Not everyone is born on a ranch. But I was. My mother's aunt, a nurse, and my father delivered me.
I began working in the strawberry and bean fields at age 10 to help my parents buy my school clothes. By third grade, I had discovered writing and had about 50 scrolls with short stories rolled up with a ribbon around them. I carried a few everywhere for a while. Then, I had the amazing revelation that I could teach, and that's what I decided to do, so I put away the scrolls.
My 6th grade teacher, Mr. Kemper hired me as soon as I graduated from college. However, that summer I married the father of one of my third grade students and inherited 3 kids to raise. Teaching took a back burner for some years. Eventually, the time came to teach again. I worked as a waitress while I went back to school to get my Masters in Counseling. I was offered a job right away, and that's how we ended up in Nevada at a mining camp. I taught all 8 grades and loved it until the price of copper fell so low that the mine was closed.
For the most part I stayed in Rural Nevada teaching two and three grades in a one room setting. I closed my career in Las Vegas specializing in 6th grade English, which I also loved. I have been dedicated to advancing my skills and working for the betterment of education.
Retired now, I am giving back to the career that has been so good to me. You can take this teacher out of the classroom, but the teacher is still wanting to teach. Writing incredible stories in rhyme sprinkled with tidbits of useful wisdom has become my forte. It was born in the classroom as I began speaking in rhyme to pull my students into learning mode, or return us to it. I just figured that something the kids enjoyed hearing that much would make a nice vehicle for the stories I wanted to tell in books that are probably ahead of their time.
Well, that's my story and it isn't over yet.
Mary Jane Zakas