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Own Your Teacher Wins with Kelsey Sorenson from Wife Teacher Mommy [episode 15]


Click below to listen to hear how to own your teacher wins:

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Morning Message: 

[00:54] If you could get one celebrity to serve in your class for a day, who would it be?

This is such a fun question! With all of our answers, everyone has a reason as to why they picked the celebrity they did. We chose Jimmy Fallon, because he’s so funny, but also responsible, and Julie Andrews because she is epic and could channel her inner Mary Poppins.

Our listeners also gave some fun answers as well! Those include John Krasinski because he’s kind and funny, Daniel Radcliffe because her students love Harry Potter, Carol Burnett, and Morgan Freeman because everyone could listen to that voice. Other picks were Stephen Colbert, because he’s kind, responsible and funny who would keep them engaged, and finally Tom Hanks because they can’t imagine all the stories he’d tell!

We’d love to hear your responses to this question and future questions, so let us know over on Instagram!

Here’s an overview of episode 15:

We all have goals and things we want to accomplish. But do you ever sit down and acknowledge all it took to get there? On today’s episode, we have guest Kelsey Sorenson who shares why you should own your teacher wins and the benefits of acknowledging them often.

Kelsey is a former teacher and sub turned homeschool mom who has helped so many educators cut down on planning time and balance the many roles in their lives. She has created so many resources and blogs that benefit teachers. You can find her on her new podcast called Wife Teacher Mommy. She’s also expanding her mission with a virtual event this summer called Educate & Rejuvenate.

Click here to grab your ticket to Educate & Rejuvenate now!

As humans, it’s our natural inclination to always be striving to do more. However, we tend to always be looking ahead compared to how far we’ve come. Sometimes we think our wins need to be big and life-changing, but Kesley reassures us that you should count your small wins too! Start thinking about this concept as the journey rather than the destination.

Throughout our conversation, Kelsey gives deep insight and strives to shift the perspective of your current mindset. She provides a simple, yet effective solution to overcome your doubts so you will soon own your teacher wins. 

You can hear Kelsey talk more about this topic at her virtual summer event at Educate & Rejuvenate. Check out our resources below to find out more information.

We invite you to join us for our FREE Design Your Summer Challenge. This challenge will help you identify what you need for recovery this summer and make a plan for back to school readiness. You can sign up now here. We hope you’ll join us!

In this episode on how to own your teacher wins, we discuss:

  • The benefits of owning your teacher wins
  • Kelsey explains the overview of Educate & Rejuvenate
  • Why shifting your mindset to positivity can increase your motivation towards your goals
  • How to notice the difference between the gap and the gain
  • A simple and easy way you acknowledge your daily wins

This week’s teacher approved tip:

[17:10] Get your sub plans ready ahead of time

While we normally give our teacher approved tip, this week, Kelsey provided us with our tip! Creating and having sub plans is a passion for Kelsey. Making sure you have ready to go sub plans makes it easier for you and also stress-free. This allows you to have the freedom to take a sick day with ease. 

In order to help you get started with your sub plans, use Kelsey’s sub planning starter kit!

What we’re giving extra credit to this week:

[19:17] Heidi is giving extra credit to Waffle game

[20:12] Emily is giving extra credit to The Office BFF book & Scribd


If you enjoyed this episode, you’ll love these too:

Read the transcript for episode 15, Own Your Teacher Wins with Kelsey Sorenson from Wife Teacher Mommy:

Hey, there, thanks for joining us today. In today’s episode, we’re so excited to sit down with our friend the amazing Kelsey from Wife Teacher Mommy. We start our episodes with a morning message just like we used to do at morning meeting in our classrooms. This week’s morning message is if you could get one celebrity to serve in your class for a day, who would it be? What do you think, Heidi?

