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 Moving to Africa 
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When I started reading the Poison Wood Bible, I first tried to imagine my husband uprooting our entire family and moving us to another country. I would be like the mother in the story. I would have packed all the wrong things because I would not have known what would be important. At that time in history there was no internet to connect to. And you also have to take into consideration that the information that you could find in the area would come from an encyclopedia. I personally would have refused to go. There is no way that I would leave everything familiar to me and go live in God knows what. A former student of mine is packing up his family for a year to go live in Hatti. The health issues alone would frighten me to death. I remember hearing that HIV was astronomical on that island, not counting on a stray hurricane or two that could come along and sweep you away. I am glad that there are people in the world who are brave enough to do mission work. I just don't think that I am one of them. I like my creature comforts too much. :wink:

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Debra Shook Manasco


Tue Nov 24, 2009 8:39 am
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I thought about the children having to uproot too. I mean it is an entirely new way of life for everyone. Their schooling would be affected greatly too. Most children would go from attending public or private school to being home schooled. Is that better for children in the long run?? Maybe or maybe not! I think most kids needs that interaction with others and time away from their families in order to learn and grow. However, some kids may thrive from being schooled at home. I can't wait to finish reading the text to see how things turn out for all.

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Shea Richey


Wed Nov 25, 2009 8:03 pm
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When I think about the kids being uprooted and moved to a country that they are unfamiliar with I think about a lot of our students who have moved here from Mexico. The children are thrown into the school environment, without and English skills. They are in a new culture and are coming into contact with many things for the first time. After reading this book, I think I can see the situation through thier eyes a lot easier. I think in the past I have just done enough to help the kid get by, but now I want to be an advocate for these kids, help them more. They like the kids in the Poisonwood Bible, didn't have much say in thier parents decision to come to America.


Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:20 pm
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Steve I completely agree with your connection. When someone took the time to teach the children, they used what they learned and retained it. The same works with our ESL students. We have to make time to teach them what they need and be patient with them as they are learning. Once they get comfortable, they are so eager to learn and this excites me even more to hear an ESL child asking so many questions! I just hope that teachers take the time to deal with them and not just look their questions over because it doesn't fin into their lesson plan.

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Melissa Ervin


Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:37 pm
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Steve, you are so right. Our children from Mexico are often thrust into the classroom setting without any language skills. I do try to sit the students beside of someone who can translate. This helps to make them feel more secure. One year in kindergarten, an Hispanic student cried for weeks. He had no clue what anyone was saying or what they wanted him to do. Finally, the principal had to let his older brother stay in the room with him for a while until he became comfortable with the situation.

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Debra Shook Manasco


Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:54 pm
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Debbie I agree. Some people feel a passion for mission work, but I am not one of them. I believe that we all have callings in life and if we are receptive to them, we do what we can to meet those challenges. For example not everyone is called to be a teacher. I know plenty of parents who tell me all of the time. I'm glad you do what you do because I couldn't do it, it just isn't my calling. So just like the fact that everyone is not "called" to be a teacher. Not everyone is called to be in the mission field. I believe that is something that you either know is right for you....or you know that it isn't.

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Sun Dec 06, 2009 12:26 pm
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I can not imagine what it must have been like for that Kindergarten student. Kindergarten is already a scary time for some students as they must break away from their parents and ordinary comforts and conform to certain rules and expectations. I can only imagine that the fear and Unknown must have been mulitiplied by like a hundred for that student. I can't imagine being thrust into a situation where not only was I scared and confused, but I couldnt' communicate with anyone. I think we as teachers have a great task to help all students find their place. We must work to make school a safe learning environment for all of our students while educating them to meet state and local standars.

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Melissa Crotts

"We are the music makers. And we are the dreamers of the dreams." Willy Wonka


Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:11 pm
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