Restructuring Life to Balance Work and Family,
with Rachna Mathur,
Rachna Mathur of Arizona works in STEM education and educational research, currently working on a doctorate in education. She's the founder of Stemology and has worked with students K-6 in coding, Lego Robotics, and combining STEM topics with literature, teaming up with an elementary teacher for a summer camp called Books and Bots. In the past, Rachna was a software engineer/architect for 10+ years where she spent some time working from home during one of her pregnancies, but she pivoted into education by starting her own company in 2019 with clients like Khan Academy and Arizona State University (ASU). The majority of her work, as well as schooling happen online, with the exception of some monthly meetings and some speaking engagements.
In this episode, Rachna talks about her and her husband have reframed their working hours and cut out some extra activities to rebalance and manage their "home operations" as a unit. As a family with two parents, they've done their best to be intentional as they're trying to figure things out with work, school, activities, personal time, health, etc. They treat their jobs and everything they do as needing to be in sync (taking on more or fewer projects based on each other's schedules), with Rachna dropping off the kids in the morning and starting her workday a little later and her husband working an earlier schedule so he can be done in time to pick up the kids from school. They have some time in the evenings together, but then she blocks time for studying after their kids are in bed. The way they've set up their home is also intentional and conducive for play and learning with a play structure in the living room and lots of tech supplies on hand for their curious kindergartener who likes to take apart old electronic devices.
Rachna and her husband are continuing to work out their home office spaces with some trial and error. Still, Rachna swears by having a larger monitor which has been tremendously helpful in her educational research and writing, something her husband was able to donate from his own setup as he doesn't require more than one screen. In the end, Rachna says that sometimes it had nothing to do with tech, equipment, or any apps, but just getting out of her home space and working in a coffee shop or a quiet library is helpful for change, especially with noisy kids when they are home early or she needs to focus.
If you'd like to reach out to Rachna to discuss teaching artificial intelligence (AI) topics or STEM and Stories, such as how to incorporate STEM learning into literature studies in an elementary classroom, you can find Rachna in the following places:
Email: rachna @ stemology.club