Teaching is one of the most important jobs in the world. Teachers fill students’ eager minds with information they’ll need for their future, prepare them to be respectable human beings, and inspire them to set goals for a fulfilling and successful life. Many of us can recall a favorite teacher or one who made an impact on our lives. We’re the lucky ones.
Jamie Harrison and Jill Miller are close friends, in part because they have so much in common. Both embrace a strong Christian faith. Jamie lives in Flower Mound, and Jill lives in Highland Village. They’re also teachers for Lewisville ISD, though Jamie taught high school in Lewisville, and Jill was an elementary school teacher in Flower Mound.
“Having nearly 20 years of combined teaching experience within several types of schools and grade levels, we’ve definitely met a lot of teachers,” Jamie explained. “Common threads among teachers seem to be that they’re tired, stressed, and overwhelmed. The list of requirements and expectations for teachers increases every year.”
Harrison and Miller felt that someone needed to help teachers and to remind them how valuable they are.
“Teachers are such a vital asset to society, but they’re deficient in the self-care department,” Jill added.
Teachers best support teachers, so Jamie and Jill took the initiative.
It all began in 2018. Motivated by a need to create change and develop something strictly for teachers, the longtime friends decided on a live summer conference focused on teacher wellness.
“We created the event without having a reserved venue, no speakers lined up, and no plan other than the conviction that teachers really needed this,” Jamie recalled. “From one single Facebook post, we sold out to 400 teachers in three days!”
At the eleventh hour, Lantana Community Church stepped in, and the conference was a tremendous success.
“Our conferences have been held there ever since,” Jamie mentioned.
That kind of support was incentive enough for Harrison and Miller to launch Teacher, Be Still, an organization founded by teachers for teachers. It is solely dedicated to providing encouragement and promoting personal wellness for all types of teachers.
“Actually, all educators, such as principals and administration, are included in that group with teachers,” Jill clarified.
The hugely popular organization focuses on the teacher as a person, apart from the classroom, students, and curriculum, and equips them to put themselves first.
Reflecting their faith, the organization’s name was inspired from the Book of Exodus (14:13-14), as Moses said, “…The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
“During COVID-19, we held our conferences virtually, and they were picked up in other countries,” Jill marveled. “We have a huge following in South Africa and Australia!”
“Teacher, Be Still focuses on inspiring teachers to take care of themselves and start making themselves a priority,” Jaime said. The focal point of their message is what they call the Three Pillars (of wellness): Spiritual health, Physical health, and Mental health.
Their website www.teacherbestill.com is filled with inspiration and encouragement for teachers, both personally and professionally. Within the site, their blog offers relevant and devotional articles touching on every subject to help teachers cope. The Educator’s Mercantile provides merchandise mindful of teachers putting themselves first, whether cozying up with a soft t-shirt and a mug of herbal tea, or a monthly Teacher Box filled with goodies, again designed to promote wellness. Their podcast explores topics like the realities of education today and related hot topics.
In addition to their annual one-day conferences, the team has developed Teacher, Be Still Nights, which are three-hour Saturday evening mini-conferences held quarterly and at various locations throughout the metroplex.
As skilled and dynamic speakers, the duo also finds time to schedule public speaking events that motivate and inspire schools and home schools, women’s organizations, and church groups.
All messages are faith-based and founded in the Bible.
“The Lord has guided us every step of the way,” both Jaime and Jill affirmed.
The two often work together serving as advocates for teachers who are reluctant to speak out to school administrators.
“We talk with school leaders to help implement more wellness-focused programs,” Jamie remarked.
The need for this organization has been so overwhelming that both of them left their teaching jobs last year to focus 100% on Teacher, Be Still.
“Our husbands have been ridiculously patient and understanding,” Jill disclosed. “I felt that the Lord was calling me out. My husband had been laid off during the pandemic, and he landed a new job the very day I quit mine!”
“We’re so proud to give back to our teachers and educators through Teacher, Be Still,” the partners expressed. “We’re here for them.”
photos courtesy of Lighthouse Creative