Writing is the most challenging task I attempt. Sometimes I scream. Often I shout. Many days I want to pull my hair out.
But still I write. I have to. It is who I am and have always been. I have been telling stories since I was able to talk. I knew somehow I wanted to make a career of it, so I studied broadcast journalism at the University of Georgia. My first job after college was at Cable News Network. From there, I worked many other jobs – newspaper, college registrar, photographer, and even a buyer for nuclear plants in Georgia.
Then I decided to take my love for writing into the classroom. For 10 years, I worked in the public school system teaching and eventually coaching teachers in all things literacy. Later I joined Scholastic as a national reading specialist. From there, I joined the International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE) to spread the word about how rigor and relevance and learner engagement could change our classrooms.
And the blessing through all of this is that each new path has given me the opportunity to do what I love – write.
- As a teacher, I studied writing with a local chapter of the National Writing Project. I wrote about a reading adventure in my classroom: You and Me and a Book Makes Three.
- My short story “The Fan Club” was published in Bob Sizoo’s book, Teaching Powerful Writing.
- While at Scholastic, I published a teaching resource book, Strategy Building Bookmarks.
- Highlights published my story “The Last Place You Look.”
- Plays Magazine published my play “The Letter Detective.”
- I created the app Homophone Bingo.
- In 2016, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published my book, Moving Beyond Quadrant A: Developing Rigor, Relevance, and Learner Engagement in Your Classroom.
And now I am writing and creating my own illustrations for a series of beginning reader chapter books! Do I love to write or what?