Ashish Nain found a family of students, after having a difficult youth. The idea of building a family with people who are not related to one other is something that Shannon Olsen can speak to. In fact, connecting with her students and peers as a teacher was the driving force behind her children’s book, Our Class is a Family. And while Ashish is now an adult, it’s second graders that Shannon teaches.
She helps children understand that because they’ll spend so much time together in the classroom that it’s important that they treat each other well and that everybody feels safe and included in the environment.
With the pandemic, in-person school is up in the air in so many places. In fact, in Florida, a judge just ruled in favor of teachers regarding COVID and the school district’s response. Consider the fact that there’s continual stress to children from the jarring schedule changes. When they do return to school, it’s important for their well-being that it’s a welcoming environment where they can forget about the daily stress of a pandemic that has altered their lives.
Shannon’s passion for teaching spans beyond writing a book. She also creates educational materials for other teachers to use in their classrooms. She mainly focuses on early education, from kindergarten through third grade. She loves that she can help other teachers with her creative content. Knowing that kids are learning with the help of the activities she makes is a nice feeling. She’s dedicated to education and has been in the classroom for 15 years. You can find her products on a site called Teachers Pay Teachers, which offers resources created by educators, as well as on her website.
One thing that’s vital to Shannon is setting a good example for her children. A lot of people ask her how she fits in mothering children, teaching, writing a book, and marketing it, along with creating educational materials. She says that she doesn’t mind putting in the hours because she loves the work that she does, and though sometimes it can be difficult to find the time, she wants her children to see that when something is important to you, you make time for it.
Motherhood and teaching always take top priority in her life, but the side ventures are a nice way to fill up her creative well. She enjoys it, even if it sometimes takes hours of research to learn how to do things like marketing or networking to get your voice heard. She relies on a blog and social media to help expand her reach. It’s been a slow and steady process, three years in the making, but she’s seeing strides from the work and effort she put in.
If you’d like to learn more about Shannon’s book or educational materials, you can find her at LifeBetweenSummers.com. Her book “Our Class is a Family” is also a #1 best seller in multiple categories on Amazon and has climbed steadily up the charts. In fact, Amazon featured her story on an 80-foot billboard at Penn’s Station in New York City. Now, that’s exposure!
In today’s world, a pandemic was the last thing anybody expected. What we thought would last weeks has turned into months. The message of her book has spread to thousands of children as teachers have been reading it aloud on online platforms via distance learning. She looks forward to seeing the day when children can return safely to the classroom, eager to learn and happy to be back with their friends. And when you spend so much time with people, even in a virtual learning setting, treating one another well should be a priority. With so much unrest, the world could use that lesson today.