Diane Stark, who taught kindergarten and second-grade for nine years in the Indianapolis Public School system, recently published a short story entitled "The Substitute," in an anthology collection entitled "The Ultimate Teacher: The Best Experts' Advice for a Noble Profession with Photos and Stories."
The book, which offers "an inspirational point of view" on the teaching profession, was released in April by HCI Books, which publishes the popular "Chicken Soup" books.
"The Substitute" is a non-fiction entry by Stark about the relationship she developed with a student in her first job one year out of college. Stark said the dealings she had with the student chronicled in the story "really touched her heart" and that it helped her develop a deeper connection with her students.
"The experience (chronicled in "The Substitute") really taught me to be more compassionate," Stark said. "Kids don't leave the troubles of their home surroundings at home. It stays with them and impacts their behavior."
This is not Stark's first experience with published writing. She has been doing freelance work for the past five years and has seen her work published in various parenting and religious publications.
Stark left teaching after the birth of her first child and has since mothered four more. She said she misses teaching from time to time, but is focused on raising her family.
She did, however, express great interest in expanding her writing career. The experience with "Ultimate Teacher" seems to have paid off, as she is planning to release her own full-length book about teaching.
"Devotions To Go: For Teachers," is a daily encouragement book for educators to be released by the EDM publishing company. It is dedicated to giving teachers daily advice to keep them motivated through difficult stretches. Stark said she felt a great importance in writing about the education process as those who provide their services deserve proper recognition.
"Teachers are the unsung heros of our society," Stark said. "They are underappreciated, they are underpaid, and anytime we can give them the acknowledgement they deserve, it is a great thing."
"The Ultimate Teacher: The Best Experts' Advice for a Noble Profession with Photos and Stories" is in stores now. For more information, go to hci-online.com. "Devotions To Go: For Teachers," is expected to be released this fall.