As a teen, (yeah, you can see by the hair in the above picture that my teen years were spent in the 80's - mall hair and parachute pants!) I was the "Dear Abby" of my class. Everyone, including boys, came to me with their problems. I was the one who sat and listened to hours and hours of boyfriend/girlfriend drama and I didn't mind. It came naturally, I enjoyed helping.
In 1994, I started my adult career - high school art teacher. I only taught for three years before quitting to start my own family but that didn't stop the ongoing counselling sessions with teens. Since then I have taught in many different capacities and kept in touch with many of my former students.
When I first started teaching I thought I wanted to eventually move to the elementary level, I soon realized that my heart was with middle and high school kids. Sure, they can be a challenge but they are all yearning to be heard, longing to be understood and struggling to understand themselves. This is the age group that gets written off the quickest by adults. This is the age group that I feel the most connected to.
I have taught Children's Ministry for 9 years and have enjoyed talking to girls about purity, self-respect, and similar themes. I have taught home school groups, run my own art programs and now, two of my three children have entered the TEEN/TWEEN years and our house is filled with teens most days.
Not only am I a sounding board for the many, many kids who have confided in me for years and affectionately call me Miss Michelle, I have counselled and mentored teens for sometime online as well.
Seeing this book basically write itself and then getting the accompanying workshops up and running has taken my passion for teaching and sent it into orbit, I now not only get to inspire but my "classroom" is thousands of times bigger than it ever has been. That takes my mission to a new level.
Of course, I continue the search for an agent/publisher for the book, but the workshops are strengthening the material I include in my manuscript.
Thanks for stopping by. If you know a teen who could use a good chat, send her this way!
Thanks so much,
Michelle Kemper Brownlow