents to drop off their children and get them to their designated classroom. As my students start piling into my room periodically throughout the morning I take that time to allow them to unpack and settle in for the day. 

Around 8:30 a.m. is our breakfast time and the students will sit down at their tables and enjoy whatever yummy meal is being served for that day. After that, we clean up and the students all line up to go to the restroom to wash their hands. 

Once we get back into the room the students know to sit on my rug for our morning circle time. During circle time I will go over the day’s agenda with my students and review our class expectations and rules, also I like to introduce the topic for the lesson just to give my kids a head start on what is to be expected. 

After circle time, the students go back to their desk and we start off with reading from 9:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. A super fun and engaging game I like to play with my students is the ‘sight word hunt.’ My students are directed to pick out a book from our classroom library. Then once they have their book they are to silently read to themselves. They have to find a total of 3 sight words in their books and finish reading before we can move on to the math portion of our day. 

Math starts at 9:20 a.m. During this time, I will introduce that day’s lesson whether it is learning a new number in the number line or practicing adding with the numbers they are already familiar with. I will model examples on my white board with the students and then turn them away to their desk for individual work time. They will then be instructed to fill out their math worksheets by using the resources we just went over as a class, or they can also turn to their shoulder partner for help if needed. 

Next is my favorite lesson of the day, Phonics! Between 9:45 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. the students focus their attention on the screen for their five minute lesson, and then we will break out into groups to practice our sight words. They grab their white boards and take turns writing one of their sight words on their boards and the other group members have to guess the correct word. After this they are allowed free play until 10:55 a.m.

Free play consists of coloring, artwork, dramatic play, building with the blocks, playing with the educational toys and resources we have available in our classrooms, or choosing a center to work in around the room. 

At 11 a.m. it is our playground time where the students and I will enjoy some fresh air outside for roughly 30 minutes before returning to the classroom for lunch. (This is my favorite time of the day!) 

At noon, I will serve my class their lunch and start to lay out their nap mats all around the room in order for them to lay down for nap time after they have completed their meals. Nap time is 2½ hours long and takes place from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. During this time, I get a lot of my lesson plans and preparation for any activities or games out of the way! (This is the most peaceful part of the day, besides my lunch break.) 

Once the children start to wake up around 2:45 p.m. we put all of the nap mats away and I will then pass out their afternoon snack at 3:00 p.m. Just like earlier with breakfast, once my students are done with their snacks they grab a book out of our classroom library and silently read to themselves until everyone has cleaned up their desk. Theater time is at 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and this is the kids’ favorite part of the day! Here they get to run and play and explore lots of different fun and engaging tools, toys, and activities. 

Finally, we will return to our room and the students will work on a fun craft that is designated for that particular day. After our fun craft is completed the students all clean up to prepare to move into our afternoon center rotations. This is where the students are broken up into certain groups and will rotate through a series of centers such as science, reading, writing, and math. 

At around 5:30 p.m. is when the students start cleaning up our room for the day and preparing their things to go home. Once all of my children have left for the day I start to clean up my room by wiping everything down and placing things back into their proper spots. I will go and get all of my worksheets printed out and any materials I need for the next day and lay them out, so that way when I come in the morning it will all be ready to go!”

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Q: You certainly have a lot going on, Ms. Hatch! How are you able to balance your busy schedule and a healthy lifestyle? Do you have any simple routines or habits that you do every day that help keep you on track with your health and wellness journey? 

A: “I like to start each morning with a little routine that I do. I will go around my house and turn all of my lamps on and open the blinds to my windows to allow the natural light in. Then I start my coffee which is a must for me especially to get me ready for my 14 Pre-k students! 

While I wait for my coffee to finish I will get ready by doing my makeup, hair, and picking my outfit out for the day. After that, I sit outside on my porch and drink my coffee to mentally prepare myself for the day and work. It is very calming to watch the sun rise and listen to all the sounds of nature! This has helped me tremendously with relieving any stress or nerves that I may have before work, and I start each day with a positive and pure attitude!

I also try to keep consistent in the gym. I do Pilates every Tuesday and Thursday and then go to the gym on the other days. I take my daily vitamins and supplements to help give my body the proper energy and nutrients needed to get me through the long hours of the day. All of these steps are a great way for me to balance a healthy lifestyle while also accomplishing all my Teacher Life stuff.”

