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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET THE JOURNEY BEGINS Unofficially, I am a binkie finder, marble painter, cartwheel turner, back patter, song singer, diaper changer, story writer, skinned knee fixer, cold coffee drinker, PBJ eater, problem solver, hand holder, paint cup filler, grass stain fighter, tree climber, block builder, puddle splasher, hokey pokey dancer, and mud pie baker. Officially, I am a teacher. I became a teacher because of one particular woman. Miss Mary. Miss Mary owned a Nursery School in Livermore, California. And, in the early 1970’s, I was fortunate to have been one of her students. I can remember my days at Mary’s better than I can remember days at junior high and even high school! While I was studying Early Childhood Education in college, there was never any doubt in my mind that I was put here on this earth to give what I got back. My vision of Early Childhood Education meant being able to create places where children could have the same adventure filled mornings I was fortunate enough to have had. Mornings filled with painting, clay, blocks, songs, stories, mud pies, dress up, big shovels and real hammers, bikes, water, lots of outdoor time, and plenty of open-ended experiences within hours of free play. Upon graduation from college I quickly learned that the idealism of Mary’s had been replaced by the reality of day care. I showed up for my 12 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL