I’ve always known that my purpose in life is to teach. I taught children in First and Second Grades for 42 years in Miami-Dade County. I started in 1960 at Coral
Elementary. I switched to Village Green Elementary and then spent 21 years at Greenglade Elementary. The last 12 years of my career was at Palm Springs North Elementary.  
After retiring from the classroom in 2002 I decided to get out of my comfort zone to teach adult women’s classes and parenting courses. I trained and became certified to teach Wise Women courses and Redirecting Children’s Behavior.           

I missed being with children in the classroom so my husband and I created our business JoySongCreations. We self-published my two books: Gramma Shirah Says Words of Wisdom and Gramma Shirah Says MORE Words of Wisdom. It gives me opportunity to visit schools and share the books with children. See www.JoySongCreations.com.  I also joined several women’s groups: American Business Women Association and the Association of Professional Business Women. I have learned and benefited so much from being with women who are so capable and successful.           

My work with the Mental Health Association also brought me into the schools where I teach what I had needed to learn in my lifetime. The Mental Health Assn. has a program called I’m Thumbody that teaches second graders that everyone is unique and special. They are as unique and special as each person’s thumb print. It teaches it is okay to be different and we don’t always have to agree with each other to be friends.I also enjoy my participation in Rotary. I am especially proud of helping toCreate a RotaKids program at Imagine Charter School in Weston. The children are learning to be of service, to become leaders and to be helpful.            

What I am enjoying most about my writing and leading workshops is that I can “give back”; teaching what I had to so laboriously to learn and to be an inspiration to future teachers and parents. One of my passions is helping little children develop skills to build positive self esteem so as they grow they can achieve whatever they want.           

By being able to go into the schools in Weston and
Pembroke Pines, I witness the wonderful work that is going on by the teachers and the students. We always hear that our school system is so poor. I totally disagree. There is much wonderful learning more than the teaching of the basic curriculum. Children are being exposed to skills in character development, leadership and positive thinking. Schools focus much more on encouraging students to do their best. 

           In 1981 I took a self growth seminar entitled Insight. My facilitator was Jack Canfield. I consider him as a major mentor in my life. Because I am a teacher, I connected with him in a very special way. He encouraged me to create a program that I was already doing in my own classroom. It is entitled Loving Circle Time. I took many of the activities I learned from Jack and, of course, added many more of my own. Much of the success in my life has been directly the result of what I learned from him. Many of those principles he put in his book The Success Principles.           

In addition to taking Insight I have took many self-growth seminars. I am still actively involved with Landmark Education and Global Relationship Workshops. These workshops have helped me to learn and grow in every area of my life. What I can share with great passion is that learning about your self takes a lot of courage and is well worth the effort. I was encouraged by the book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. I highly recommend it.            

This year I am learning more about business on the internet. I have become an independent business owner with Quixtar.com. I introduce people to a wonderful business opportunity called I-Commerce. Read what a dear friend, Margot Simon, wrote about me in her magazine Sports & Activities, Weston Directory, page 65, April-June 2007 issue: www.sportsandactivities.com .

For more about Shirah, go to www.GrammaShirah.com or www.JoySongCreations.com.