Someone recently asked me why I chose my heroine in my new release, In the Shadow of Evil, to be an elementary school teacher. That question threw me for a moment because Jennie McKenzie, in my mind, was always a teacher. I couldn’t see her as anything else.
Maybe that stems from the fact that I consider myself a teacher groupie. What is a teacher groupie? It is a parent that just loves being around her children’s teachers.
The day my oldest child stepped into a classroom for the first time will always be with me. Here was this bright, enthusiastic, young boy who was so excited about being old enough to go to school. As I watched him get on his first school bus, my eyes filled with tears not only because I knew that I was going to miss the little guy every minute, but he was entering the first environment since he was born that I couldn’t control. As a worrier of worriers, my mind for the next several hours was consumed with what if. What if he needed me? What if someone tried to hurt him? What if he didn’t like his new kindergarten teacher?
I drove myself crazy with what if questions. He was entering into the big bad world when he stepped onto that school bus. How was I going to protect him from what I knew was out there?
Well, he came home that day so excited and all my needless worrying was for nothing. He loved his kindergarten teacher. “Mom, you got to meet her. She is so cool.” Well, I did meet Ms. Markey and she was very cool. I loved her on sight and volunteered right away to be her room mother.
That was the beginning of my partnership with my children’s teachers that lasted the next sixteen years. I became a teacher groupie because those amazing men and women played such an important role in my children’s future. They were helping shape their lives, secure their future, and influence who my children were going to become. How could I not get to know them and help them out in any way I could?
Teachers have not only had a profound effect on my children’s lives, but on society in general. On that day so many years ago, I wanted my child safe and secure. Placing him on that yellow school bus, developing a wonderful, working relationship with his teachers, making the idea of learning a valuable aspect of my child’s daily world was what would lead to him to live a happy, safe, and secure life.
Sadly, most parents never take the time to get to know their children’s teachers. They are missing out on not only a great partnership, but a great friendship. This is a crazy busy world we live in but making time for your children’s teachers is crucial to your child’s success in school.
In the Shadow of Evil was the first book I ever began and Jennie McKenzie was my first heroine. I modeled her character after the amazing teachers I have worked with over the years. She had to be a teacher because I just love teachers.