Welcome aboard, Dave. You have come to the right place, now all you have to do is check out all of the info that is available here on the forum. Check out the Hall of Fame, review the various posts and decide on the shape, size, weight and such regarding your build. Do ask questions and as a teacher, you already know that there are no foolish questions. :-) My suggestion, which has always worked for me, is to build a scale model, one inch to one foot, out of cereal box cardboard. I feel that this step, which is so simple, may really show you what you like and what you might want to change. It's easier to make changes with a knife on cardboard, than it is to try to do it on a full size build when it is too late. Good luck, take pics, post em and come on out to So Calif for your maiden run.
Roly, the li'l ol' woody TD builder (and user) PS, be sure to plan on 2 doors. (very inportant for enjoyment, later)