short stories and poems
cards (thank you, sympathy, birthday, seasonal)
If she can read it, she wants to learn about it! Even so, here are the highlights:
Alternative teaching methods, traditional education, home remedies, acupressure, massage, classic plays, comparing books to movies, song lyrics, animals, traveling, different cultures, tea, food from scratch, essential oils, curriculums for vacation bible school, incorporating all students' learning styles, protecting the ocean, home made products, having a God-centered family, and plus-sized fashion
Although she completed high school in 2006, Beth decided that the best way to choose a career was to gain experience. She volunteered to be a teacher's aide for a full year at an alternative school for special needs children. It was here that she found her passion for people. When Beth entered college, there was no doubt in her mind that she wanted to obtain a degree that would allow her to communicate with people, especially children.
A shy teenager wanted a summer job. She had no idea how much she would grow over the next two months. It was a lot of work, being a waitress. Tables required bussing. Bathrooms became dirty. Change needed to be made. Orders went to the back. Was that to go? You want fries right? What do you mean we split tips? This job required a lot more responsibility than she ever imagined. Working in an island café, on a Caribbean cay, the teenager was able to meet a lot of people. She learned to memorize the locals’ regular orders and what to recommend to tourists. For two years, she worked on holidays. After that, she enjoyed it so much that she continued to take an occasional shift. What was a way to make a few dollars turned into the start of a passion for people.
Fast forward a few summers (about a decade) and one will see that the shy teenager has now become a teacher. She took a position as a home management instructor. Her students were blind adults that came to the training center to prepare for the work force. Some of these adults had cooked a lot before and only needed to learn how to do the same tasks, but without vision. Other students had not cooked with any tools beyond the microwave, requiring basic instruction. Students started with simple meals like eggs and bacon, but finished the class by cooking and hosting a meal for forty. The teacher learned just as much as her students, but strived to maintain a relaxed family atmosphere.
There was a little school that did not have a full-time teacher for the first and second grade. They were in one room together, consisting of a whopping total of three children. In a few months a teacher would be there, but, until then, mothers volunteered in the afternoons and a seventh grader taught in the mornings. She had never thought about teaching before, but, if one had asked, she would have told him that teaching was not for her. Throughout high school she taught at Bible camps and tutored small children, but the teenager saw no future for herself in such a vocation. “I’m not a fan of kids,” she’d say. “And certainly not of school.” Then, the time came to start thinking about college. While the girl did not plan on going to college, her main reason for not going was because she did not know what to study. During her senior year, she had the opportunity to volunteer at the local school for special needs children. Once a month, helping with whatever was needed, planted a seed that grew into a change of heart. For a year, she worked as a teacher’s aide. It was the first time, apart from baby-sitting, that she had been responsible for another person and, now, she had fourteen children! She had been in denial. Teaching was the career for her – no doubts. It took six years to learn this truth, but, in the end, she was glad.
In college, she majored in Elementary Education because special education was not available. Thankfully, her teachers let her gear the assignments accordingly. Because of a love for writing, she decided to minor in English. There were many opportunities to do some peer teaching in and out of the classroom. The last two years brought opportunities for the young teacher to use her newly-learned skills in the classroom. She was truly thankful for all she had learned and could not wait for graduation and a class of her own.
After college, the new graduate was offered a job at the school where she had previously volunteered. She was given the responsibility of supervising the kindergarten and teaching religion and language therapy to the lower grades. The following school year, another position was offered. This time, another high school teacher was needed to assist in one-on-one learning, life skills, and job training. After moving to another location, the teacher accepted an offer to be a one-on-one paraprofessional to a blind preschooler. The next year, she worked at a vocational rehab center for blind adults. It was her job to give instruction in GED, English language, and home management skills. All of these positions were enjoyable and exciting.
Beth believed in Jesus at an early age. To her, the Gospel is gospel. When she was growing up, she attended Sunday School and a Christian high school. It was then that she started going on mission trips. Beforehand, she would write scripts for skits and plan lessons. Afterward, she would write accounts of her trip to share. For the semester that she was Collegiate Chaplain, she was expected to prepare a weekly devotional. Even now, she writes positivity posts on social media to promote her philosophy, stated in James 1:2-4, to "count it all joy".
At first it was a bit daunting. The assignment would take weeks to complete, after all. How were the students supposed to find time to read and critique all those children’s books during one of their final semesters? When they actually began to read, the entire class was surprised. After a day full of rushing to class, printing assignments, inhaling a meal or two, and remaining social, it was nice to lie on one’s bed with a brightly-colored picture book. Later, when chapter books were assigned, a few found themselves heading back to the dorm earlier than one should on a Friday night because they had promised to read the next few chapters to their roommates. Even after graduation, some of these now-teachers kept up with the practice of escaping, just for a while, with a book. A well-written “children’s book” can be enjoyed by all ages.
As a child, Beth participated in school plays and, for fun, wrote a few. In high school, she joined the drama club. There, students were sometimes asked to write their own dramatic readings, speeches, and monologues. During summer breaks, Beth, and her friends, wrote puppet scripts for Vacation Bible Schools. In recent years, she has directed local plays.
Originally, this writer was not interested in the concept of Facebook, much less giving time to creating and maintaining a profile. After a few years in college, her thoughts began to change. Having a Facebook page seemed to be the best way to stay in touch with multiple friends. A few years later, as a New Year’s resolution, she decided to post one positive thought each day. Many people sent messages telling the writer that the posts were contributing to a better attitude in their own lives. When she moved, there was a lull between jobs, causing discouragement. This time, she decided to create a Facebook page, separate from her personal one, just for positive thoughts – Bible verses, pictures of flowers, motivating quotes, and personal reflections.