Join us today, April 24th, as we invite Sarah Goldammer for a casual conversation to share her tips and strategies for writing original career focused stories for adult learners. Sarah, a long-time adult educator and mom, decided to writte books about the career exploration needs of adults . Each book explores a career cluster heard through the voices of people in specific jobs. Using adventure as the foundation, her readers will share career journeys through the eyes of those who love what they do.
Sarah was able to move her ideas through the creative process and we will discss what that process looks like. Join in and discover how to move your creative ideas from a gllimmer to reality.
To get started, I'd like to ask Sarah to share a bit about how she got started, what drove her to create this series?
Chime in with your question and get tips and ideas about the creative and development process.
Thanks Kathy! I so appreciate the opportunity to encourage other adult educators to create resources where they see a need. I have been lamenting for awhile now that I wish there was fun, imaginative ways to view careers and career pathways. My goal in writing these books was to inspire and expand knowledge for both adults (which is my world) and their kids (which was formerly my world when I had young kids). I see these books as an opportunity for parents and children to read together, learn together, and to promote thinking about careers. For kids, I'd love to see this inspiration come sooner rather than later in life. For adults, I'd love for them to see how career pathways work. If I'm interested in one career, how can this lead to the next career. I'd love for our adult learners to view the world of work through a career lens rather than a job lens. Adult education teachers can use these books as an introduction to career clusters and their pathways.
My process was tons of research over several years. Some of this research was casual, organic and fun. Like asking strangers on a plane (captive audience) what they do and then peppering them with questions of how they made their choice, what did they do on their journey to this choice, what they like and don't like about what they do. Some research was asking everyone I know about their career (more peppering of questions - you can see what it must be like to know me). Then I did the traditional research checking occupational websites, reading, etc. I gathered enough information to write one book for each career cluster.
Sarah and all,
You selected to focus on career exploration for your books and stories. Can you share why you focused on that topic? And to our community members, what topics do you want to write about? How can you take this process and use it in your classroom or expand this idea and write / publish you own stories?
I wrote where I saw a need. I wanted something that didn't exist so I thought, "Why not me?" Then I decided to move forward in exactly the way I like to view the world - have fun while learning - use your imagination - speak to all if possible.
I would encourage anyone to try there hand at creating materials where you see a need. A side benefit for ourselves is to stretch our brains to do something new and to think in a innovative way. That's always a win!
As a brand new author, I am choosing to self-publish. I hope to do this in the near future after final edits and working with an artist and graphic artist to create the 16 covers. There are 16 books in the series, one for each career cluster. Here is a brief description of the series: Join sister and brother duo, Frances and Henry, along with their granny for a magical imagining adventure! Granny’s gold necklace with a charmed green stone helps transport the brother and sister to explore different careers by meeting interesting professionals sharing their stories of their career journeys. Discover each of the 16 exciting career clusters using fun and suspense!
As far as insight in publishing, I am still working through the process so I'm not sure I have all the answers at this point. I will share my approach was to do what I knew while I researched what I didn't know. If I waited until I had all the answers, I wouldn't have started yet!
There are multiple tools available for self-publishing and they are pretty user friendly. I would encourage anyone who chooses to write to apply for a copyright to protect their work. This is also a rather simple process. I would love to share more insight in the near future as I complete more of this fantastic journey.
My final advice is if you feel the calling, just begin.
I'm sorry to be so late to the party, but I just stumbled upon these posts after reading your new COABE bio. This is exciting! How do you imagine these books being used? Are they for the adult ed classroom? Do you recommend them particularly for family literacy or are they for ABE/ESL adult learners also? What's the range of reading levels like?
Thanks for your interest, Rebecca! I absolutely wrote these books with adult learners in mind. They are written around the fourth grade reading level. My goal was for many combinations of teachers and learners to use these books. One model is for adults and children to read them together and discuss the broad themes around the world of work as well as the specific concepts around certain occupations. Or adult education teachers use them with their adult learners as a fun way to introduce career clusters within their classrooms and then supplement industry knowledge contextualized to the basic skills they are teaching. Most career exploration is very dry. I like the idea of exploring while having fun! My website provides ideas for teachers to use these books:adventuresfromgrannysbasement.com
Of course, my heart is for all learning, but especially for teaching and learning for adults. I am happy to help any teacher consider productive and fun ways to integrate these books into their classrooms. I want adults and children to "always imagine" as this is what provides us with the inspiration for the future. Please check my books out. Let me know if I can help in any way. Thanks for imagining with me!
Thank you Rebecca and Sarah for sharing! The books appear to be a way to learn to love reading for youth and adults. Venues may include family literacy parent and child time, adult education and career exploration, and youth career exploration, in addition to reading out of curiosity. It is nice to access resources that fit multiple purposes.