I think I’m gonna go with Jimmy Fallon. The kids would have a really good time and I think he’s responsible enough that you would at least attempt to do the sub plans. Yeah, probably wouldn’t get too far, but I think he tried them. But about you, Emily, Who’s your celebrity sub? I feel like Julie Andrews would just be the most epic. Oh, absolutely. I know. I always tried to channel my inner Mary Poppins on his teaching, so that feels like a perfect fit. We have some responses from our community to share. Sarah said, I would love for John Krasinski to sub in my class. I met him in the airport, and he’s so kind and funny. And I said to Sarah, and maybe he’d bring Emily Blunt along to which would be double when you have it, then you wouldn’t want to leave your class. That’s true. You want to be there while I was there. Cat said Daniel Radcliffe, because my students love Harry Potter. Oh, that would that would be life changing. Yeah, Teacher of the Year. Kathleen said Carol Burnett, she just lives a couple of miles for me, and I would love it if she wanted to read to my second graders. Okay, we’re probably showing her age, but we totally love Carol Burnett. I think she’d be a perfect fit. That should have happened a long time ago. Sarah said, Morgan Freeman, because everyone would listen to that voice. Oh, absolutely. No behavior problems that day. And Rihanna said Stephen Colbert because he would be a kind responsible adult and would make them laugh. Students love engagement. I think he would be perfect. I could. I think in an alternate universe, there’s a Mr. Colbert out there. He seems like a natural teacher. Yeah, he’d be perfect, especially for like secondary. And Anna said Tom Hanks. Think about the stories he’s told over the years. His passion, humor and wealth of knowledge. I would love to see him teach an ELA class. Oh, that sounds perfect. Netflix needs to get on that. Yeah. We’d love it. If you come join the conversation over on Instagram. We’re at @2ndstorywindow. And that’s what the two.

We’re so excited to have a conversation today with Kelsey from Wife Teacher Mommy. She is a former teacher and sub turn homeschool mom, who has helped hundreds of 1000s of educators cut down planing time and balanced the many roles in their lives with her time saving resources, blogs and her new podcast. Kelsey and her teacher team are excited to expand their mission even further with Educate & Rejuvenate this year, which we’ll talk about more in this episode. Let’s get to the interview.

Welcome, Kelsey from Wife Teacher Mommy. How are you doing? Hi, Kelsey. I am so good. I’m happy to be on your show today. I love your Teacher Approved podcast so much. Thank you. We are excited to get to talk to you today. Can you introduce yourself to our listeners? Yeah, I would love to. I’m Kelsey, and I’m the owner of Wife Teacher Mommy. I started that in about 2014. Before that I was a teacher and a substitute. And now I am a homeschool mom. So I’ve kind of been all over the place with my education adventure. And with Wife Teacher Mommy, we serve pre K through sixth grade teachers. And we also right now are very excited to be hosting our virtual conference for the first time. And it’s called Educate & Rejuvenate. And I’m very excited that you two will be a part of that as well.

We’re so excited to be a part of it. Can you tell us about why you started that event?

Yes. So I started Educate & Rejuvenate because you know, teachers have so much on their plates. And we really just wanted to create an event that not only help teachers with so many different aspects of education, we have so many experts coming in. But then we also I feel like it’s a very unique event because we also have like fitness classes going on. We have coaching going on, we have all these different things. So it’s kind of this really nice, beautiful package of an event where it’s all you could really think of for an education event; it is going to be such a great time. And we have such a wide variety of speakers that you can learn in basically any area that you want to you can pick and choose which sessions you want to attend. It’s just going to be such a great time. And the ultimate goal of it is to help teachers find easier but more efficient ways to do things as a teacher so it’s going to be a lot of fun.

As our podcast tagline is to elevate what matters and simplify the rest, and it sounds like your event is going to do just that.

Yes. I love that tagline. So you told us today that you wanted to talk about celebrating your wins on the podcast. So why do you think looking at our wins is important? It’s so important, because you know, just as humans in general, our natural inclination is to always be striving to do more. So when you have a goal or something, and you hit it or achieve something, we don’t even take the time to acknowledge that we just immediately move on to the next thing. It’s like, Okay, what’s next? Or what could be better? It’s like, we’re always wanting to reach this goal posts that just keeps moving. And we never are there because we’re always trying to get there. You know. And I think it’s great that we’re always trying to constantly improve and do these things. But if you’re not taking the time to celebrate along the way, you’re going to just keep beating yourself down, like you know that you’re never enough. You’re never enough. And the truth is that you are enough, you’re already accomplishing so much. And we need to just be intentional about taking the time to acknowledge that because that is not what comes naturally to us. I think that’s true for a lot of women. Yes, it really is.

