For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a passion for learning and exploring. I’ve dived into books as easily as I’ve climbed trees and mountainstops, always looking for something to enlighten my view on the world.
It was no surprise then, that the common thread through my colourful career has been education, as I believe that education is the best way to broaden your mind and explore your own world and the world of others.
Before I made the choice to focus on writing (and use my experience and education along with my imagination and passion for storytelling), I had spent 15 years of my life focusing on children and teenagers, as well as people living in the margins of society.
I started working with children back when I was still a child myself; my first educational job was as a gym instructor for preschoolers, when I was in the 10th grade. Since then, my experience includes nursery, kindergarden, preschool, primary school, after school programmes, Summer camps, sexual education and an online advise column for teens, as well as NGO relief work and a stint in the military. (not to forget all my service jobs, I’m one hell of a waitress.)
I’ve worked part time, full time, temp jobs and permanent positions, all while getting my own degrees and travelling the world. My latest position was as an educational manager in a private preschool in Norway, and while I might have left that position, I have as of yet no plans for leaving the country…
So why did I make the decision to stop working with children, when I was on a beautiful (and well paid) career path? Well, two reasons. ONE; my health… I was constantly getting sick. I had chronic problems with my sinuses to the point where I almost had surgery, and the job was stressful. While I was good at my job, the responsibilities on managing a small staff and the overall safety and social education of so many children weighed on me. I liked my job, but I didn’t love it. Which leads to reason number TWO; my passion was never to be an educational practitioner. I want to write childrens books and YA books, I want to teach seminars and continue studying the field of education. I still light up and my inner clockwork starts ticking, when friends and former colleagues talk to me about their jobs and the occational troubled kid or professional challenge they have, but my ticking lights are for me to stay peripheral as an educated and experienced child development expert whom they can spar with, not as a practioner. That said, without my own practical experience and that of others, I wouldn’t have a clue as to what I am talking about…
And I owe the same clues to my education. With my BA in Social Education, I focused on ages 5-15, social and psychological development, storytelling, kids media, learning through playing, and marginalised children. With my MA in Educational Anthropology, I focused on ages 16-23, institutionalisation, identity processes, subcultures, culture clashes, culture exchange and culture development as well as the individual’s own narrative voice to self worth and self identification.