My Story

January 6, 2011 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Articles

I like to say I came into education through the back door. As a teacher, I always felt like I had missed something. That’s because my bachelor’s degree was in nursing, not education. Following graduation I worked as an army nurse. I lived in Germany for three years, and settled in Maine soon after we returned to the States.

I stayed home with my daughter in her earliest years and then began working part time at a small local paper where I did reporting, typesetting, photography, paste-up, delivery and collections, you name-it.

Then I decided I’d like to try education rather than go back to nursing. So, when an ad arrived to be typeset for an educational technician position in the local school, I walked over and applied. At that point I’d never even heard of special education, but in a few weeks I was working in a K-2 special education room. I was hungry for information, and borrowed research journals and texts from our local learning disabilities consultant. She taught me a great deal in the six years I was there.

Then I earned my Masters in Special Education, Mild Moderate, as well as Advanced Certification in Orton-Gillingham Instruction through the 32 Degree Scottish Rite Masons, and began my second career, as a special education teacher (perhaps I should say fourth, recognizing parenting and newspaper work!). Still, having never earned a bachelors in teaching, I continued to feel like I missed that “how to teach” class. Friends tell me that’s not a unique feeling for teachers in general, but it kept me reading research about the best ways to do things. In an effort to apply that research, I created a variety of games and learning materials along the way to meet the varying needs of my students, who ranged in ages from kindergarten all the way through 8th grade.

In addition to my experience as a special education teacher, I’ve worked as a literacy consultant to a principal, raising school literacy scores for a K-8 school; I’ve started a Title I program; developed and co-taught a kindergarten literacy program; and tutored many students after school and during summers in reading, writing, and math.

When something works well in special education, you can expect it to work even better in the regular classroom. I was fortunate to have wonderful friends in the classroom ready and willing to use my materials. Therefore, the materials I am marketing are materials I’ve created, used, and loaned to others. Their compliments, and requests for more, have resulted in my decision to market them.  Happy teaching to you, and I’d love to hear stories of your success!

  1. Jennifer McFarland said on January 12, 2011 5:07 pm:

    Jan, you will never know how your knowledge and expertise has influenced not only your students but coworkers as well. I am thrilled to be able to direct colleagues to your site! Keep creating!