Former teacher creates Educate and Rejuvenate event to provide educators with mental health, educational resourcesJun 06, 2023 01:34PM ● By Morgan Olsen
When Kelsey Sorenson finished her time as a full-time third-grade teacher, she recognized the resources teachers needed to thrive in their career. She started creating resources for teachers and substitute teachers and the Wife Teacher Mommy company was born.
“I started Wife Teacher Mommy in 2014 after I had my oldest son,” Sorenson said. “I didn’t want to teach full time anymore because I wanted to be home with him, so I picked up some substitute teaching. I realized that it was hard for teachers to write sub plans, but when I would run a classroom as a sub I could see that it would be good to have more. I started making sub plans for teachers to use and some that I could bring when I sub.”
When Sorenson started Wife Teacher Mommy, her goal was simply to help educators while making a little extra money on the side to help pay the bills.
“My first thought wasn’t to start a business, but it’s turned into that,” Sorenson said. “My goal was to make money to help cover our mortgage and now I have grown to have six employees. When I started it I just thought it was another little side thing to make some extra money but now it’s grown into so much more than that.”
When Covid hit in 2020, Sorenson knew she needed to rethink Wife Teacher Mommy since schools were shutting down.
“When Covid came we had to pivot and we digitized resources and made home-learning packets,” she said.
Wife Teacher Mommy is now a monthly membership available for subscription, which includes access to unlimited resources, workshops and printables for teachers and parents alike.
“As I started surveying our members, I realized they were struggling with lots that resources couldn’t solve,” Sorenson said. “They were burned out, didn’t have lots of time, and had a lot going on. They needed more support than what printables could give. We created other resources that address those issues like mental health, burnout and even workouts.”
Teachers experienced great changes during the Covid-19 pandemic, and Sorenson wanted to provide resources to help teachers get through those challenging times and beyond. A membership seemed like the best way to do that.
“Our goal is to help teachers feel a lighter burden,” she said. “We know they have so much going on in their lives. We know they need printables, but they can get those anywhere. We wanted to provide resources that can help them help themselves. During our first launch, we had about 300 members, and we’ve now grown to have 1,000 members.”
One way Sorenson found to help teachers in their mental health is to focus on life coaching.
“What differentiates us is that we have life coaching as well,” Sorenson said. “I’m a certified life coach and we have one other certified life coach on our team. We do weekly workshops where we focus on life coaching for our members. Teachers are always helping others and we want them to help them have that community and space to get the support and community that they need.”
For the second year in a row, Wife Teacher Mommy is hosting the Educate and Rejuvenate event June 27-28.
“Educate and Rejuvenate is a virtual conference for educators, parents or anyone who is interested,” Sorenson said. “The conference is full of live sessions, pre-recorded sessions, and resources that attendees will have access to for 10 days after the conference ends.”
This year’s conference will feature two keynote speakers: Joe Dombrowski and Kristina Kuzmic.
“We are especially excited for our keynote speakers for this event,” Sorenson said. “We know our attendees will love to hear what they have to say.”
The goal of Educate and Rejuvenate is to give teachers the resources they feel they need to become the best version of themselves.
“We want them to feel that they can get whatever they need from the conference,” Sorenson said. “We cover so many topics and things they can learn about. We want them to learn about education and how they themselves can be rejuvenated. Teachers need to rejuvenate over the summer and then find out how they can make next year better. We’re helping them to learn things and get the coaching tools that we have to offer. After the conference, they can go into the next school year with a better mindset ready to handle challenges more than they were before they came to the event.”
In its inaugural year last summer, more than 3,000 tickets were sold to the event and attendees found it to be a valuable experience.
“This was such a great event with so many things to offer,” said attendee Alaina Wilson. “A big thank you to everyone who contributed both on our screens and behind the scenes. I feel like I have a lot of new teacher friends.”
Sorenson said one of her favorite things about the event is the community aspect among all participants.
“I love the community aspect of the Educate and Rejuvenate event,” she said. "I love when we all get to come together and talk to each other. It’s face-to-face virtually, but it’s such a great way to connect. We’re connecting teachers all over the world. Even if you feel alone in your school there is somebody else out there that you could talk to about it. It really brings people together and that’s what I love about it.”
Ultimately, Sorenson believes it is important to come together as a community to support teachers.
“Thank a teacher,” Sorenson said. “They don’t necessarily need food or gifts for whatever, they just need appreciation. It’s often a thankless job.”
Sorenson hopes teachers will take advantage of the resources offered at the Educate and Rejuvenate event and realize that taking care of their mental health is important.
“We have teachers leaving the profession in droves because they are feeling burned out but most of them truly love teaching,” Sorenson said. “In Utah, our class sizes are pretty large, so when you consider all the teachers leaving that’ll make it harder for everybody. We want teachers who feel like they can handle all that teachers have to handle. We all need an educated society and the kids being taught.”
Those interested in registering for the Educate and Rejuvenate virtual conference can do so by going to educateandrejuvenate.com. λ