“In each teaching experience, my greatest joy is seeing students faces light up when they ‘get it’ and want to share what they’ve learned,” Wilkinson said.
“One of the things I truly enjoy, and Rush County Schools has been great with, is the implementation of technology in the classroom. There are so many good programs that support and reinforce what we are trying to do. These programs also afford us the opportunity to personalize lessons for each student. Those who need extra help get that extra lift and those who need to venture out a bit can do that too,” Wilkinson stated.
“Another great way to capture the thoughts and ideas of my classes has been to publish a book. These books typically focus on a theme. Each student utilizes one page for written copy and one page for a drawn illustration. This year’s class is interviewing and writing about a relative that is important and has had an impact on their lives. The compilation of stories will be transformed into a book that can be enjoyed years later,” she cited.
As you talk with Mary Wilkinson, her love of writing just bubbles to the surface. Her childhood years of telling stories coupled with a special writing project, launched her into becoming an author in her own right. The summer of 2003 found her participating in the Indiana Writing Project at Ball State University. It was there that she began to put in writing the stories that would become her first book, ‘Call Me Lizzy.’ While her book is fictional, it is grounded for certain in the childhood and classroom stories that have shaped her life. And who is the depiction of Lizzy on her book cover? Well it turns out this is a former student at Mays Elementary School. Delany Dawson, now a student at Benjamin Rush Middle School, is the personification of the face of Lizzy. ‘Call Me Lizzy’ is being released March 11 with book signings at several locations (Mary Wilkinson can be contacted at: WilkinsonM@rushville.k12.in.us).