Days at the Spa

A teacher creates a haven for overworked educators.

It’s not easy to describe Melissa Pallin or the nonprofit incubator for hardworking teachers that she founded in 2014. First of all, the former is a beyond-energetic Montessori teacher at Milwaukee Public Schools’ Highland Community School. The latter, known as the Milwaukee Teacher SPAce and based out of the Marian Center for Nonprofits, offers educators just about everything (at the cost of a membership fee) they could want for avoiding burnout: yoga classes, massage therapy, a mentorship program and workshops with colleagues.

What inspired you to create Teacher SPAce?
I was thinking creatively about what Montessori teachers share, including lesson-planning strategies and discussions about students. Teachers enter the field because they want to make a difference in students’ lives and impact the community. However, experienced teachers oftentimes communicate very little about the bigger picture of teaching.

How do you attract teachers to its programs?
With love, enthusiasm, positive energy and face-to-face, genuine interaction.

What has been their reaction?
One teacher last week cried and said, “I wish you were my mentor when I started teaching.” This particular teacher is going to be teaching in a new setting this year, and she’s grateful to have had mentoring about teaching younger children. I see amazing things happening every day. People feel like they can make a difference.

‘Days at the Spa’ appears in the October 2015 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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