Poetry Studio... Writing poetry with children - About Me

When I was in first grade, I came home from school one day and told my parents that I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. I never changed my mind. I was born in Indiana, where I spent my childhood and college years, and started my career as an elementary school teacher. I always loved books and reading and wanted my students to love reading too. I decided I needed to learn more about how to help them become lifelong readers, so I headed back to school at the University of Georgia.

After earning a Ph.D., I spent 20 years as a university professor teaching classes to teachers about reading, language arts, and children's literature. I spent a lot of time reading children's books…so, I left the university and became an elementary school librarian, a position I enjoyed for 13 years. It was the perfect job for me - I could work with students, teachers, and books! I was also a consultant for the PBS program "Reading Rainbow" for many years and author of the Teacher's Guide and Math Guide for the series.

During this time, I was a writer too. Most of my writing was articles and chapters in books that teachers would read. Sometimes, I wrote a poem…just for me. I was very interested in helping students become good writers, and I knew just what they needed - good books as models, and I always had books to recommend.

Though I am no longer in a schooI, I still work with students to become better readers and writers. And, I still read, read, read. Although my curiosity leads me to biographies and nonfiction (and I love a good fiction story with beautiful descriptions and characters I can't forget), I discovered that what I like to write most is POETRY. Especially poems that school-age readers would like to read. If you are interested, you can read about how I write a poem.

My husband and I recently moved from Nebraska to Indiana, where I write surrounded by books in the company of our adopted shelter dog, Willa. I also paint and draw in my Poetry Studio. Some of my paintings are at the top of the home page.


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