Educator Maia Heyck-Merlin knows first-hand the pressures that teachers face. As a teacher, she routinely worked 80 or 90 hours a week, managing intense volumes of work and struggling to keep everything together. She tried different resources to help her "get things done" but none addressed the teaching profession specifically.
As she worked with other teachers, she noticed a lack of organizational systems were causing stress, anxiety and burnout. Heyck-Merlin set out to develop a system to create highly effective, organized teachers who could get results for their students as well as achieve a healthy work-life balance, thus the Together Teacher concept was born.
Heyck-Merlin's passion to help teachers is the basis for her new book, The Together Teacher: Plan Ahead, Get Organized and Save Time! (Jossey-Bass, May 2012; $21.95), which addresses teacher's challenges and builds a step-by-step organizational system. The Together Teacher is a practical guide that gives teachers free resources, templates, illustrations and photos to get organized and balanced in their day-to-day activities.
A native of rural Maine, Heyck-Merlin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in child development from Tufts University. She spent two years teaching fourth grade at Delmont Elementary in southern Louisiana and was named Delmont's Teacher of the Year. She went on to teach fifth grade and manage the first summer training institute through the New Teacher Project in Baton Rouge, La.
Heyck-Merlin served as executive director of Teach for America (TFA) in southern Louisiana, where she oversaw the teaching corps development, which doubled in size under her tenure. She then went on to lead TFA's summer teacher preparation program for three years. Heyck-Merlin founded the National Institute Operations team, which managed the operations for five summer training institutes for incoming teachers.
Currently, Heyck-Merlin is the chief talent officer and former chief operating officer for Achievement First, an educational nonprofit organization that operates a network of college-preparatory programs for a set of schools, grades K-12, in Connecticut and New York. She is the founder of Brass Tacks, a company that provides coaching and workshops for teachers, administrators, corporate and nonprofit staff to create customizable organizational systems and habits.
Heyck-Merlin and her passion for helping teachers have also been featured in top media outlets like U.S. News and World Report. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., with her husband, Jack, who is an English teacher, her daughter, Ada, and their three cats. For more information, please visit www.thetogetherteacher.com.