Teacher Feature | Hannah Holbrook on Being a Teacher and a New Mom

Hannah Holbrook is a 2nd Grade (6-9 years) teacher based in Orlando, Florida. She’s a fellow member of the TpT Community and a mom! Hannah explained to Silly Fish how #momlife and #teacherlife interact for her.

SF: Sometimes children can forget that teachers exist outside of school. As a new mom, do your students ask many questions about your home life?
Teacher Feature - Hannah Holbrook clearly shares our love of silliness!
Hannah Holbrook clearly shares our love of silliness!

Hannah: Last year I had this large “Questions for the Teacher” Post-it-Note in the back of my classroom for students to write any questions they had for me while I was working with another student. This was a wonderful idea I had at random as it minimized interruptions, got students excited about leaving me “secret messages” (lol), and also gave them a chance to practice their writing skills. One day, as I was checking this, I found the question, “How did you convince Gold to give you a daddy?”

Being unable to decipher that sentence any better, I called the student who had written it over to read it back to me. She said, “How did you convince God to give you a baby?” I was pregnant with my first child last year, so I was the ongoing “science experiment” in our class.

What was even funnier was that, before I could say anything, another student who had overheard our conversation blurted out, “She just prayed for it like this!”, and he got down on both knees and held up his folded hands over his head, shaking them earnestly. He then stood up and said, “Believe me, prayer works!”

Students love to learn by asking questions, and will ask you anything and everything!

SF: That’s cute. Did you get any other unexpected reactions to having a baby?

Hannah: One day, I walked over to my desk to find three little yellow flowers all overlapping one another: one big, one medium, and one small flower. When I asked the class which one of them had left me the sweet little gift, one boy said, “That’s your family! That’s Mr. Holbrook, you, and your baby!” I was still pregnant with my baby at the time, and it always cracked me up how much they thought of her. Students are so thoughtful and sweet. They have a reason and an explanation for everything they do.

SF: It sounds like you and your class laugh a lot. Is there anyone who particularly brightens your day with their silly behaviour?

Hannah: I had this one student last year, (we will call her Mandy for sake of the student’s real name privacy), who was always cracking me up with the crazy things she would say.

For Example

Mandy: “Mrs. Holbrook, I really need to ask you a question.”
Me: “Yes?”
Mandy: “Do you want a wiener dog for Christmas?!”
Me: *laughs* “What?! No thank you. Finish your math task with your partner.”
Mandy: “Alright, but this is a limited time offer!”

Students are hilarious and say the silliest things! It’s the little moments like this as a teacher that melt your heart and remind you why you do what you do for your students. What other job do you get paid salary for with this much entertainment?! :)

SF: Do you have any advice for teachers who may be struggling to have fun with their class?

Hannah: Just Breathe. Whenever the demands of the day feel like more than you can bear, just breathe. When anything and everything seems to be going downhill, just breathe. Teaching is so rewarding, and at the same time so challenging because let’s face it, you’re basically superwoman all day. Always remember to take a step back, remember you are doing great work, and to just breathe and put it in God’s hands.

SF: Is there a secret to all the fun in your class?

Hannah: I attempt to include creativity into every fiber of my classroom – from posters to decorations, activities, dance breaks,  social mannerisms, etc. A learner-centered classroom must be creative so that students have fun in their learning and flourish as a model citizen!

A learner-centered classroom must be creative so that students have fun in their learning and flourish as a model citizen! – Hannah Holbrook

SF: Of course we’re all about creativity! Do you have a favourite Silly Fish activity?

Hannah: Five Tried And Tested Tips For Learning Lines With Young Actors Who Can’t Read“ is an article (tip) I greatly benefited from once I incorporated it into my classroom last year. Most of my second-grade students were unable to read well or at all, so all five of these tips were something I used with my students whenever we would do our “Reader’s Theater.” It was very helpful information because I saw it work in my own class! :)

Hannah is an expert at helping her students to have fun. If you’d like to try out some of her ideas, visit her TpT Store and Pinterest!

TpT Seller’s Account: Mrs Holbrook’s Nook

Pinterest: “Hannah Holbrook”.

Don’t forget to check out Silly Fish Learning on TpT and Pinterest too!

You may also be interested in:

Silly Fish Learning is a creative education resource for children aged 3-12 years, dedicated to providing high quality teaching support materials and developing new theatre for young actors and young audiences.

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