Unveiling Truths, Connecting Communities

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Teaching and Developing Schools to Help Children Learn and Succeed – Patricia Derrick

Patricia Derrick
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Today, an adequate education is a necessity and a fundamental human right rather than a choice or luxury. Every human has the right to education for social and economic development, personal growth, and acquiring skills and abilities to become a proactive member of society. Governments are responsible for developing policies and infrastructure to ensure that every child gets elementary and secondary education while learning to read, write, and acquire knowledge of necessary subjects. Education is also essential for personal and professional growth despite being a right because it equips a person with the knowledge, skills, and tools to succeed. Education and academia are crucial for preparing children to help them achieve their potential and overcome life’s challenges. The minds of tomorrow also need skills and expertise in multiple subjects and topics to become proactive members of society by contributing to their relevant fields as adults.

Teachers play a significant role in helping children develop and succeed as adults while instilling beneficial knowledge and skills. Teachers enable children to reach and maximize their potential by imparting necessary knowledge and skills. Teaching is also helpful for enhancing children’s creativity, critical thinking skills, and confidence. Teachers are essential for social development because they ensure children’s emotional and social development. Most people join the teaching profession due to their passion for helping children overcome learning and academic challenges. Passion for helping students overcome learning difficulties or academic challenges drives people’s decision to become teachers. However, some individuals have the drive to make extra efforts to help children overcome their learning disabilities and challenges by utilizing multiple means. Patricia Derrick is an ambitious teacher who taught for several years before opening a chain of private schools and writing children’s books to contribute to their learning in several ways.

Patricia Claire Derrick is a career educationalist with vast experience in the education field as a teacher and as the founder and owner of a private school chain. Born in Van Nuys, CA, on May 14, 1947, Derrick completed her early education at Granite High School in 1968. She completed her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in education from the University of Utah in 1968 and 1978, respectively. Derrick started her teaching career immediately after graduating from college after receiving a position to teach the sixth grade while studying in college. Passionate about teaching students and training young minds, Derrick pursued her teaching career for twelve years before establishing the SpringStone Montessori Schools in 1977. She developed and built the schools as a general contractor and opened six locations in two states. The teaching job and establishing Montessori schools reflect Derrick’s passion for helping children learn and succeed. Witnessing students’ challenges in reading at a young age compelled her to establish a publishing company, Animalations, and write several books to help young children read. 

Derrick used a unique and innovative concept of combining books with songs where the song lyrics sync with the book text. Each book in the Animalations series accompanies a freely available song that children can listen to before or during the reading of the book. Readers listen to the lyrics and understand complex words while enhancing their vocabulary. She wrote several books based on the singalong concept, including Beaser the Bear’s Rocky Mountain Christmas, Farley the Ferret of Farkleberry Farm, Mr. Walrus & the Old School Bus, and Sly the Dragonfly. The books received excellent reviews from several prominent platforms while receiving several awards. Some notable awards for Animalation’s books include the Book of The Year Award from Creative Child Magazine, the IPPY Bronze Award, the Mom’s Choice Gold Award, the Teacher’s Choice Gold Award, and others. 

The teacher and school owner developed the idea for another innovative product: Brainpaths, while working on the playground of one of her schools. She noticed that students enjoyed tracing their fingers on the indented textures on the block that went into the fences. She researched the phenomenon and found that it mimicked Braille, which had the potential to rewire the brain by firing and wiring neurons. She developed and patented the Brainpaths device to help people with cognition and memory by stimulating the brain as fingertips trace over textures, utilizing over 3,000 mechanoreceptors in the fingertips. Teaching bridges the gap between students and books while enabling children to read and write at the elementary level and understand complex subjects or concepts at the secondary and higher levels. Patricia Derrick recognized the significance of children’s education and helped them learn and succeed by teaching and developing a chain of private schools.

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