You can just call me Kelli.
It’s my mission, passion, and privilege to serve creative + inspiring teachers who are all-too-often overworked + undervalued.
I mean, let’s be serious… Nobody really understands the behind-the-scenes lives of teachers.
Ok. That’s not true. Anyone who has ever lived with a teacher knows the truth. But I wish everyone else knew this one thing that you and I both know.
Teachers are real-life superheroes.
Here’s my unofficial definition of a superhero teacher.
(n.) A guide + coach + mentor + counselor + role model whose lifelong mission is to inspire young minds to make a difference in the world – despite the long hours, low pay, and lack of bathroom breaks associated with the job title.
These super-humans stride through mainstream society undercover without attracting any attention to themselves. You really have to know what to look for in order to spot one in a crowd.
So the next time you’re people-watching at the mall, let’s see if you can identify a real-life teacher-heroine (like yourself) by following my tips.
For starters, take note of her clothes. A teacher-heroine’s stylish, but affordable costume typically consists of a trendy Target-LOFT-Old Navy outfit paired with flats that are cute enough to command a ton of compliments, but comfy enough to wear for over 12 hours straight (with minimal blisters to show for it).
Other common, but easily overlooked teacher-heroine traits to look for include:
- One shoulder that droops a couple centimeters lower than the other. This unfortunate bodily imbalance develops after years of slugging around a 20-lb. Thirty-One bag overflowing with books, binders, notebooks, folders, and students’ papers.
- Streaks and spots of color on her fingertips and palms. True teacher-heroines are incapable of making it through a workday without markers and pens leaving their mark.
- Bags and/or circles under her eyes. This is the result of late night paper-grading marathons during Scandal’s commercial breaks.
- Bits of spit, slobber, and food remnants smeared across her clothes. Obviously, this is not due to the teacher-heroine’s own negligent eating habits! This just goes with the territory when you have little ones (or furry ones) to look after at the end of a long day taking care of twenty-some other kids.
- A weird combination of perkiness and exhaustion every Friday. The teacher-heroine is always super psyched about the weekend when she wakes up, but so tired by the time she returns home that pizza, Netflix, and an early bedtime are her idea of the perfect end to a hectic week.
- Glimmering and glistening eyes throughout the entire month of June. Nope, it’s not due to allergies. Her eyes glimmer because her much-deserved summertime rejuvenation has finally arrived. Yet, her eyes glisten when she realizes how much her students have grown throughout the course of one short year. Because these kids have stolen a piece of her heart and have become like her own, she’s reluctant to let them go.
So… Why am I able to spot a teacher-heroine from a thousand miles away?
Well, let me reveal my true identity. The truth of the matter is that I was not only raised by a real-life teacher-heroine (my mom), but I also became one myself 11 years ago.
That’s why I’m passionate about serving my teacher friends who have great things to share with the world.
It’s my joy and honor to empower ambitious, creative teacherpreneurs to use their gifts and talents to the fullest degree both inside and outside of the classroom.
My own business operates from a foundation of compassion + encouragement + femininity + fun. I believe that my work shouldn’t feel like “work.” It should be energizing and meaningful. And I’m so thankful that it is. Not only have I been able to create a career that fits me perfectly, but it has also allowed me to put my family first rather than the other way around. I know this is what I’m meant to do in the world, and I couldn’t be happier.
What about you? What role is your business playing in your life right now?
If you’re ready to unleash your superpowers beyond the classroom walls, I’d love to help make it Mission Possible for you. Let’s work together to leverage simple, time-saving, and sales-boosting digital strategies to GROW your business so that you can live the balanced life you deserve and make the impact that you were meant to make on the world.
Wanna know more about Kelli Alaina? Read on!
- M.Ed. in Elementary Education
- M.Ed. in Reading Instruction & Assessment
- Chair, Celebrate Literacy Committee, KSRA
- Vice President, South Central Reading Council, KSRA
- Keystone Technology Integrator
- Professional Development Speaker
- Social Media Strategist Certification – in progress!
Silly, Sassy, + Surprising Stats
- Kelli means “warrior maiden.” I love that.
- Alaina is my middle name. If I had a daughter, my husband and I would have named her Alaina Jayne.