I started working with a life coach back in, it was at the beginning of 2020, actually, before COVID. But in 2019, I had my youngest son and kind of had like a mental health breakdown. So I was like, Okay, now I need to get help. At the beginning of each of our sessions. I just wanted to get into what all my problems were like, Oh, this is going on. And oh, I’m feeling this. And oh, that she always was like, Okay, now let’s look at your wins. And that was like, why like, this is a waste of time, like, at first it was like, I only have so much time, there’s so much I need to get into I don’t even have time to look at wins. And I think that’s how a lot of us subconsciously are like, we feel like we don’t have time to look at them. But when you know, after doing that for awhile, I’m like, oh, okay, actually see how valuable this is taking that time to be like, Oh, I did this thing. And it doesn’t have to be something huge. It can be like, you know, I reached this kid today he did, you know, and he was very excited about what we were doing. So it can just be little things. But just looking at and acknowledging those wins is so important.

I agree. And it just, it takes a conscious effort. It’s not hard to do. But you have to really take the time to do it. Because it’s too easy to just focus on all the things you have left to do.

But it’s one of those things that gets easier, the more you do it, then it just kind of eventually starts to become more reflexive. And you can celebrate those little moments that like this is why we got out of bed in the first place. Why not appreciate that? Yes, exactly. And I recently read a book, it’s called The Gap and the Gain. And it’s by Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan. And it was such a good book, because it really was about this whole concept of what they called being in the gap is when you’re constantly looking, measuring ahead looking for that goalpost. And what they call the gain is where you’re looking at where you were before compared to now. So it’s like a different way of measuring success and where you’re at when it’s the same thing going on. This is where you’re at. And then this is where you want to go. But this is where you were before. And that’s where a lot of us forget to look at. That sounds awesome. I’m adding that to my to read list right now. So good. I highly recommend it, though.

Can you give us some examples of how teachers can celebrate their wins and shift their perspective to be in the gain? So instead of looking at all the areas where you feel like you might be like, quote, failing, it’s really important to look at how far you’ve come. So when you really think about it, so you’re a teacher, right? And you may be thinking about like, Oh, I’m not doing very good at my classroom organization, or Oh, my goodness, like these kids just aren’t getting this concept. Or, oh, that teacher down the hall is doing so much better at this or whatever. But when you really think about it, at one point, you were like, I want to become a teacher. And that was your end goalpost and you are there now. So think about it that way you were literally at that goalpost you said at one point. But now you’re looking at the next thing. So we do want to be setting goals and constantly improving. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s actually what we want to do. As teachers, we are lifelong learners. That’s one of my core values is to be lifelong learner. But it’s also just bringing awareness to that you are already there, you’re already where you wanted to be at one point. And now you’re just going to the next place. It’s really just a mindset thing. beating yourself up about you’re not where you want to be is not going to help you reach your goals as a teacher or as a person or you know, whatever goal you might have. But feeling confident in wow, I am able to do hard things look where I was on and then where I am now, if I did that I can do this, that is going to help you to you know, get to the next level.

I’m going to second that because I used to take a lot of pride in how hard I was on myself. And it did not help me be better in any areas. I think that it’s so important that we are shifting that mindset to celebrate, celebrate where we are and use that momentum to help us get to the next step instead of just trying to punish ourselves into being better. Yes, and I will also say so that when you find yourself doing that punishing yourself, you don’t need to continue to like spiral about it like, Oh no, I’m doing that, again, I’m beating myself up, don’t beat yourself up about beating yourself up. And like even you know, I’m here on this podcast preaching about doing this. But you know, Emily, I will Voxer you sometimes and feel like so overwhelmed about things. We’re all human. And we fall into this trap all the time. We’re all human, we’re never going to be perfect at it. But it’s kind of redirecting and being like, hey, remember when this was where I wanted to be, and just redirecting and shifting the mindset and it’s a constant, lifelong thing that we’ll all be doing.

One thing that can make this really tricky is comparison, especially with things like social media, or you know what the teacher next door to you is doing. So why do you think that’s so damaging? And how can we fight against that? Yes. And actually another really good book, I will give all the book recommendations. But a good book I read about this was called Comparison-itis it’s by Melissa. Oh, I do not remember, remember her last name. But it was so good. Because she talked all about comparison. Like, you can literally write a whole book about comparison she did. And I feel like we’re comparison, we’re really looking at someone else’s highlight reel, or we’re picking out the like things that we think are awesome about them. But they are likely doing the same thing about you, or they somebody else is, you know, it’s like easy to pick out the best traits about somebody else and compare them to what you feel like is your worst trait. And you can never win at that game. You can never win when you’re playing the comparison game, because that’s really what it’s all about.

