Tonight I will start to tell my story of the "kidnapping." I don't know what else to call it. Let me preface the story by saying this: If -- and that is a big IF I get this job, there is a possibility that the so called "kidnapper" will come to Houston from Minnesota for a conference and tour the school that I would be working at. I have not seen or spoken to her since 2001. When I first reported this story, I was a regular on two message boards, homeschooling message boards. The ladies there were very supportive, but also in shock because the story was SO outlandish that it was hard to believe. So I will just briefly give you background into the situation.
In 1991, I was serving as lead teacher in a prominent Montessori school in Texas. An intern from Minnesota came to learn and serve as my assistant/co-teacher. I say "assistant" because she had not passed her certification. At the end of one year, she was to return to Minnesota as a certified lead Montessori elementary teacher. I was specifically re-hired by this school to serve as her lead teacher and to model for her how an elementary Montessori environment was run. Needless to say, from the very first day we did not hit it off. She was a very controlling person.
On the first day of school, every year, I play a game with the kids called the "name game." It is a challenging game, but lots of fun, in a circle, and I have found that it is the fastest way for a group of 30 plus kids to learn each other's names quickly. After playing the game, "S" as I will call her, reported me to the director to the school because she said that the game was not "Montessori." My director basically laughed in her face at this strange accusation.
First of all, what is considered "Montessori"? It was not an apparatus, it was not a philosophy, it was a GAME. So we basically disliked each other from the start. BUT there were many positive things about her. She had been on many travels all over the world, serving in the Peace Corps, even working for Mother Theresa. She was an EXTREMELY intelligent person. She had so much information to share with the kids. There seemed to be nothing she hadn't experienced. She had even been arrested and put in jail for protesting against something I can't even remember. She had a brusk way of speaking to the students, but they respected her a lot more than me. Her expectations for them were much higher; she was a hard worker. She stood up for me many times against other teachers when I was in the right.
What ended up happening was this: she and I figured out that we truly liked each other, liked hanging out at her place drinking wine coolers, that we were better together as friends, not as co-workers, so when she moved back to Minnesota when her year was up, I was truly sad to see her go, not as a co-worker, but as a friend. She took back with her the recipe for "Frito Pies" to share with her students, memories of Hurricane Hugo, and our class even had a largest cockroach contest to send back to her in Minnesota for her students to experience. We would talk for hours from Texas to Minnesota, and as long as we did not talk about work, Montessori, students, etc., we got along fine. Fast forward a few years later, and the story will continue.