What I Learned about My School by Collecting Words

What I Learned About My School by Collecting Words

by Lara Leigh Bergoon, Assistant Head of School

Many people don't know this about me, but I like words. I like words A LOT.

I like to learn the meanings of words. I like to listen to the sound of words. I like to use UNIQUE words in conversation. I like to use words to help people clarify what they are trying to say. I like to use words to tell stories.

Recently, I came across a book called The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds. It's an enchanting book about a little boy named Jerome who likes to collect words.

Jerome collects words everywhere he goes – short words, long words, words that sound like songs when you say them. He uses his words to help people. He uses his words to make people happy. At the end of the book, Jerome decides it's time to share his words with the rest of the world and releases them into the wind to be discovered and cherished by others.

Reading this book made me wonder about all the words we have at The Joy School. Like Jerome, I wanted to collect them and share them for everyone to see.

So I decided to take a walk.

On my walk I found so many great words! I found words that express love. Words that express caring. Words of reassurance, encouragement and perseverance. Words that say, "I see you, and you matter." The words I found all around our school are a written testament to the joyful feeling that is alive in this building every single day.

Here are just some of the words I collected.

Collage of words found around The Joy School campus, like

I feel so very grateful to work in this special place where each of our faculty and staff brings their best every single day.

As you are reading this, take a moment to think about the words that you have collected in your life. Are they words that are meaningful? Do your words make you happy?

If you don't have a word collection, I challenge you to start a collection of your own words right away and use them to make the world a better place.


Assistant Head of School Lara Leigh Bergoon smiling and wearing a yellow and white patterned top

About the Author

Lara Leigh Bergoon joined The Joy School staff in 2003, became Principal in 2005 and took on the role of Assistant Head of School in 2017. She graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Curriculum and Instruction and began her teaching career in public schools. She discovered The Joy School while completing course work at the Neuhaus Education Center in an effort to help her son, who has dyslexia. Lara Leigh hopes her experiences as an educator and a parent of a child with learning differences help her to be a knowledgeable and compassionate guide for students and parents in their educational decision making.

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