Ainslie Baldwin

'Kid Search' is the name I give to my long-held dream of making connections with more of my former students. But, of course, you are not kids now! (When I was 23, I went to a Terman wrestling match to watch John Morton, one of my 8th graders. A father sitting next to me on the bench asked why I was there. I said, "That's my kid" and pointed. He said, "That's your kid?!")

Kid Search Years

1963-64: Juniors at Sequoia High in Redwood City
1964-73: 7-8-9th graders at Terman Jr. High in Palo Alto
1973-74: 8th graders at Niu Valley Intermediate in Honolulu
1974-75: 7-8-9th graders at Terman Jr. High in Palo Alto
1975-76: 9-12th graders at Cubberley High in Palo Alto

In those days, I used to say, "You can always find me in the phone book." But life intervened. You haven't seen me in the streets and cafes of Palo Alto because I married Ernest Shimada in 1976 and moved to Hawaii. We lived in Japan for 12 and a half years (27 mi sw of Tokyo) while Ernest works for the U.S. Army Japan. I worked for Matsuka Phonics Institute, a small Japanese publishing company, as a writer and teacher. I am the coauthor of The Book of Goal Sheets series, that teaches English conversation from a cross-cultural perspective.

When Ernest got a new job at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, TX in 1998, we moved there. For four years, I taught English to international students at St. Mary's University.

Ernest and I now live in Burlingame, CA.

My early teaching years were joyous, particularly at Terman, where I felt grounded. The "kids" taught me, challenged me, frustrated, but mostly delighted me, leaving behind a trail of matchless memories. The P.A.U.S.D. enjoyed some of its best years. I remember feeling we were on the verge of discovering a perfect system where every kid would get an "A". It seemed normal to be working under Jean White, the master teacher and inspirational leader of "The World's Greatest" Social Studies Department. It was only natural to be surrounded by fascinating, brilliant creatures (you!) in class and after school.

When I came to Japan, I'd been away from teaching for 10 years. I was older, and married. Incredibly, I happened onto another exceptional job -- working for Yoko Matsuka, an ex-English teacher who founded her own company, MPI. Charismatic and endlessly creative, she draws followers to her vision of changing English education in Japan. In MPI meetings, we debate the same issues I first examined in the 60's. I can use everything I previously experienced, studied, thought. I feel at the height of my powers! Things have come around again, and this time I know I'm lucky.

So, where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? And what are you doing now? If you're hoping I can help you with money, I can't. I can share memories and offer kudos/encouragement. For some of the same, write to me. The first part of my address is Ainslie.Baldwin and the last part is

Un-kids into EFL/ESL, I'd like to hear from you, too.

My thanks to Ted Kaehler, ex-kid and friend extraordinaire, who first suggested, then made this page a reality.

A larger version of the picture of me above.

Back to Ted Kaehler's Homepage.

modified: 13 Jun 01
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