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She writes about the different ways that teachers can become healthier and happier in their personal lives by not neglecting their leisure time activities.

This educator understands the value of work-life harmony and prides herself on sharing tips that have worked for her and are easy to try.

We first met PreSha Barnes when she was moving to the UAE a few years ago. Amiable and ambitious, she started out by sharing her journey via her blog, From Houston to the UAE, which is hosted on the Teach Middle East website.

PreSha shares with us a bit more about who she is and what drives her. Meet our writer – PreSha Barnes.

What led you to become a teacher?

My mother encouraged me to become a teacher. She would always say, “You’re going to be a teacher.” I felt my pathway was only writing, but teaching has allowed me to share my passion for writing with others. My father gave me that extra push when I was new at it. He told me, “Failure was not an option.”

How many years have you been a teacher?

I am approaching my 10th year of teaching next year. My career includes teaching K-12, Special Education, and more recently post-secondary.

What are some of the things that make teaching memorable for you?

I love seeing the light in my students’ eyes when they finally learn a concept, or when what they learn is connected to real world experiences. There is this ‘aha’ moment that is quite rewarding, because I know that I have given them something that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

Share two fun things that you enjoy doing by yourself.

I like to turn on music when no one is at home and dance! I love to write and while doing so, I binge watch all of the TV shows I missed during the week.

When did you discover your passion for writing?

I discovered my passion for writing when I was very young. I started by writing poetry. My parents always encouraged me to write. This led me to writing short stories, and most recently children’s books. I want to inspire people with my work.

How do you stay abreast of new trends in education?

I am always looking for ways to develop new strategies for my students. I read articles about various teaching techniques, and I often network with others to share ideas. Of course, I read Teach Middle East Magazine all the time. I am a lifelong learner.

Your articles speak to the personal development of educators, why is it so important for teachers to have proper work-life balance?

It is important for educators to have proper work-life balance. It is so easy to feel overwhelmed. Stress is not good or healthy. Proper balance is needed in order to meet the demands that are required of us. We must take the time to rest and relax.

Share one thing about you that would surprise your colleagues.

At home, I try to micromanage everything. I often don’t share the load; I like to be in control. I often don’t share the load; I like to be in control. When I am in class, my students are included in everything. I have fun in the classroom. I love my family very much. I am just a bit overbearing at home. I am working on this.

What are three key things that you wish to accomplish in the next five years?

  1. I want to obtain my doctoral degree.
  2. I hope to become an accomplished author, where the messages in my books help children and educators internationally.
  3. I want to keep doing what I love – educating!

By Carolyn Lee

Carolyn is the editor at Teach Middle East Magazine.