We had the good fortune of connecting with Naivasha Gleaves and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Naivasha, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
In the last couple of years I learned to create a system that aided me in creating a work life balance. When I started grad school in 2019, I was forced to prioritize my life. I was struggling to balance being a single mother, teacher, cheer coach, and focusing on school. Then, in 2020, I took on another title when I began to pursue my childhood dream of acting. I can tend to be a forgetful person due to having so many responsibilities. I needed reminders. This led me to purchase a planner. Having a planner that I updated weekly kept me on track and minimized some of the stress that I incurred. Every Sunday, I would prioritize what needed to be done and when I would get it done. This held me accountable. Using the system that I created for myself, I was able to schedule much needed self-care days, social activities, and mommy & daughter dates.
You have to create a balanced life. You have to get things done in order to move ahead in life. But you also have to make sure you take care of yourself first. You cannot pour from an empty glass. An unbalanced life can affect your mental health.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Right now, my full time career is a high school mathematics teacher. I spend most of my time pouring into teenagers and helping them to develop skills that they would need beyond the classroom. Since Covid has impacted the mental health of many children, I focused more on the social emotional learning needs of students, building relationships with students and their parents, and creating projects that encouraged the use of 21st century skills.
It’s not easy, especially during these times. With students being out of school for as long as they were, the deficits has increased. Trying to teach students new content can be difficult when students have not mastered the previous knowledge and skills. To overcome some of these challenges, my coworkers and I decided to slow down the pacing. Our goal was to focus on remediation, practice, and retention. I saw growth with all my students and that is what mattered the most.
One of the aspects of being a teacher, is being a role model. My job is to influence the students I encounter. However, my students are also an influence to me. They keep me going and focused on my passions. I cannot teach my students to chase after their dreams or to never give up if I am not modeling what that looks like. Outside of teaching, I am focused on my acting career as well as my stationery business. It can be difficult trying to balance everything especially when teaching is a priority. But it’s okay. My life is purposed. God has ordained my footsteps.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am a foodie. I love to eat! I am always trying to find new restaurants to check out. Some of the restaurants that I’ve enjoyed are: 1. Mojave
2. Breakfast at Barney’s
3. Milk & Honey
4. Nan Thai Fine Dining
5. Harold’s Chicken and Ice Bar
6. The HIVE
7. Boogalou Restaurant and Lounge
Some of the places I’ve enjoyed hanging out at are:
1. The Puttshack
2. The Painted Duck
3. Atlanta Botanical Garden
The list goes on….
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Creating a work life balance led me to start my first business venture. Initially, I was going to do everything myself. But, I realized that having a team would be more beneficial. Currently, I am working with The 95 Agency. Everything has been great from the process of the product design, communication, and providing knowledge that I would need as a first time business owner.
I also have coworkers that I work along side daily that have influenced me in ways that they are not aware. I thank God daily for allowing me to be in a work environment where I can receive guidance in my personal life and support to chase after my dreams.