Introduction: Betsy Hubbard

I am here to introduce myself, but I would first like to thank you. Thank you for being a reader of Two Writing Teachers. Thank you for supporting writers and their thinking. Thank you for finding time to reflect on your teaching and taking time to write, share and talk about it with your colleagues. Thank you. If it weren’t for you I would not be able to share in a journey that was so powerfully started by Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres. I am Betsy Hubbard from Teaching Young Writers, I Think in Poems, and Twitter @Betsy_writes. I am so humbled and honored to be joining this community as a writer.

I graduated from high school in my home town of Grayling, Michigan. From there I went to Western Michigan University (WMU), in Kalamazoo Michigan, as a Music Therapy major. During this time I began working as a teacher aide in a preschool. I was immersed into the life of play and how much it matters in the beginning stages of learning. Seasoned teachers took me under their wings and I began to find my own. I worked at the Discovery Center Preschool in Kalamazoo for four years during which time I landed on Early Childhood Education as my major. I graduated from WMU with a major in Elementary Education K-8, an Early Childhood Endorsement and a minor in English.

Following my student teaching, I was hired as a part-time pre-kindergarten teacher in an inner city elementary school in the Kalamazoo Public School District. After staying with the district for two years I was hired to be a full time kindergarten teacher in the little town of Olivet, Michigan. Olivet Community Schools has embraced me ever since. I now teach as a K/1 looping teacher and get to experience children for two years in their early education. I couldn’t ask for a better group of teachers and administrators who support my efforts and allow me the flexibility to pursue this style of teaching. At my school, Fern Persons Elementary (FPE) we have a motto, “FPE is the place to be.” It truly is and I am grateful.

I have been a daughter and sister for thirty-six years in a family of teachers. Both of my parents and my sister are teachers and we have shared a passion for developing the minds of young people.  My husband also shares in this passion and helps shape the minds of middle school students. My children are eight and six and have given me a new lens as a teacher. Watching them develop over time, I have a new appreciation for parents and the triumphs and struggles of growing a child in this world we share.  In all this time I have found that talking, drawing and writing are passions that I pass on to my students, their parents, my family and friends. Sharing my thinking with others and having a conversation pushes me to see other points of view. Drawing my ideas and planning out my thoughts is a clarifying way of thinking. When I write I let it all out on the page and my passion for teaching, living and learning comes through.

As a public school pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and now first grade teacher for the past twelve years and collectively sixteen years working with young children I can say that I am doing exactly what I am meant to do. Inspiring young children to do things they never thought possible is a driving force in my teaching. Writing is such a big animal to tame in those early years and so many children don’t get to experience it the way they should. My challenge is to grow children who not only love to write but write even when they don’t have to. I hope to inspire others to let their words out.