A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... Oops! Wrong story!

My name is Miss Durrant and I teach 4th grade at Book Cliff Elementary in Green River, Utah. But, you're probably wondering a little about me. (I'm guessing that's why you clicked on the "Getting to Know..." link.) Without further ado, here is a brief account of my oh, so exciting life! (Okay, so it's not terribly thrilling, but I had to do something to keep you reading, right?) So, back to the beginning.

Once upon a time in a land a few hundred miles from here a baby girl joined an older sister in the Durrant family. That adorable child was me. (Hey, I know I was adorable - I have pictures!) Eventually, there would be three brothers and one more sister added to my family. My earliest recollections are of my parents reading and singing with my brothers and sisters and me. These are memories I still treasure. I guess you could say that the first teachers I can remember are my parents. To tell you the truth, they are still on the job, not only for my siblings and me, but also for my nieces and nephews.

My first formal experience in schooling came in Pocatello, Idaho, in the Kindergarten class of Mrs. Benningfield at Lewis and Clark Elementary School. I will always remember her kindness to me. One experience comes to mind whenever I remember her class. She knew that I was terribly afraid of dogs as a child and so she introduced me to the Clifford books, by Norman Bridwell. That might seem a strange choice for a child who is afraid of dogs, after all, Clifford is a BIG, RED, dog. But somehow, it helped to calm my fears. In addition to my parents introducing and reading books to me, I think this is where my love affair with reading started and why I think it is SO important for everyone to do.

During the summer before first grade, my family moved from Pocatello, to Huntington, Utah, because my father, who is also a teacher, was hired to teach in the elementary school there.

My first grade homeroom teacher was Mrs. Brasher. Years later, after she had retired, I remember seeing her and having her remember me from all those years ago.

In second grade I had two teachers who taught as a team - Mrs. Martinez and Mrs. Powell. The thing I remember most about that year was learning how to square dance and sing cowboy songs. Mrs. Martinez is still dancing up a storm. I watched her perform with a group of ladies at a 4th of July celebration, just last summer!

In third grade, my homeroom teacher was Mr. Fowler, the first male teacher of my formal schooling. In addition, I had Mrs. Snow for Math, and Miss Michaelson (who became Mrs. Wilske in the middle of the year) for reading. I remember doing a play, "The Little Blue Angel", that year with the other third grade classes.

In fourth grade I was in Mrs. Wilske's class. Yes, OUR Mrs. Wilske. I remember Chinese Writing, Music, and Art most from her classes. I remember her stories of teaching in the Virgin Islands. Most of all, I remember how much she cared about each of us. I remember her playing the piano while the class sang, "Blowing in the Wind", "The Band Played On", and so many more.

In fifth grade my homeroom teacher was Miss Fields (who became Mrs. Seehusen during the year.) I remember reading "Soup and Me" in her classroom and learning Sign Language. I also remember Mr. Beal and his "board of education" at the front of the class. Our field trip that year was going to Mt. Timpanogos and climbing up to the cave. I stayed far from the edge of the trail, as I didn't want to fall of the edge. I guess you could say I'm not very "edgy." :-) It was cool inside the cave - both literally and figuratively. I loved seeing all of the cave formations!

In sixth grade my homeroom teacher was Mr. Morrison. What I remember most about his class is learning "Silent Night" in German and doing a country report on Egypt. I also remember my math teacher, Mr. Dingman. Thanks to him, I will never forget where the numerator and denominator go in a fraction. He told us to remember that it was like his name - Norm Dingman - the N came before D - n(numerator) was on top and the d(denominator) was on the bottom. For our field trip that year we went to the Hansen Planetarium. (That was before it moved to the Gateway and became the Clark Planetarium.) I also was in the band as a flutist.

My junior high years were spent at Canyon View Junior High where I continued to play in the band, was in the chorus, and worked on the yearbook committee. I remember falling deeper in love with history during those years through the interactive style of the history teacher. I also remember this being the time when I discovered that I had a talent for writing. Part of my realization came through my English teacher who told me I should publish a story I had written for an assignment in her class.

In high school I continued with singing, but left the flute behind. I remember continuing my love of history and writing through the guidance of wonderful teachers. This is also where I learned to love the classics, like Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, and The Scarlet Pimpernel. During this time we also went on a field trip to the Capitol Theater to see an opera, "The Magic Flute". It was during this time, as well, that I was introduced to Shakespeare's writings, some of which are still favorites of mine. I remember taking a field trip to BYU to see a rendition of Hamlet. In addition, I gained a love for the study of geology - part of which came about because of my fascination with history - what is more historical than figuring out what the earth was like millions of years ago?

After graduating from high school I attended the College of Eastern Utah (CEU) , in Price, Utah, for two years and received my Associates Degree. I was also named the outstanding Education student for my work in the education program at the college. I continued taking history and literature classes where ever I could find them, including a story telling class that gave me ideas I still use in my classroom today.

After graduating from CEU, I went to Utah State University (USU), in Logan, Utah, to continue my degree in education, graduating with dual degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. During my years at USU, I once again took any history or literature class I could find, giving me a minor in Social Sciences.

After graduating with Bachelors of Science degree I was hired as a teacher at Book Cliff Elementary. One of the things I enjoy most is that I now teach with one of my former teachers, Mrs. Wilske. It has been wonderful to be able to work with someone I have so respected. I have taught Pre-School, Kindergarten, First grade, Sixth grade, and my current position, Fourth grade. I was also the Title 1 coordinator for a few years. I enjoy working with children and seeing their understanding deepen. As my colleagues and former students can testify, I believe reading to be one of the most important things that students can learn. That belief is shown in the thousands of books I have in my classroom library and the books I give to my students each year. In addition, I believe a deep understanding of math will help students as they face the real world.

As a firm believer in lifelong learning, I have taken courses in ESL, Reading instruction, Science instruction, and most recently completed my Mathematics endorsement. I am currently working towards my Masters Degree in Educational Leadership and Administration through the University of Utah.

Because of the good example of my parents, teachers, and so many others showing me what teaching truly could be, I became what I am today - a teacher. I hope to do justice to those who inspired me to follow in their footsteps. I hope to do for my students what they did for me.

I look forward to getting to know you and your children better during this coming school year.

Welcome to Fourth grade!