If you know me at all, you know that I’m passionate about my job as a teacher. And, if you know me well, you know that I’m even more passionate about my students’ character and behavior. This is my sixteenth year in the classroom and somewhere, early on in my teaching journey, I realized that character education is clutch (I’m 37 – can I even use that word?). It’s the most important piece of the teaching puzzle.
Every year the social and emotional needs of the students in my classroom are different. It’s almost as if each year, each group, has a bit of a theme. Last year our “theme” was paying attention to our thoughts. We spent a lot of time talking about combating negative thoughts with positive ones. We talked about believing the truth, instead of believing lies that prance happily through our brains every day.
This is SO real life! As an adult, this has been, and still is, a part of my own personal journey. Good grief! When I actually take the time to notice what’s running through my head, it can be kind of sketchy. Since when did I start thinking, “You’re a horrible teacher,” or, “You’re never going to get it right,”?!
Last spring a little idea began to form between myself and my teaching buddy, Amy. Wouldn’t it be fun if I wrote a book that catered exactly to the social and emotional issues our students wrestled with every day? Amy is my teaching neighbor and my sounding board and she just happens to be a talented artist. Wouldn’t it be fun if she illustrated the book?
Over the summer, we met weekly at Starbucks, giggled at my story drafts and her drawings, and gave each other feedback. By mid-summer, we were looking at each other saying, “Are we being serious? This is actually happening.”
And, thus, Scooter and the Muttering Monster was born!