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While teaching elementary school I soon realized that in order to teach reading and writing, I needed to be a reader and writer first. I began reading all sorts of wonderful books. Then I began writing.
First, I wrote about our math classroom, the sorts of activities we were doing and problems we were investigating. Then I began writing stories. My students' stories were so impressive, I was inspired to write my own. In the beginning, I wrote short ones, nothing too serious. But then one afternoon I was struck by an idea that really excited me. Soon after that I found a group of amazing writers to meet with. I listened to them, and eventually shared my work. Looking back, my writing was not very strong, but they liked my story, and they encouraged me to continue. And so I did. I made a large amount of progress on that manuscript before Mr. Terupt and his students told me to write about them first. I hope to return to that original story one day.
Pay attention to the world around you, stories are everywhere. And if you have a story, you have something to write about.
I taught third and fourth grade in Connecticut for six years before moving to Northfield Mount Hermon, where I spent the next seven years teaching high school biology. Throughout my teaching career, I was also on the mat coaching high school wrestling.
Currently, I live in North Andover, MA with my wife and three daughters where I am working as a full-time writer.
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