Okay… here we go!  I am pretty excited about this venture.  That in and of itself is pretty ironic, seeing as I spend a good portion of my week telling students to write, not blog.  Four class periods a day I teach middle and high school students how to write in preparation for college, and for years, I’ve enjoyed ACT 5-Year Trends that show 100% of my seniors are ready for college writing.  

  My name is Michelle Smith, and, if I chose an adjective to describe my life, it would have to be ironic.  My parents and I own a small private school of which I am the Chief Operating Officer (kind of like the principal).  Yet, I teach all day because I feel administrators need to be in the classroom to fully understand the changing needs of students.  We are Christians, yet we have purposefully not made the school faith-based so that gifted students of any belief system will feel welcome.  Even so, we bathe every move in prayer.   I like rules and rule followers, but I love pushing boundaries and even more, facilitating students to “go beyond.”

  So, here I am, preparing to begin a blogging venture with my daughter and mother.  What started as a discussion about a book idea with my daughter quickly became a three-generation blogging idea.  It’s unique… I like it!  I know I’ve stated that I teach English/Lit most of the day, but I’ve also said I’m a “boundary pusher,” so don’t expect my writing to be flavorless.  I’m an Oklahoman, and we love to speak in idioms.  

   Okay, just a little bit more about me so that you will have background from which to draw conclusions about my blogs.  I have been married to the same man, JT, since I was 21… 28 years now.  (Now you know my age!) JT spent 30 years in the Army, completing six deployments and a couple of schools, all of which kept us apart from six months to a year at a time.  Not one of those deployments was as hard, though, as his recent retirement.  I gained fifty pounds, which I have ten months to lose before my son’s wedding!  JT and I have two kids, both of whom ended up in Chicago for college.  Justin is a free-lance web developer and a maker for Capital One.  Bria you will meet through this very blog site!  Can I brag, though?  She’s on track to finish both her Bachelors and her Masters in Public Relations in four years.  We are so proud of both of them.

   I play the piano and am a singer.  I don’t like to play for anybody but my students because I’m self-taught, but I will sing a solo anywhere!  I taught music in Texas, and I teach choir and acting/speech throughout my school (PK3 – 12th grade).  I also teach chess, robotics, PE, and BusComm.  I am the sponsor for student council, honor society, class officers, MathCounts, BEST Robotics, competition choir, and state and national speech competitions, and I drive the bus in which we travel.  

   Needless to say, I am a very busy woman.  I love it, though.  I cannot stand to have “nothing” to do.  Blogging is an extension of my favorite activity – talking.  I was spanked and isolated in school for talking too much, but it didn’t stop me.  I tease that I became a teacher because I can talk all day and when students interrupt me, I can say, “Shhh. I’m talking here.”

   My book idea:  share the experiences we’ve had as we created a private school that is a business rather than a parochial or non-profit.  Essentially, it’s a start-up.  We’ve been educating students for sixteen years now, and we have enjoyed much success.  My daughter suggested that a blogging site would let me share what we’ve learned as well as what we are learning along the way.  So, for my part of the site, I intend to share how we’ve accomplished what we have, as well as give insights into how to get the best education for your gifted child and ways to deal with such an intelligent child!    That’s enough rambling for today. Talk to you soon!