Empower the Teacher Within

When parents at my school harassed me to breaking point, I lost my self-esteem and all my power.

Slowly my personality withered and I developed Bipolar Disorder.

Now thank God, I’ve recovered and writing ME AND HER: a Memoir of Madness became part of the cathartic healing process.

I’m a multi-genre writer who specialized in writing Memoir and mental health articles for the last few years.

Now I’m broadening my scope to include children’s writing.
It’s a natural progression after twenty years experience as a primary school teacher.
So many unwritten stories locked deep inside are resurfacing, trying to break free.

The teacher within is regaining her power, by writing stories for children that are both entertaining and have a valid message.
I’m developing a kid’s sci-fi Space Kids series with powerful lessons for children … the importance of team work and being a team player.

These messages reflect my personal philosophy on the future of Mankind …

‘We can only survive as a race if we work together as a team.’

I’ve completed two 600 word Picture Books for children aged 4-7 years.
Now I’m investigating which Publishers would be the perfect match by researching
Australian Writers Marketplace on line. http://www.awmonline.com.au/

A week ago, I joined a Picture Book online chat group, advertised in the
Queensland Writers Centre eNewsletter.
It is a worldwide picture book chat, held every Monday at 11:30am AEST.
You can email pblitchat@skymesh.com.au for the password – necessary to block spammers.
Check out: http://picturebooksonly.wordpress.com/about-picture-books-only.
Karen Collum and Kat Apel are the co-convenors.

The Children’s writing community has kindly welcomed me.
I’m thrilled to be part of an active online group of children’s writers who network, chat and support each other … I’d like to thank every one of them for their warm and fuzzy support.

Many of us display a teaching capacity of some kind, whether it’s to teach adults or children.
The ability to help others, to nurture and to guide.
And when we are empowered, we can show our true potential to encourage others and make a difference.

Can I be accepted within the wider community as a teacher who’s dealt with her demons and now wants to embrace her teacher know-how and creativity?

My heartfelt wish is to contribute to the community as a face-to-face mental health advocate, as a writing group coordinator and now as a children’s writer.

Are these three passions compatible? … Please let me know.
Can my lost teaching power finally be restored?

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14 comments to Empower the Teacher Within

  • Wade

    Hi Karen,
    Just a word of caution. Are you doing too much? We don’t want you to crash and burn.

  • Thanks Wade for your concern, but I’m really pacing myself. No need for caution. My Doc checks me every 12 months now and I’m flying through his health checklist.
    I just do a little each day, working towards my writing projects. I incorporate time out and exercise within my daily schedule. Cheers, Karen :))

  • Covey

    Karen, In addition to self-awareness, imagination and conscience, it is the fourth human endowment-independent will-that really makes effective self-management possible. It is the ability to make decisions and choices and to act in accordance with them. It is the ability to act rather than to be acted upon, to proactively carry out the program we have developed through the other three endowments. Empowerment comes from learning how to use this great endowment in the decisions we make every day

  • Thanks Covey. Thanks for sharing this bit of wisdom. I like the empowering philosophy of Independent Will. That we can chose what we do with our lives … Karen :))

  • Joanna Gaudry

    Wonderful pro-active approaches that you’re taking, Karen. Team work is very important, so I’m glad you’re spreading that message in your children’s books.

  • You inspire me everyday, Karen 🙂 Be the person you want to be, everything else will fall into place.

  • Thanks so much Carol, Most of my life I’ve lived with fear and anxiety. Now I’m trying to be brave and do the things I really want to do … Karen :))

  • Thanks Joanna. Teamwork is something I feel strongly about. When I was a full-teacher primary teacher, I encouraged and “taught” social intelligence. Karen:))

  • Robin Thomas

    Hi Karen
    Being a teacher is so much more than just working in a school – especially where you are bound by so many restrictions (thinking Naplan here)- you are teaching every day in what you say and do. People, and certainly kids, can be influenced so positively in what they read. Much good luck in all your endeavours:))

  • Angela

    Yes, you can.

  • Hi Robin, Thanks for dropping by. I agree with you about a teacher’s influence. The author can reach out to others too. Thats what I’d like to do. Karen :))

  • Thanks Angela, I can’t wait to get out in the schools again and work with Kids as an author. So exciting … Karen :))

  • Graham Clements

    Hi Karen,

    Not too sure that much team work exists when you reach adulthood. Most people are in it for themselves. What team work that appears to exist is more like the coming together of a lot of self interested people who happen to be heading towards the same goal, for that particular moment anyway. I am not saying that team work is a bad concept, I just think it doesn’t exist much in the real world. Letting kids know about the concept is a good idea, certainly much better then telling them to pursue their own goals with total disregard for others.


  • Hi Graham,
    As children spend more time behind a Screen, its more important than ever that they know how to connect face-to-face with Others. They can practice teamwork when they give up our seat on the bus, play a team sport, or when they work together with a common vision. I don’t think I’m too idealistic … Cheers, Karen :))

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