about

Who. What. Why. 

Anastasia Hahn, Founder

Anastasia Hahn has more than a decade of experience in education, and former careers in counseling and business. She holds a MAT in Education and a BA in Psych, and is pleased to report that both of her degrees have been pretty useful.

In creating Optimized Educator, her mission is to help teachers build more effective classrooms, become highly efficient professionals and above all, BE HAPPY.

That last part is her favorite, by far.

She lives in Chicago, with one fantastic grown daughter as a roomie. She spends as much of her time as possible (and quite bit of her money) in Disney World, where her younger, fantastic, mostly grown daughter has started her own adventures. 

The Story of Optimized Educator

The gorgeous morning light streamed in, through 100 year old windows. I sat in a wonderful antique oak chair at the front of the room, rocking ever so slightly, as I sipped my second cup of freshly brewed vanilla coffee. The mug had been a gift, from one of my room mothers.  Handmade by a local artisan, it was glazed in the same soft blues and greens of my classroom. (No, really. She told me it was a special order.) I vaguely noticed the background music repeating again, a soothing guitar and piano lullaby thing, on the soundtrack of the waterfall projected on the big screen.

Before me were my students, just eighteen fifth graders in all, each and every one reading: silently, intently, happily.  A few stayed at their desks, but most were on the carpeted floor. They either folded themselves, cross legged, at the low Japanese style table in the center of the room, or sprawled upon small bamboo mats unrolled in their favorite spots. I turned a page in my own book and thought: Teaching doesn’t get any better than this.

We had a perfect little oasis in that room. Even parents would arrive for open house and remark that they would love to stay and work in that space. I would explain that the goal was a tranquil and "organic" environment. That the greens and the blues evoked the earth and the sky, the lamps and big windows replaced the dreaded fluorescents. That I painted my bulletin boards soothing colors and framed them with toned ribbon to create beautiful frames for student work. That I wanted clear surfaces for thoughts to float across. I designed a room I wanted to be in year after year, and one in which my students were calm, focused, and happy.

From that room, a little endeavor called the Tranquil Teacher was born. I started sharing my ideas with other teachers, helping them to organize, clear clutter, create calm routines and beautiful spaces. From that beginning, I have expanded into helping teachers not only build great classrooms, but also to increase efficiency and streamline processes in virtually every aspect of teaching.  And, beyond that, find joy and meaning in their work again. I am now sharing those ideas with a much wider audience, to help thousands of teachers find not only their bliss, but their power, as well. So, while the heart of the Tranquil Teacher still beats in all that I do, there is so much more to tell as the Optimized Educator!

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