A SENTIMENT FROM DOUG:
With the end of summer comes one glorious day for many. This is the day
when their kids go back to school. Memories were made and good times were
had, but parents are often ready for a break themselves by this point. Today we
wanted to spotlight one of those amazing teachers that give us parents that break.
Meet Elice Davey. She teaches kindergarten at Crestwood Elementary in
Rockford Michigan. We met Elyse just over a year ago after my wife and founder
of Conscious Clothing Rose, passed away after a nearly three year battle with
Triple Negative Breast cancer. While searching for someone to officiate a non
religious service for her wake, it was revealed that Elice is an area reverend who
also taught at our sons school. She delivered a beautiful service for Rose and a
friendship has grown between us since then. As she has come to know our family
and Roses legacy, Elice has also become a huge fan of what we do at Conscious
Clothing. We wanted to honor this connection and the amazing work she does in
supporting her community and helping children grow, while wearing some of her
favorite Conscious pieces.
What is your teaching philosophy and what inspires you in your classroom?
"My teaching philosophy is that every child can grow and learn with the right support and inspiration. Children do not all grow at the same rate, nor are children one size fits all. My job is to make sure children feel loved, cared for, and connected. I believe every child should have access to good schools and caring teachers and staff. I am inspired by my little ones and how every day, sometime every minute is a fresh start. Kindergartners have not been exposed to all the heaviness in the world, so their outlook is often positive. Kids ask great questions and have great ideas!"
What would you say is the greatest challenge teachers face today?
"Filling all the needs of a very diverse classroom of kids. Kids are coming with all kinds of needs, more than ever before. It is hard to keep up with the demands of teaching and raising your own family to the fullest. Teachers are also not respected in the ways that other professions are. We do a lot for kids and families and put in a lot of time beyond the classroom."
You have a stuffed kidney in your classroom and graciously shared the story behind it during our photoshoot. Would you mind sharing that story with us?
"2 Years ago, I donated my left kidney to a former co-worker who had a kidney function at about 9 percent at the time. Jasmine had put out a Facebook plea in search of a donor. I was already on the donor list and after lots of testing, donation was a go. The recovery was a process for both of us, we had a little scare of rejection, but the doctors worked out her medication levels. I just was not used to being down and out for a time while I healed! Today, Jasmine’s/my kidney is functioning at 100% and both of our levels are good! We celebrate our kidney-versary every year! It is the best gift I have ever given."
Being a kindergarten teacher, what do you look for in clothing that you wear in your classroom? Are there any specific features that you look for?
"Clothing HAS to be comfortable and breathable especially in the hotter months as our building does not have air. It also has to be clothing I can move around in as I am very active with the kindergartners on the floor and moving around the classroom. I LOVE things with pockets too!"
We (Conscious Clothing) think a lot about our natural resources and how we interact with the earth - How do you incorporate sustainability practices into your life? Into your classroom?
"In my life, I try to pick pieces of clothing I will wear for years to come. I buy products that are well made and will last a long time. We also recycle at home and make small conscious efforts like reusable bags and straws. In my classroom, we used school supplies to their fullest and encourage the kids to bring reusable water bottles and lunch boxes."
Outside of being a full time teacher you are a Care Pastor - can you share more about how you found yourself in that career path and what exactly a Care Pastor is?
"I became a Christan about 8 years ago. 2 years into that journey, I felt the Lord saying, I can use you not only in the local church, but out in the world. I was ordained through our denomination and since then have been a pastor that focuses on connection and relationships with people. I also spend time doing hospital visits, some preaching, weddings and funerals. I met all the wonderful people at Conscious Clothing through officiating Rose’s funeral. I love the cause and message of this company."
We love working with and supporting you - are there any specific organizations, local or nationwide, that offer support to students, teachers or schools that you feel passionate about?
"I am passionate about Kids’ Food Basket, an organization working to end childhood hunger as well as Kids Have Hope, a mentoring program where kids can meet with a mentor that is just for them once a week. It has been so good for a couple of my students over the years who have needed an additional caring adult in their lives!"
And we have to ask, what are your favorite pieces from Conscious Clothing and what do you love about them?
"My favorite pieces include the Backyard Jumpsuit, The Coco Jumper, and the Zero Waste Pant. I love the jumpsuits and jumpers because they are an easy one piece item! The pants are versatile and can go dressy or not! I love the pleats in the Barcelona dress as well! Items are very feminine, and I like that, but also very simple and can be accessorized easily!"
Photos by Olivia Mundwiler Photography.