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By Patricia A. Schmidt

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It had to do with language and how we both, two women who did not know each other and who were from different disciplines (I, English Education; Rose, Health Administration) and backgrounds seemed to share, without articulating it in words, a mutual, reciprocal Page 14 view of teaching and learning, reading and writing. The way we worked together was in language, with language, and beyond language. This sense of teaching and English I have just described to you was dramatically different from my concept of teaching English when I began teaching high school in 1969.

Something critical happened in the moments I shared with Rose Budding. Finding out what that something is always begins simply for mewith story. I wanted to tell the story of my experience working with a writer and to research the critical period notion of language acquisition and development. It seems to me that we teachers and educators all need to begin with who we are now to understand ourselves. I invite you to join me in this journey into the teaching self. Read my story. Let yourself respond to it.

The wise old woman smiled, for she knew the story already. Surrounding this sprite were her friends, creatures of both the earth and the universe, spirits of nature. " Time passed by and by and the sprite was growing into a bigger spirit. One hot day with the sun bearing down, she was walking barefooted. She looked up into the mirage. She could feel the powdered dust between her toes, she saw rising in the heat her old friend, the wise old woman. This time she stared and reached out to the empty air.

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