- McGuigan is my maiden name. Can you say it? Can you spell it? Probably not. It’s Irish. I’m in love with the Emerald Isle, and I would move there in a heartbeat. Maybe I will some day! A laptop is all I need to run my business. 🙂
- My last name is Wise. One of my requirements for a prospective husband was for him to have a short, easy-to-pronounce, easy-to-spell last name. Mission Accomplished.
- I live for Thursday night tv – Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. Need I say more? God bless Shonda Rhimes.
- I think peanut butter + chocolate is the most amazing flavor combination ever invented.
- I have 3 lovable, cute, and LOUD boys. We call them The Wise Guys.
- I have a pink bathtub. It’s my favorite feature in my house!
- I rock at Double Dutch jump roping.
- I love Coke slushies.
- I’m addicted to Peach Snapple.
- I played college volleyball.
- I’d like to be an interior designer in my next life.
- In case you haven’t already figured it out, I adore alliteration!
How did I get started? Why do I do what I do?
Where I am now is a place I never dreamed I would be a year ago. For the past ten years, I’ve envisioned a future career for myself as a university professor. While I’ve always loved teaching young minds, I discovered early on in my teaching career that I loved helping other teachers even more.
Since my college days, I’ve always had a natural penchant for researching best practices and experimenting with them in my own laboratory – the classroom. I’ve had fun discovering new strategies that have helped my students soar to success. I’ve also enjoyed taking proven strategies and tweaking them, personalizing them, and innovating my own ways of engaging students and empowering them to grow socially and academically. Realizing that my greatest energy and fulfillment came from being able to share these kinds of ideas with my colleagues, I used to be convinced that being a college professor would be the best fit for me in the future. Teaching aspiring teachers how to be the best they could possibly be seemed like a perfect fit. I thought it would be so gratifying to know that I was making a difference in the lives of ambitious new teachers who would, in turn, go out and make an impact on the lives of hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of students.
Looking back, I can now see that my thinking started to shift as the expectations of the Common Core State Standards began to shake and shape public education. As more and more emphasis was being place on The Test, I saw my colleagues suffering severe feelings of overwhelm and discouragement. No longer was there the same excitement for improving the quality of our students’ education with the engaging strategies and best practices that I had seen in the past. Instead, intense loads of pressure were put on teachers to get their students to “make progress” academically, as defined by The Test.
While the Common Core State Standards may have been implemented with the positive intention of establishing rigorous educational expectations consistently on a national level, in reality, the implementation caused immense amounts of stress for teachers who were already doing everything in their power to help their students grow and develop academically. The crucial difference was that now these formerly successful teachers’ test results served as the primary indicator of their effectiveness.
I believe that most teachers feel called to their profession because they want to make a difference in the lives of their students. For this reason, I have been saddened to see so many passionate, engaging, and talented teachers overwhelmed and discouraged by the burden of test scores and the scarlet letters they receive as a result of the multitude of conditions and factors that are beyond their control. Sadly, the value of a teacher (according to the Standards) is now equal to his or her students’ test scores.
In light of this massive shift that has taken place for the American education system, my own passions have evolved and changed. No longer is it my dream to become a college professor. I’m not interested in preparing future teachers to learn how to “survive” in today’s suffocating educational environment. I want to help release teachers from the intense levels of stress that are brought on by The Test. I want to help teachers feel valued for more than their test scores.
So many teachers have much more to offer beyond what they contribute to their students each day. And while you can’t put a price tag on the learning and excitement they infuse into their classrooms, can you imagine how much teachers could expand their impact by sharing their expertise on the Web? This is the powerful difference that teacher resource marketplaces like Teachers Pay Teachers have made for over 3 million teacher buyers and sellers to date.
Today, I love how teachers are collaborating and sharing their knowledge more and more online. My mission is to help these creative teacherpreneurs realize greater personal fulfillment by learning how to grow their businesses so that they can make an even greater difference in the lives of teachers and students around the world. It is my great privilege to serve teachers by helping them feel valued in a whole new way – by sharing their innovative ideas and resources with other teachers who want to provide the best education possible for their own students. I want to help these teacherpreneurs earn the income and flexibilty that they’ve always deserved, but have never been able to achieve solely through the public education system.
This is why my business exists.
I’m here to help teachers increase their impact on the world while creating a life they deserve.