I've been a teacher most of my life.
When I was eleven years old, the neighbor across the street hired me to escort her 7 year old son, Kevin, to swimming lessons at the YMCA.
Too young to drive, we took the bus. During the 15 minute ride, I came up with a game I called 'I Teach You--You Teach Me'.
Over the next 6 weeks, I taught Kevin how to be independent: to ride the bus, to find the Y, to get back home. Once I taught him how to do it, I had him teach me. We pretended I had never been on the bus or to the Y before. It was a fun game for both of us.
On the last day of class, Kevin's Mom, Dee, accompanied him to his graduation. Of course, they rode the bus. The next day, she told my Mom how amazed she was at her son's independence while he escorted her to the Y. Dee said, "Your daughter will make a good teacher some day."
I never forgot what Dee said, and when it came time to choose a major in college, education was the natural choice.
Dee's prediction came true. After graduating with a Master's Degree in Education from Indiana University, I taught in public, private, and parochial schools for 37 years. My students ranged in age from 18 months to 18 years. That is why I say I've been a teacher most of my life.
I've been composing my own stories for a long time.
While I was in college, my favorite class was Children's Literature. It was then I fell in love with children's books. During that 'kiddy lit' class, I made a goal to write a children's book. Over the years I worked on my goal, and in 2004 Scholastic published my first book, Ants in My Pants. I'm still telling stories today. Right now I'm researching and writing two picture books: one about a sea turtle and the other about a pelican. I hope it's just the beginning.
I also tell fish stories.
Two years ago, I underwent extensive training in marine biology at Mote Marine Laboratory. I was preparing to become a volunteer educational guide in their aquarium. Here I am making friends with a snake during my training as a Florida Master Naturalist in Coastal Systems.
The aquarium has opened up a whole new world of wonder for me: the ocean. I'm fascinated with it's beauty and the vast variety of plant and animal life that live in and around it. During the last two years of volunteering, I've talked with hundreds of people: answering their questions and telling stories that teach about the animals.
Would you like to hear a story? Okay. Did you know fish pee? (I see your eyebrows raising.) For real! Fish do pee. Come to the aquarium. I'll tell you all about it.
Thank you for reading a little about me.
1. School Supplies: [https://pixabay.com/en/school-books-apples-blackboard-2276269/]
2. Picture of Bus: [https://pixabay.com/en/bus-cartoon-speeding-cute-vehicle-304248/]
3. Picture with Snake: [Image by Author]