I had been retired from teaching grade one and two students for roughly two months. I retired a month before the end of the school year because I always said ‘someone else needs the job’ and the end of May was my earliest retirement age with a full pension. I was sad to leave the students and they were sad that I left before the end of the school year, but it was not a surprise. I had been honest with my students from the beginning of the school year that I would be leaving at the end of May so that they would be as prepared as possible for me leaving. I did, however, visit them during the last week of school to say good-bye before they left for summer vacation.
Anyway, by the end of July I was thinking things my co-workers said to me about sharing the lesson plans and activity pages that I had created for my students over the years. Kelly and Manroop said that I may be able to earn a little money by posting these things on a website that helps teachers sell their lesson and activity pages to other teachers. So, the question I had to ask myself was- “What could I post on-line that other teachers would purchase?”. Then, because it was still July and hot outside, I amended it to “What would be quick and easy to sell on-line?” I first got my math files from school out to look at, because primary teachers always need new math pages and worksheets for their students. It was still hot outside. A math unit with enough worksheets might take a lot of time to put together and make ‘pretty’ for teachers to use. Hmmm, what other thing could I do?
Then I started thinking about the beginning of the school year. Maybe a ‘Back to School’ booklet. It was still hot outside. That seemed like a lot of work. Hmmm, what else can I think of? Then I went past Thanksgiving (as I plotted things in my head) until I got to Remembrance Day. There was always my Symbols of Remembrance Day activity I had done with my students over the years. That just might be a good place to start. It consisted of about 10 to 12 pictures for the students to hold up at the ceremony and words for them to learn to say about the symbols. I was still hot outside, but that seemed to be doable in the summer heat. It was decided. I would look for new pictures- making sure that they were not copyrighted- and put down the words so I could post it on a website (not yet chosen) to sell to people.
At that point, I realized that I gave all my Remembrance Day materials to Kelly and Manroop, my teaching partners, before I retired. So I emailed them to ask when they would be in school to prep for September, so that I could get these materials, which I gave them and get started. Unfortunately, neither one of them were going to be in school for a few weeks. It was worth a try. So I decided to re-create the words for the symbols as well as getting new copyright-free images to use with them. As I started working on the words (I was fairly certain I remembered all the symbols I had used), I realized that it started looking like a book. Hmmm, make it a book instead? It was kind of like a jolt when I realized that it might be better to make it a book instead of a set of pages to be used in a Remembrance Day ceremony. I remembered how few books about Remembrance Day there were that I could read to my primary students that were written for children that age that explained it in words they could understand. That was it, I was writing a book. Okay, now, how do I do this?