I'm a teacher. Can you tell? I started out as a scientist-- a biochemist and took a lab job right out of college. I gave mice cancer, then I gave them drugs, then I measured the cancer to see if the drugs worked. Not my cup of tea.
So I went back to school and got a masters in secondary science education. I also got married. It was hard to get a teaching job in those days because I had an advanced degree, which meant they had to pay me more; I was inexperienced, so they had no idea what kind of teacher I would be and I was married, which meant I would get pregnant and leave. I was also very young, 21, and my husband was off in the army. Finally, I landed a teaching job for 7th, 8th, and 9th grade science. I was told to teach modern atomic theory to the 8th grade. They gave me a terrible, boring book to teach from. I noticed the door was closed. No one was watching, so I went to the library and got a bunch of books with titles like, The Story of the Atom. That's the way I taught, using appropriate children's nonfiction for that unit and all the others. At the end of the school year I gave my students two days of test prep for the "achievement test" in science. They did fine. Those were the days when teachers had autonomy. Today, if you teach as I did, you'd be called subversive.
After 2 1/2 years I got pregnant and they made me quit teaching. I still had three months to go before Theo would arrive. There was an ad in the NY Times for teachers to write educational materials. So I went to Brooklyn for an interview. The publisher was in a storefront with the slogan "Simplicity Is Worth Millions." (Wishful thinking). He asked me if I could write a high school chemistry text. I said I thought I could. He asked me to write a chapter, "but it has to be simple." I went home and wrote a chapter which he handed back to me with the statement, "It's not simple enough." So I rewrote the chapter and brought it back. "It's still not simple enough," he said. After the third try, he gave me the contract! I discovered what cloud #9 feels like! Then Theo was born and I wrote the book with him in his infant seat at my feet. My name was never going to be on that book, I was paid a flat fee, and in the long run, it was never published. But I had found my calling. I could do something interesting at home while I raised my kids.
And so I wrote, and wrote and wrote while life happened. My kids grew up, even my grandchildren grew up and here I am today still writing about science, and interesting nonfiction for kids, and the love of learning. In 2008 I was asked to contribute to a group blog called "Interesting Nonfiction for Kids" (INK!) I discovered my inner blogger. Then I blogged for a newspaper called Education Update. In 2013, I started blogging for the Huffington Post and became a Contributor in 2016. Finally, now, I'm on my own.
I invite you to enjoy your time with me.