For Keelen – Honors English Pinon High School

tumblr_m2lr8cyzFP1qa944oo1_400You probably have never had the┬áprivilege of teaching on the Navajo Reservation! Fresh out of South Korea, where a teacher could ask his kindergarten class to memorize the first five books of the Bible and 99% of the class would have it rote by morning. (there are two lessons in that – work ethic and religion – teachers were highly respected and highly paid) I digress, I walk into my first day at Pinon High School ! My classroom is sweet. All the latest technology, great white boards, new, clean, perfect! I always start my class greeting kids at the door and funneling them to arbitrarily assigned seats.

The bell rings – round one. “Goodmorning, do you have any questions?” Students are thinking what the heck is this guy talking about? Shane Yazzie, back of the class, raises his hand (I am thinking cool) and he says – ” so, are you just another loser teacher who could not get a job anywhere else?”

Yes!

So why “For Keelen” because Keelen gave me a journal from her summer that detailed her life as a Navajo young lady. She trusted me to read her private journal and helped me understand a third world country trapped in our “great country. Thank you Keelen – I am forever in your debt!