Terry Cross is at a loss as to where the dominant teacher gene came from that runs through the females in her family.
She has taught sixth grade at Covenant Classical School in Concord for nine years.
All of her daughters teach there, too, in some capacity.
Her eldest, Keli, 24, taught sixth grade last year and now tutors at the school.
Never miss a local story.
Her middle daughter, Lauren, 23, is in her second year teaching physical education and Latin, and her youngest, Megan, 17, a senior, serves as a kindergarten teacher's assistant during her free period.
"I have no idea," said Terry, of the reason her girls are all teachers.
Her son, Javan, is a college sophomore studying communications. Her husband, Larry, is a baker.
It's all about joy
"We love learning," she offers. "When you like to learn, you like to tell people and then suddenly, you're a teacher."
Think back to the teachers who stood at the front of your classrooms growing up.
There are so many different kinds, from the meticulous teacher who would insist on perfectly spaced desk rows to the unpredictable one who would hold class outside on an unseasonably warm day.
Maybe you'll see your favorite in one of these women.
Terry Cross likes to make her classes entertaining. At the end of a unit on Israel, she urged her students to follow her out of the classroom and down the hall to the secret caravan stop she had planned for them to see. They found a room pulsing with Middle Eastern music, pillows lining the floor and a crackling, fake fire.
"She's an actor," said one daughter.
Not one to simply use a textbook, Terry wants to give her students a glimpse of the time period they're learning.
"I love to transport them into a different culture," she said.
As a sixth-grade teacher last year, Keli would spend countless hours listening to what her students had to say about academics and their own lives.
"It would tug at my heart to listen to their stories," she said.
This year, she decided to tutor while she considers which path to take as an educator. She contemplates working in a boarding school in South Africa or Kenya, where she would be able to help students not only with their school subjects but also with the trials of their daily lives.
Know your students
Lauren is a spontaneous teacher, who can switch roles and activities quickly to suit her students.
"Lauren can read her audience," said Terry. "She can tell when she's losing them."
This is an essential trait for a teacher who spends half of her day running with kids in gym shorts and half the day teaching them Latin root words.
Megan, the youngest educator in the family, is considering studying childhood development in college. She is gaining experience as a teacher's assistant, cutting out crafts and reading to students during her free periods.
As to how each gravitated toward roles in education, the sisters think back to their time spent as students.
"Each of us had such strong role models as teachers," said Keli.
With so many wonderful teachers in the family, they still do.