My love of books began at a very young age. Learning to read before the age of 3, my teachers often asked me to read aloud to the class. However, after cutting off my bangs with safety scissors, my preschool fame ended. But only for about 20 years.
Decades later (and now much taller), I returned to the classroom as a Montessori Children's House Directress. When working with 3-6 year-olds, a sense of humor is a must. Little did their parents know the stories the children would innocently share:
"My mom forgot to wear her underwear today!"
But most importantly, in the children's eyes, the world was a kaleidoscope of discovery, exciting to behold.
As a writer, introducing children to quality literature became a priority (my BA in Writing and Literature paid off). I wanted students to love the feel of a book in their little hands and hold on to that for life. Our cozy classroom library was a favorite respite to explore the mysteries of a chick hatching, bees busy in their hives, or delve into an author's rich imagination to be whisked away to a magical place.
My passion has always been to nurture that spirit of creativity, imagination and wonder through The Birthday Triplets and teaching.
In the next stage of my career, students could tie their own shoes (usually). I worked as co-teacher in a Montessori Upper Elementary classroom (ages 9-12). In addition to teaching, I was in charge of researching and purchasing literature for the classroom. Kids needed to be excited about books, and I knew how to get them there.
The results were astounding: Many reluctant students were starting to love reading again.
As a creative writing specialist, my programs became a hit with parents and students. Students flourished and wrote with such passion that one of the annual literary journals reached over 800 pages. Kids who thought they could never write, churned out pages like never before.
A spark ignited.
With the diminishing of creative arts programs in schools, and the lure of the phone screens, it is imperative that students are given the opportunity to delve into their imaginations, hone their crafts, and think outside the box. They're living in an age where, for many, robots will be their future job competition.
Creative thinking is a key to the future. Einstein said it best:
"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."