We are building our team by bringing in a number of assistant teachers who can help us out at events, as part time assistants, as specialty teachers and as substitutes.. We are delighted to have Jerrice Baptiste helping out from time to time. We asked her to introduce herself.
“It was an organic process for me to become an educator. My journey began at eight years old in Haiti where my beloved uncle raised me. He was practicing Buddhism at a monastery and introduced some early teachings and questions such as ‘What is the light?’ I loved the stirrings that the teachings caused within me, specially to be fascinated with life even at an early age. I was very aware of mindfulness, nature, meditation, and the questions my uncle often asked me when I was in a difficult situation ‘Did you try love to solve it?’ This ‘strange’ practice of Buddhism that no one else understood in our home felt like a special secret that bonded the two of us even more when we sat on the ground under a shade of a tree, aware of our breath and the environment.
“When I immigrated to the US at the age of thirteen, I was heart broken because I was far from my uncle and felt a certain emptiness. Whenever he visited the US we reconnected with some of the Buddha’s teachings. ‘Everything rises and falls.’ my uncle would remind me so that I could be more flexible and accepting of the moments. I find that my contemplative practice started since childhood and continued as I earned my Bachelors degree in Psychology and was also extremely beneficial when I earned my Masters degree in Education.
“I fell in love with teaching preschool and school age children during the past twenty years. My contemplative practice has grown each day as I learn more and more from the children I teach, and from the children’s books I write and publish. Joining Middle Way School and being with the brilliant curious children has reconnected me even further with a practice that began at a young age at my uncle’s knee. I shine my light, and encourage each child to shine their light!”