For Katie Hawkins, leaving her classroom at Brown Middle School and going home to work on her children's book became a hobby.
"It was a bucket-list thing for me," said the sixth-grade social studies teacher. "It was very enjoyable."
Hawkins said she always knew she wanted to write a children's story. This past summer she was able to publish her first book, "Where's a FROG When You Need One?"
She is quick to say, however, that she's not the only published author walking the halls of Brown Middle School. Assistant Principal Sylvester Carrington has published two books.
Most recently, Carrington published "It's Your Word Against Mine."
Carrington said it's important for teachers and school administrators to write.
"Teachers don't write enough," he said. "We live in the trenches, and we need to write and share about this more."
His most recent book is about the varying meaning of words from his native country of Barbados and here in Tennessee. It's an account of his life, demonstrating how words have different meanings in each place.
"I got in some trouble with using the wrong word sometimes," Carrington said with a chuckle, reflecting back to when he first came to the United States in 1981 for graduate school.
He said his favorite chapter of the book is about his "muddah," his name for his mom. He said this chapter has an emphasis on education.
Hawkins said the inspiration for her children's story came one afternoon when she was playing outside with her grandkids and mosquitoes were driving them crazy.
"I was out there with them and started thinking, where are the frogs to eat these insects?" she said.
Hawkins' book tracks a couple of kids through a day, asking similar questions about things they experience. She said her students helped choose rhymes and adjectives included in the illustrated book.
Hawkins said she enjoys using children's literature in her classroom and hopes to keep writing and publishing youth books related to content studied in the classroom.
Both educators said parents and students get excited to hear they are published authors.
"There are so many books out there," Carrington said. "And it's nice to know you've contributed."
Contact Kendi Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-6592.