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I Should Have Been a Teacher

I Should Have Been a Teacher

May 11, 2024

I should have been a teacher…she said with tongue firmly planted in her cheek…. However, dear WinkWorld Readers, this is exactly how  I felt when leaving another wonderful visit to Atall School on a stormy, windy, wet May  5. 

The sky as I was leaving Atall.

The purpose of my trip was to help the students celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Of course, I used my Spanish and tried to make it interesting and fun for the students. Missy, the classroom teacher, and I shared stories about the geography, history, and language of Cinco de Mayo. For those of you who may be new to WinkWorld, and there are a handful of you this month, Atall is a tiny school on the very isolated prairies of South Dakota. I have been documenting my experiences there for many years, and these blog posts are all available to you by using the search bar (over on the left of my homepage) and typing in Prairie Pedagogy or Atall School.

A highlight of this day for me happened when I was putting on my jacket and preparing to leave. I felt a little hand tugging on my shirt. A little guy said to me, “You said you didn’t have to leave until 11:30, and look at the clock, it is only 11:20.”  Only one thing to do in that case: I took off my jacket and stayed 10 more minutes. Happily.

 The following photo is the entire school/K8, the teacher, Missy, and all the students with me at the table. Oh, how I love these kids.

 Each of the students had to take turns trying on the sombrero and a poncho as we celebrated.





In this photo, the boys are explaining to me one of their science projects: how to make concrete. It was fascinating.

Wouldn’t we love to hear what these two girls are sharing? However, I actually think they were talking about germinating different types of seeds, another science projects.


As most of you know, my blog is primarily focused on language acquisition and literacy ideas for teachers to take and use in their own context. My only purpose is to share materials. However, I have noticed that I’ve begun to expand my sharing on WinkWorld. I think this is what happens when one turns 80. I notice in my queue of upcoming blogs, I have draft on mentoring/Bobcats, another on a pedagogy box (I am madly searching for a former CSU teacher education student, named Heidi), and a third draft on Loud and Proud.







  • Sharon

    You are a treasure and an inspiration! I love seeing WinkWorld pop into my mail and look forward to every issue. I feel like I know Missy and the great students at Atall. Looking forward to reading the next edition as you kick off the wise wisdom of a Wink woman. XOXO

  • Joe Ward

    When a student says you don’t have to leave for 10 more minutes….it’s a fitting tribute

  • CJ Roe

    Oh Joan, love catching up with you on the WWblog. Sharon nailed it- “inspiring” and I’d add mentor, as you have always been with me. Big hugs and love ❤️
    (80- no way!)

  • Janet Towell

    I loved reading about your Cinco de Mayo celebration with Missy and the students at Atall school! The photos were great. It was the next best thing to being there. You are an inspiration to us all!!!

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