about me image updated 2019

Hello, friend. I’m Nicole. I’m a small town WI girl, a new mama, a teacher for a virtual school, a curriculum designer, and a chooser of joy. I love hanging with my husband and son, reading allll the books, and walking on our local trails. On a typical day, you will find me sipping a cup of coffee in my favorite leggings and supporting my elementary school students virtually! I currently work with about 50 students and their parents as a part of a virtual school in WI. I serve as their local guide and teacher in their virtual school/homeschooling experience. My students range in age from PreK through 5th grade…. more on that in a bit!

How did I get here? Wow, it has been a journey…. In fall of 2012, I was a starry-eyed college grad and I started teaching first grade in a rural Wisconsin town. I fell in love with my sweet students and a wonderfully supportive community. I found my teacher bestie in a dear teaching colleague and I lived on Pinterest and TeachersPayTeachers to build the “perfect” classroom and the “perfect” lesson plans…. as if that is an attainable thing! Really? I’ll tell you right now, there is no such thing as perfect. However, I did learn that I LOVE designing curriculum materials and I started using all of my free time to create!

Fast forward four years and I was on the fast track to burn-out. I was pushing myself to the limits, stressing about everything, and not sleeping. The 2016-2017 school year was an incredibly challenging, but rewarding, process for me. It was my fifth year of teaching and I was unhappy. I wasn’t my typical motivated, problem-solving, creative self. I did some soul searching and brainstormed ways to bring joy and peace back into my career. I learned about the importance of self-care routines and I started to scale back what I was doing to make life more manageable. I craved simplicity and quiet moments and a space to be creative. I decided to leave my teaching position at the end of the year to pursue a career as an elementary teacher in the virtual school environment. Turns out, I LOVE it! I get to work with awesome students and families in WI and it’s a much more laid back setting.

Fast forward another year and my husband and I adopted our delightful son, Finn, in April of 2018. We were matched with his birth mother about a month before he was born and we got to be present for his birth. He had changed our lives in every way and he fills out world with love and smiles every single day. I continue to be thankful for my job as a teacher for a virtual school because I get to spend more time with Finn!

I currently post my curriculum materials on TeachersPayTeachers under the name, Nicole O’Connor, and I’m obsessed with Instagram. You can find me at teachfromthesoul_ . Want to connect? I’d love to hear from you!

Welcome to my journey! I’m glad that you are here!