by Cheryl Merrick
A little unconventional
but tailored to my talents and needs
I’ve had my careers
My life has been filled
with teaching experiences,
I began teaching as a child
when I gathered neighbor children
to “play school”,
At ten I taught five-year-olds
in Sunday School,
In high school I took children with hearing problems on field trips,
In college I student taught in
a 2nd and 4th grade classroom for five months.
I gained my Elementary Teaching Certificate and re-certified twice,
I taught Spanish adults English
and sponsored Cambodian refugees,
I taught in Primary and Sunday School for forty years–
classes from nursery to adults,
and for eight years I taught adults how to teach.
I’ve tutored children with “Learning Disabilities” and “Autism”,
and lots of creative right-brained students
in reading, math, and writing;
determining their needs
and designing activities to help them learn.
Sometimes I tutored in my home
and was paid
and other times I volunteered my services to the school.
I’ve taught children reading for in our local Recourse Centers.
I directed a parent support group for parents of children
with learning disabilities.
I was a panel member on learning disabilities on the TV show “Talk About”
in Salt Lake City.
I ran my own preschool for eight years.
I taught the writing process to children
as part of the library Summer program.
I designed and taught a four week courses
for Community School Program
on Personality Type and Supporting Your Struggling Student.
I’ve taught everything from keyboarding, math, science, literature, reading,
writing, art, dance, physical education, history, spelling,
and set up and monitored classroom management.
I’ve been involved in career and personal counseling.
For ten years I assisted in a 3rd grade classroom where I had the opportunity
to substitute for extended periods,
and where I enjoyed advising and teaching creative writing.
Have I had a teaching career?
Yes, One just right for me
Beginning as a child,
I started to write poems and keep a journal.
In high school I received the Expository Essay Writing Award.
Over the years I continued to write in my journal, letters,
and family history stories.
Late one night, I felt I must use my talents,
or lose them.
Frustrated at not knowing
what my talent was,
I began to write.
I was surprised to find
I’d written a poem!
I began writing my thoughts in poems
and writing articles for the Ensign magazine.
Five articles were published
and two others made the final cut.
The Springville newspaper published
a series of articles I wrote on learning styles.
For ten years I was editor for several ward newsletters.
For five years I was Assistant Editor for the North Star ,
our 26 page Stake newspaper. (Church member in our town)
I also was the editor of our town's Newsletter for five years.
Now I’m involved in new writing experiences
I write letters to the missionaries, messages of encouragement to
the visiting teachers in our ward,
and, as a Church Service Missionary,
I write responses to feedback on LDS.org.
I also support my husband's businesses
by writing business letters and with advertising writing.
Have I had a writing career?
Yes, one which has allowed me
to develop and share my talents.
Though I have enjoyed my careers
as a teacher and a writer,
I have found my most challenging career
and most eternally fulfilling
as a wife, homemaker, and mother.