VICKY SHIEFMAN
Children's Book Writer
 
ABOUT ME: WHY I'VE ALWAYS LOVED SCHOOL
When I was 2 1/2, my cousin Josh and I began nursery school. Later his sisters, my brother and our cousins joined us at City & Country, a private school high on a hill in a suburban mansion near Detroit, Michigan.


My eight years there were idyllic.

Outdoor times were the best. In winter we could sled or toboggan down the hill or ice skate on the pond. In warm weather we could wander around the wooded acres after lunch. Class was almost as wonderful as the outside. In the morning we did math, reading and textbooks, but in the afternoon we did projects. One time we made a solar system that hung from the ceiling. Another we created a medieval village, complete with castle and people. In third grade, a few girls wrote a daily newspaper.

Our classes had less than twenty students; our teachers were caring and inspired; our trips to the Cranbrook Science Museum were wonderful and weekly; we had great art, drama, dance and woodworking classes. When we got to the upper grades, we helped out as assistants in the preschool.

No wonder I loved school.

In sixth grade, I went to public school for the first time. It was shocking. Bells rang to tell you when to go to the next class. The halls were filled with too many students who seemed to know exactly what kind of sweater and skirt to wear. I didn't. I was an outsider. Still, within weeks, I grew to make friends and enjoy my teachers.

Being a college student at University of Chicago and living away from home for the first time was grand. I was challenged in class, happy to meet fascinating new people and serve as culture and education editor of the Daily Maroon. I also won a Prize for the Best Essay on a Social Invention.


When I came to New York and couldn't make a living writing free-lance articles on education, I became a teacher.

It was fun - especially when I was free to experiment with lessons and projects, go to the park and on trips. Now I'm a substitute at Public School 20 on the Lower east Side of Manhattan in New York City, where immigrants settle when they first arrive. Lucky students enjoy special programs in art, dance, theatre, computers, conflict resolution, trips to New York City museums and shows.



So, I still love being in school.
Do you?
Tell me all about it,

vicky.shiefman@gmail.com

For more information about me, please see:

SOMETHING ABOUT THE AUTHOR, volume 22 GREAT WOMEN OF THE 21st CENTURY, 2004 edition.
http://www.SCBWI.org, Regional Chapters, Regional Advisors Bios, Awards & Grants, Member of the Year (with Nancy Lewis):
Citation reads: "While pursuing careers of their own they have created a dynamic region centered in the heart of the children's book industry. Together they have assembled a great group of volunteers and launched a series of lectures and workshops, put together Buddy Programs for those coming to NY on business and designed a guide to the city to children's book authors and illustrators."