And I was actually listening to sorry, I’m gonna name drop all these books on Atlas of the Heart the other day, Queen Brene. We love her, we love her. And she was talking about like, you know, there are two different types of comparison. And there’s Comparison, where you feel like you’re comparing up like somebody else is better than you or whatever. Or there’s like comparing down, we’re like, oh, I’m doing better at this or whatever. And like, neither of those are actually helpful comparisons. So and there’s not like, you know, sometimes it can inspire you looking at other people and what they’re doing, but as long as you’re doing it from like, that type of motivation, like wow, this teacher, her classroom is so organized. If she can do it, I can do it too. That might be a helpful compares me I guess I’m kind of like contradicting myself right there that. But I think like the comparison, we’re talking about, like the negative comparison is not helpful.

Well, I think it’s good for teachers to remember that we’re each totally different teachers. And we have a different group of students that need different things. And so we should be focusing on trying to be the best version of ourselves to meet our students needs and what they are specifically instead of trying to match some benchmark you’re seeing from what other teachers are doing. Exactly. And it’s all about looking at like where we’re doing great and not comparing that to where someone else is at because we’re all at our own points, like you said.

So how can teachers be better about putting this into action? Like I said, it’s about looking at our wins. And I’m going to be talking about this during one of my two sessions at Educate & Rejuvenate, but for today, I want to share something that I’ve been doing that I feel like has been super helpful that all of you can apply right away. And I took this from that first book, I mentioned The Gap and the Gain, but I have actually been doing this. And I’m kind of doing it my own way that I found super helpful. So every night, before going to bed, I write down three wins that I’m going to have the next day. Now the key to this is you’re not stretching yourself with these three wins, okay? You might be like, oh, I want to get more than that done. That’s fine. But you are picking the very top three that you know, you are going to be able to accomplish that day. That is the key to this. So for example, it could be like organizing one drawer in your desk if you’re working on organization or planning one specific engaging lesson or at closing your exercise ring on your Apple Watch. And for me, it’s three for work and life like literally only three.

That sounds very doable. Yes. So three. And like for me, sometimes it varies sometimes like two are work and one is personal sometimes to our personal one is work related. It just depends on kind of the priorities that day. Then the next day, I open up that same journal, and I get to confirm that I did in fact hit those wins. And then I usually get to then write a few more that I did beyond those three. So I’m like, Wow, look how much I’m doing. And then I come up with the three for the next day. So then when you keep this going every day, you’ll see it really builds momentum. And you’ll be able to constantly see all the ways that you are winning. That sounds like such a good idea. Yes. And the thing I really love about this is you can even incorporate finding the wins with your own children or with your students as well. And for them, it might just be one, or having a group conversation. But what is a big win that you had today to get them in that mindset, and that this is something that they can do too. And, you know, starting that from a young age, so I’m really excited to be sharing more of this at Educate & Rejuvenate, but I feel like that is something that all of your listeners can be doing right now.

So how can our listeners find out more about Educate & Rejuvenate?

Well, you will link to that in the show notes all about the event. And on that page, they will see all that will be happening at the event. There’s so much there’s over 20 presenters. Our keynotes are Bri Richardson, from Honest Teacher Vibes. She is so funny. And Amber Harper from Burnedin Teacher. And we have fitness classes, we have coaching, we have all this sessions. It’s just going to be such a fun time. It’s happening on June 28, and 29th. And it’s only $5. And we’re excited that we get to be a part of that, too. Yes, I’m so excited. Yes, we’re going to share some ideas about how to maximize your morning routines to get the most out of those first few minutes of the day. Yeah, setting the stage for success in the morning, that is going to be so good. And your listeners, if they’ve been listening to this podcast, they are going to want to attend your session, it’s going to be so fun, they’ll actually get a chance to like interact with you in the Facebook group too. Because all our presenters will be in there. So it’s going to be such a fun time. If you love this podcast if you love Emily and Heidi, their session alone is worth the $5. So I mean, everything else is a bonus. We appreciate the investment.

