Hi! I’m Tracy Atkinson. Welcome to my site! One of my husband’s favorite pictures of me. Although our story starts about the time of this picture, my story does not. I have a firm belief that there are many different beginnings in each of our lives -when we are born, married, conversion, birth of our children and even divorce.
When I became a single mother of five children, I found myself wondering how I would support my children, household, and myself. I spent a lot of time becoming well acquainted with a catatonic state until I learned to laugh. What I realized was that I did not want to live on welfare. I did not want to be taken care of by someone else. I wanted to be independent. With the wonderful support of my parents, siblings and friends, I created a plan (and yes, I recognize the irony of depending on my family and friends after stating I wanted to be independent). I returned to school to work on my masters and continued on to work on a PhD. (Finishing the coursework — dissertation still hanging out there.) I studied whenever and wherever I could. I carried research and texts to my daughter’s tennis games, read in my car, researched while in the carpool line … you get the idea. To support my family, I worked odd jobs. I worked nights. I worked weekends. I worked when my children were spending time with their father. When they were home, I was home. I admit I was physically exhausted.
Returning to higher education was scary to me -just like starting this website – but I knew my passion for education. I’d devoted all my time and energies to teaching my children while serving and teaching in the schools. Never did I feel more energized than teaching. It came easily to me because I had a passion for it. I believed in it. I still believe in it. I believe in teaching and especially teaching by example as we each pave the way for new learners.