The first thing I wanted to be when I grew up was a teacher.
I loved school. Even though I moved 13 times by the time I finished high school, classrooms were a constant in an inconstant life. The smells, sounds, and rituals of school sustained me from Florida to Kansas, Georgia to Okinawa, and on and on.
I loved teaching. Until I discovered that my measly $13,000 paycheck wasn't enough to do much more than pay the rent on a shared apartment and my college loans. So I left, to satisfy my other love, writing. I became a copywriter in an ad agency, doubled my salary in one year, and enjoyed myself tremendously for the next 20-odd years.
(Oops . . . I'm revealing a little age there, aren't I?)
I returned to teaching when I discovered that my children were ready to learn to read far sooner than Kindergarten. Writing a curriculum, figuring out the preschool learning style, adapting Phonics to the comprehension of a 4-year old: Preschool Phonics was born.
For the past six years, I have taught Preschool Phonics, primarily at the preschool my daughter attended, the continuing long after she entered our neighborhood school. These classes come after my stint at Dunwoody Nature Center, and satisfy my need to teach. I recently calculated, just for fun, how many preschoolers I've taught the foundations of phonics. More than 400. Oh, my goodness.
This week, I begin my 7th year, with a new class of wriggling, slobbery, grinning, eager-to-try-anything pre-kindergarten munchkins.
I'm back in the preschool world. What a blessing.