My parents provided me with my first lessons, raising me in the church, reading to me, and taking me on special vacation experiences.
In kindergarten, my formal education began at Council Grove Elementary, in Oklahoma City. Thirteen years later, I graduated from Tuttle High School, in Tuttle, Oklahoma. The next year, I started college at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. Believe it or not, I graduated from USAO with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, just 2 1/3 years later, in 1985. I did my student teaching for another trimester after that, to receive my teaching certification for middle school and high school speech, drama, journalism, and debate.
After a short break to go to work, I returned to USAO to pursue my certification in elementary education, graduating with my Bachelor of Science in the field in 1989, adding another year to the tally.
My first job on the other side of the teacher desk started in August of 1990 at Page-Woodson Fifth Year Center, in inner-city Oklahoma City, and quickly moving to Buchanan Elementary to teach 1st and 2nd graders for five years.
Finally, my wife and I moved to Joplin, Missouri, in 1995, where I have taught in Room 404 at Cecil Floyd for 20 years (this being my 21st). During this time, I also devoted time, before my children were born, to attain a Masters Degree in Elementary Teaching from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, in 1999.
Add it all up and you'll find, and you will find between nearly 45 years of my life have been spent in educational facilities! That's almost 90% of my lifetime.
And none of this counts the school of hard knocks.
Now for the next 50 years!