Tuesday, November 07, 2006


This quote was on my Starbucks cup last week. I keep thinking about it, and how a lot of my students are the ones with the machetes.

A child’s mind isn’t a blank slate; it’s more of a jungle. Each time a parent helps a toddler read, the child is walked through this jungle from one side to the other. Trip after trip, a seemingly impossible passage becomes a well-worn path. Children sent to kindergarten skipping merrily along this path to literacy fare far better than those sent to school with machetes.

-- Keith Mastrion
“Reading Man” and 1998 National Teacher of the Year

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Familiar Faces

I was so blessed last weekend to have a chance to see a familiar face. Tony, one of the parents that I got to know through nannying was in Hesston KS., doing a weekend seminar. I emailed him and we met up at a Starbucks before I ran him to the airport. I had tears in my eyes when I saw him, I guess I have been so consumed with my life here, that I've forgotten how much I miss my family and people from home. I mean, I guess it is good that I am busy instead of being bored and lonely, but I am truly so thankful for my family, and I miss them a lot.

The same weekend I was caught off guard in a dollar store when I heard a surprised "Ms. Johnson?". I don't know if she was surprised that I do normal things, or that I too shop at a dollar store. (I was there for prizes for my prize box.) I was totally out of teacher mode, and it took me much longer to respond than usual. When I turned around there was one of the students I have been tutoring after school, smiling huge! It was so weird to be recognized, but really nice as well. I got a hug, which I can never have too many of, and also got to meet her mom and siblings.

This last week was nutty with the kids! Between halloween, which I didn't like before, and now I like even less, and the day after halloween it was 20 jumping beans jumping off the walls! I am going to be very thankful for this next week, since we have Friday off, and I already made plans to go and visit Zach in CO. It should be nice to see that familiar face of my favorite brother.