We will be sure to link to the registration for Educate & Rejuvenate in the show notes. Now, Kelsey, in our episodes, we like to share a teacher approved tip. So we were wondering if you had a teacher approved tip that you could share with us?

I sure do. So a lot of your listeners are probably new to Wife Teacher Mommy and may not know me. But for those who know me, they would probably know what this tip would be. And that would be to get your sub plans ready ahead of time. That is a big thing we preach at Wife Teacher Mommy, I mean, our big thing that we started with was ready to go sub plans. And I won’t get into all of that. But you know, I mentioned I was a former sub. And sometimes I was left without plans. And that’s why I started like making them to make it easier for teachers. But really, when you have them done ahead of time, it’s easier for you too because then you don’t have to stress out when you have to call in sick. And you don’t have to feel guilty about it. Because you have these really great plans laid out for you. So that would be my teacher approved tip. And I even have a freebie for you to help you get started with your sub plans. And you can find that at sub planning starter Or I will give you that link. So you can put it in the show notes as well, that is so generous. I know I would have killed for something like that. All those times when I was wishing I could be dead. But yes, our starter kit includes already ready to go lessons for you. It has some editable forms. And we even have an ebook called Sub Planning Made Simple that walks through our whole process for writing sub plans. If you are new, or a newer teacher, we’ve had a lot of newer teachers that are like I don’t even know where to start, like it’s gonna walk you through the whole thing.

That’s amazing. And we recently talked about batching and doing things during the summer to set you up for success for next year. So this would be a perfect summer project. Yes, it really would be. Okay, Kelsey, where can our listeners find you?

So you can find me over at Wife Teacher Mommy the podcast. And you’ll definitely want to do that because I have interviewed Heidi and Emily as well. And we have a very fun episode over there. And then I’m also on Instagram at @wifeteachermommy and Tik Tok at and my website is You make it easy.

Thanks so much for being here, Kelsey, and thank you for being our first interview. Oh, this was such a pleasure to be on your podcast and an honor to be your very first guest. So thank you again for having me.

To wrap up the show. We’re sharing what we’re giving extra credit to this week. Heidi, what are you giving extra credit to this week?

I am giving extra credit to the waffle game. If you are still writing the Wordle wave like we are we still swap scores every day. Absolutely. So it was a bit of a head scratcher. This is kind of a fun spin on that idea. So it’s a little more crossword style. But you have a grid with all the letters and then you have to switch the letter tiles around to spell some five letter words. And it’s just very satisfying. And it sounds so easy but I did not get it the other day and I was very frustrated with myself. But I appreciated that you told me you hadn’t gotten it because then I needed to be go slow. Don’t go in so confidently, which is how I tend to play this game. But I’m so sad when I don’t get it It is a bummer. It especially when you only got like two tiles left. You’re like I can see what it could be. Yes. But if you’re into the word game that waffle Games is a fun one to try. And Emily, what’s your extra credit this week?

I’m giving extra credit to The Office BFF’s book. So if you’re an Office fan, and especially if you liked The Office Ladies podcast, you’ll love the new Office BFFs book. It’s by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey. That’s Angela and Pam from the show. They share some really fun insider info from behind the scenes of the show, including their own like personal photos. I decided to go the audiobook route because it’s available on Scribd, which I’m a subscriber to so I am missing out on the photos, but I’m enjoying some of the extra audio bonuses that are only on the audiobook. Like there’s a foreword that’s read by Rainn Wilson. That’s only on the audiobook. And I guess I’m also giving extra credit to Scribd, which is a really awesome library of eBooks and audiobooks that you get access to with one monthly fee, unlike audible where you pay for each book, but the selection is pretty good. I’ve been pretty impressed with it. I always check there first when I want to read something new. I’ll put a link to the Office BFFs book and Scribd in the shownotes. Yeah, they’re both definitely winners.

That’s it for today’s episode. Don’t forget to sign up for our upcoming Design Your Summer Challenge. To join the free challenge, head to

More About Teacher Approved:

Do you ever feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to be the kind of teacher you really want to be? The Teacher Approved podcast is here to help you learn how to elevate what matters and simplify the rest. Join co-hosts Emily and Heidi of Second Story Window each week as they share research-based and teacher-approved strategies you can count on to make your teaching more efficient and effective than ever before.