Finally! After over six years developing the curriculum and over one year writing it all down, I am finished.
In my life before sabbatical, I taught gifted children. I loved the freedom of the curriculum. Gifted education still allowed teachers to build on their strengths and the students' interests. Until two years ago, that is. Two years ago, due to principals' complaints and needy parents, the county required the teachers of the gifted to get together and create county-wide curriculum for all of the gifted pull-out program (grades 1-5). I'm all for standards, but what happened to creativity in education?
When the teachers met, we all brought our favorite units to the table. I am a very flexible teacher and like teaching new things so I didn't have any set units that I wanted to keep. The only curriculum I really wanted to keep teaching was my interest projects. So I brought several student samples of interest projects and presented my original curriculum to all of the teachers of the gifted and the coordinator of the county gifted program. Their reaction was wonderful! They loved it and several encouraged me to write it up and try to get it published.
So that spring I started writing and by September, I sent prospectuses to eight different publishers of gifted educational curriculum. After a couple of months and a couple of kind rejections, I had an offer to publish by Royal Fireworks Press out of New York. I had never heard of them, but was elated. Of course, in the back of my mind I wondered how much they were going to charge me to publish my book. I was ready to sign the contract anyway, but I wanted to wait til I had heard from the other publishers.
Good thing I waited because by February I had a contract from a very well known gifted publisher, The Critical Thinking Company. And on July 12, I emailed them my final manuscript! (I won't go into the trouble I had converting the 111 pages from Apple's Pages into Microsoft Word. Yeesh...) And to think that my book is about teaching technology! What was I thinking?
If you're interested in knowing what my curriculum is about check out my book's blog. I don't know if the book will be successful or not, but right now it just feels so good to have finished something I started!