“What do I want to be when I grow up?” is a question that many children ask themselves.
Teachers Lori Smith and Amy Loring noticed that the answers to this question are often limited to a few professions, such as police officers, firefighters or professional athletes.
Smith, a Powell resident, and Loring, a Worthington resident, decided to write books to show their students that there are many exciting careers for them to choose from.
Their book series, “What Do I Want to be When I Grow Up?”, consists of 19 books, each of which contains eight or nine careers. The books are alphabetically themed with one focused on careers that begin with each letter. There are 19 books rather than 26 because, understandably, there are not many careers beginning with certain letters of the alphabet.
The books are written in rhyming verse and beautifully illustrated, which appeals to younger students. On the other hand, the information they contain is accurate and advanced vocabulary is incorporated into the verses, making the books an ideal starting place for older students who want to learn about career options.
Loring and Smith teach at St. James the Less School in Columbus. Loring, who is in her 17th year of teaching, currently teaches sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students. Smith, who is in her 15th year of teaching, is assistant principal of the school and also teaches eighth-grade students.
Smith said that she and Loring were inspired to write the books by their students. “We kinda wanted to expand their world and let them know that there are more options out there,” she said.
After deciding to write the books, Smith and Loring said that they realized they had no idea how to write and publish a book. So they turned to Google and began to research anything they did not know how to do. One of their searches was “how to write a book.” In the end, their hard work paid off and Tate Publishing decided to publish the books.
Loring and Smith said they are grateful to their husbands, Sean Smith and Kevin Loring, for their support throughout the process because, as Loring explained, she and Smith had not known, at the time of publishing, how to place acknowledgments at the beginning of their books.
“We did everything without knowing how to do anything,” said Smith. “Sometimes we can’t believe we even did it,” she added. The experience of publishing the books has served as an example of what Smith and Loring have been trying to show their students: “You can do whatever you want.”
The books can be purchased online at barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com and tatepublishing.com. Smith and Loring’s blog can be found at http://www.twoteachersontheedge.com.
Megan Neary can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.