Behind the Teacher: Jill S. from @hello_fifth

Jill Shafer hello fifth.jpg

Name: Jill S.

Nickname: Hello Fifth 

Instagram: @hello_fifth

If you were given $200 that you had to spend on yourself, what would you buy?

Ohhh, that would be AMAZING!  I think I'd go get a manicure and a massage.  And lunch.  With girlfriends.  I'd turn it in to a day long adventure!

Think about yourself at the age you are currently teaching. How would you describe yourself at that age?

Oh I was SO painfully shy.  I remember feeling sheer terror when a teacher would call on me, even thought I loved my teachers (and am still friends with several today).  I struggled in math but was too nervous to ask for help.  Because of these things, I react and respond sensitively to students that are similar to who I was.  My heart goes out to the kiddo with anxiety or hesitation.


Favorite self-care routine or ritual:

Every 10-12 days, I go and get my hair washed and blow dried.  It is a complete treat to myself but makes me feel so prepared and takes something off my plate.  I love it and look forward to it.  My hair girl is one of my closest friends so it doubles as girl time, which is the best.

Favorite Gift to give a fellow teacher:

I love to do little surprises.  I keep a note on my phone of my coworkers favorite things (candy, drink, office supply, ect).  When I'm out and about, I'll pick up a couple little things and drop them in their mailboxes the next day.  In fact, yesterday I put a box of Junior Mints in my colleague's box because they're the Valentine edition and I know she's having a rough month.

Do you remember your dreams when you wake up in the morning? 

Yes, and they're always bizarre.  I frequently hope it's not some weird part of my subconscious brain telling me something.


What is your favorite part of your classroom?

My library!  I've been teaching eleven years and it's where the majority of my money has gone.  I am SO proud to be able to offer my kids a variety of books because I truly believe that reading opens up SO many worlds and opportunities.

Your own parents would say you are…

Hard working.  They frequently tell me that they're proud of my work ethic.  It's actually a reflection of them and the way they raised my brother, sisters, and me. 

Name 3 articles of clothing/accessories you wear the most: 

LARGE earrings (every single day), cardigan sweater, and tights.  I like to dress up for work but I'm perpetually freezing.

Favorite beauty product:

Lip gloss.  I own an absurd amount but that means I always have one handy.  I don't wear a ton of makeup but I can't get enough of lip glosses.

Favorite grading pens:

The eternal struggle.  I will always love my Flairs and Ink Joy Gels but for grading, I've fallen in love with the Bic Cristal pens.  Plus, they're super cheap so I feel no guilt in buying them in bulk.


3 snacks you couldn’t live without:

Popcorn, beef jerky, and pistachios.

If you could plan the perfect birthday meal for yourself, what would it be? Appetizer/main dish/dessert:

My husband recently asked me this and I had a hard time with it!  I'm not a huge food person.  BUT, if I had to pick, I'd say some tri tip, garlic mashed potatoes, and roasted veggies.  Dessert is really not my thing so I'll just a pack of sour gummy worms and be good!

When you go to Starbucks, you order:

Large strawberry acai refresher with lemonade instead of water and light ice.  Please.  :)  I've never had coffee in my life.

If you were not a teacher, you would be an:

Airline attendant.  I used to really romanticize this job because flying and airports are my love language.  Now with my own kids though, that doesn't sound too appealing because I can only imagine the work it'd be to regularly leave overnight!

People would be surprised to know… 

There are a ton of food I've never tried and it drives my friends nuts.  I was a picky eater as a child and now, as an adult, I just haven't tried them.  There are so many foods, like avocados, coffee (as mentioned above), sour cream, peaches, mango... The list could go.  Last year, my friends MADE me try a hamburger (loved it!) and pie (didn't love it).

A quote you love:

I love Eleanor Roosevelt!  SO hard to pick a favorite.  The one that comes to mind first is,

"You must do the thing you THINK you cannot do."