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by Abigail Van Buren

Cell Phone Snap Shots Can Help Find Missing Children

DEAR ABBY: I am an early education schoolteacher in my third year of teaching. I love my job and value the importance of education.

Another teacher in my grade, "Natalie," is a nice woman, and we get along well. However, it is almost impossible to have an adult conversation with her. Every time we chat, I have to explain the meaning of a word I used.

Abby, I am somewhat bookish, but I don't think I use words that are hard to understand. Natalie is unfamiliar with the definition of words someone her age should know. Other teachers have voiced the same opinion to me.

Some people have a low opinion of teachers, and I feel that Natalie's narrow vocabulary adds to this. Am I whining needlessly? -- YOUNG EDUCATOR IN UTAH

DEAR YOUNG EDUCATOR: You're not whining needlessly; you are whining to the wrong person. If you and the other teachers are concerned about Natalie's qualifications to teach, you should voice those concerns as a group to the head of your department or the principal of the school.