Q: We see that you like to have a lot of fun with your students and in your classroom! Where did the idea come about for your kindergarten and fourth grade students to draw on your white dress on your last day of student teaching last semester? And what was that experience like for you and the students? 

A: “Before I started my teacher social media account, I was following a teacher on my personal account and she had allowed her students to color on a white dress for her last day of school. I absolutely fell in love with the idea, and as soon as I started student teaching I knew I wanted to do something with my fourth grade and kindergarten students to keep as a special memory of my time with them! 

So, when the time came for me to say goodbye to them on the last week of school, I brought my white dress and fabric markers up to each classroom and let my fourth graders draw and write on the back of the dress and then my kindergarten class got to do the front of the dress. It was such a fun activity to watch my students get so excited! I couldn’t even count how many times the students said, ‘This was so awesome and cool Ms. Hatch!’

Another reason I decided to have the students decorate a dress for me was because I wanted to take my graduation pictures in the dress! I just received my photos back today and absolutely love how they turned out!”

Q: That was such a cool idea! You really seem to take pride in the outfits that you wear to school every day. Where does your fashion inspiration come from? 

A: “When I was younger, one of the main reason I wanted to become a teacher was so I could wear cute outfits to work everyday! Also, Pajama Day is a plus, or any other dress up day. 

My wardrobe is inspired by my preferred style of neutrals. I like to keep my style very clean looking. So, when it comes to picking out an outfit for work, my go to will always be a neutral colored dress with puffy sleeves and heels!”

Q: How would you describe what being a teacher is like to someone who isn’t really familiar with the day in and day out of the profession? 

A: ‘It is definitely stressful yet rewarding at the same time. Us teachers love to show all of the fun and creative games, lessons, and activities we do in our classrooms on our social media, but what you don’t see is all the tears, blood, and sweat we have to pour into each and every day to make all of that excitement happen. 

Even outside of our contract hours we tend to find ourselves wrapped up in something that is related to our students or our classroom. In the end it is all worth it though. We don’t do it for ourselves, we do it for our students! It has always been my goal to leave an impact on my students’ lives by showing them that education is fun yet rewarding!” 

Q: As a teacher, how often are you buying educational materials and classroom supplies for your students? Is that something you thought you’d have to do before you started teaching? 

A: “I definitely find myself constantly shopping and buying materials, decor, and fun activities for my students and classroom all the time. I didn’t realize how expensive it actually is to be an educator until I filled the shoes of becoming a Teacher. 

A lot of people don’t realize the time, energy, and money it takes to create these fun and amazing environments that we as teachers do to allow our students to feel welcomed, comfortable, and just give them an overall great school experience! Although at some school districts you are given a lot of supplies and even a little bit of money to spend on your classroom, it doesn’t come close to what we pay out of pocket. 

Now, with all of that being said, it is still 100% worth every penny and minute of my day to create the learning environment I do for my students. It truly is the most rewarding job and no amount of money compares to the pure love and happiness our students bring us teachers. That is why we do what we do and continue to every school school year!” 

Q: What advice do you have for anyone considering becoming a teacher? 

A: “Go into teaching with a loving and heavy heart, and start each day with a cup of coffee (or two)! (Smiling)

In all seriousness though, teaching is tough and can be really challenging at times. Just keep your head up and rely on your peers and team around you for support! You’ve got this, and you will have an impact on so many lives! It truly is the most rewarding job!”

Q: Lastly, we know that students, especially younger ones, sometimes don’t have filters. What’s the funniest thing that a student in one of your classes has said or done so far? 

A: “Oh my goodness, I don’t even know how to pick just one to share! There is never a dull moment in school or with your students, and especially in Kindergarten! 

One day, my team and I were sitting in our room for the planning meeting and all of the sudden we kept hearing this really weird scratching noise. We couldn’t figure out where it was coming from until finally one of my co-workers goes, ‘It’s coming from this backpack!’

So, of course, being the nosy and curious people we are, we opened the backpack and there was what looked to be a candy box in there. We sat there for a minute to listen again to make sure that’s where the noise was coming from and sure enough the box started moving from something jumping inside of it. 

I was too freaked out to open it because I’m not a big fan of bugs or insects. So, when the other teacher opened it a huge grasshopper flew out and was hopping all over the room and we all started freaking out trying to get away from it. 

Needless to say, once that student got back from P.E. we made him catch the grasshopper and return it to its natural habitat where it belongs OUTSIDE… and not in my classroom!” (Laughing)

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