A lot of people ask why I started teaching sign language to children, especially since I have a background in science. At first, it was all about my daughter Rose McCall Baker. I was a first time mom and was looking for something for the two of us to do outside our home. St. Al’s had a Baby Signing Time class that we went to for a few months. Once Rosy began signing on a regular basis, I was shocked to see exactly how much was going on in her months old brain. I was also pleased by her hunger for knowledge and my ability to give her what she wanted. So we continued the program and I casually began ASL classes for adults, not thinking that I would eventually want to teach. That began to change as my daughter progressed in her own learning.
People began to stop me at stores and at the park and at the library, asking how my daughter knew so much sign language. We couldn’t go anywhere without being asked about it. And even though St. Al’s helped her get her signing sea legs, I had continued the lessons at home long after we stopped going to the newborn classes. It was me mostly me that taught her and so that’s what I told the curious other parents.
Without fail, the other parents would ask if I could help them teach their children too! They assumed I was a teacher!! I would say some self-deprecating thing about not being qualified to teach my own child, let alone others and make an excuse to escape. One day, I stopped doing that and started to answer the question with “I don’t teach, but maybe I should,” and and that was when I started to study ASL harder. That is when the idea became something I couldn’t stop thinking about. The rest is not – as they say – history. No, this story is still being told and who knows where it will go from here.
I don’t tell this story because I think people are truly that interested in RMSL’s origin story or in my own, but because in addition to being an advocate for early childhood literacy, I am an advocate for entrepreneurs. I especially encourage stay-at-home mothers to become entrepreneurs when they have a passion for a service or product that has a high demand and a low supply. I see women everyday with a vision who think they cannot do it for some reason or another. I write this story for these ladies. To show them that it CAN be done.
We run households my stay-at-home ladies! We vet pre-schools and tutors and babysitters and pediatricians. We feed our hungry families on a budget we helped create. We keep our homes and lives organized. We 3D print humans and raise them from tiny little blobs of flesh to fully functioning adult humans (hopefully).
Ladies, we have the prowess to own our own businesses. We know what its like to build something from the ground up. We know how to be resilient and resourceful. We know how to multitask like no one else can. So if you find yourself with a business idea that you can’t seem to stop thinking about, and you see a way to make it happen… DO IT. Take a deep breath and jump right in. I did and I’m never looking back.