About The Teacher


Salem State University, C.A.G.S. in Education, 2016
Salem State University, M. Ed Early Childhood, 2006
The George Washington University, Human Services, B.A. 2004

Nahant Public Schools – 2007 – Present
Rockport Public Schools January 2006 – June 2007
Pathways for Children, Gloucester, MA Sept. 2004-August 2005

As some of you may know, Ms. Purdin has a very special cat named Foggy Bottom. She’s named Foggy Bottom because that’s Ms. Purdin’s favorite neighborhood in Washington, D.C. where she went to college at The George Washington University (BA 2004). Foggy, as she likes to be called, sat down with Ms. Purdin to ask her a few questions to help her students could get to know her better. The following conversation is from that interview.

Foggy: What do you like most about teaching at the Johnson School?

Ms. Purdin in Kindergarten!

Ms Purdin: Foggy, great question! There are so many things I love about teaching at the Johnson School. First, I love all my students! Every year I am so lucky to help them to learn to enjoy school. It’s hard to believe my first students will be our sixth grade learning buddies this year! I also love getting to know all the families – that’s what is really special about Nahant. I get to know not only the moms, dads and siblings, but often I get to know many grandparents, aunts and uncles too!

Foggy: How did you know you wanted to be a Kindergarten teacher?

Ms. Purdin: At the end of second grade, I had to have a big surgery. I couldn’t play in P.E. for my whole third grade year. Whenever my class was in P.E. my teacher let me instead go and help out in the kindergarten. I had so much fun helping out the little kids. I knew one day I wanted to give children that same happy experience.

Foggy: We know you love teaching Kindergarten, but what else do you like to do?

Ms. Purdin: Oh lots of things! When I’m not teaching, I love to read, go to the library, go shopping, have lunch with friends, listen to music, hang out with my family and do projects around my house. I also love to go to the movies and stay in touch with my friends who are all over the country! I also read the newspaper everyday (New York Times) because I think it’s important to be well informed about what is going in the world.

Foggy: Did you have any pets growing up?

Ms. Purdin’s dog, Willy, when he was a puppy.

Ms. Purdin: Yes! I had a cat and a dog. The cat I got for my third birthday. I named him Winston, and he was orange and white. He lived until he was 19 years old! When I was nine, we got a golden retriever named Willy. Willy lived until he was 14 years old. I had just graduated from college when he passed away. As you know, I love cats, but whenever I see a Golden Retriever out and about I usually have to stop and say hello!


Foggy: Why is your website called, Where my kindergarten grows?

Ms. Purdin: Well, I tried lots of names, but this one was just right. I came up with it one day when “Down by the Bay” was stuck in my head. You know the part that says, “where the watermelon grows?” I just changed the words! It is also significant because Kindergarten is a time when children are learning how to be students and they do a lot growing up over the course of the year. I always tell moms and dads, remember they are only five once – enjoy it!

Foggy: Who was your favorite teacher or teachers?

Ms. Purdin: Ohhh….that’s a tough one! There are so many! My favorite year was definitely fifth grade. I had two teachers – Dr. Voss and Mr. Getz. They were very creative and we were always doing big thematic projects. We also did a lot of writing and made plays and then performed them! When we finished a theme, we would have exhibitions and dress up as characters to share our projects to our families.

Foggy: Do you have a favorite color or colors?

Ms. Purdin: Well….it just so happens that the Johnson School colors are Gold and Blue and GW’s colors are Buff and Blue! They are my favorites! You might notice my classroom is decorated in mostly buff and blue. 🙂 Ask me to sing the GW Fight Song sometime…

Foggy: What are you looking forward to most this year?

Ms. Purdin: This year (2016) is a very exciting year to be at the Johnson School. I am looking forward to the new energy our Principal, Mr. Andrews is already adding to our school. I think we will have a fun year! I have already been into our classroom changing things and improving things for this year’s class. Last year we went on two great field trips, and I hope to do that again this year. I am also looking forward to teaching our math program, Everyday Math. I’m also excited to continue my growth in teaching literacy because there is nothing better than watching a young child find success in reading! Every year I try to add new things and challenge myself, which is another reason I really love teaching.

Foggy: Well, it’s been great talking to you, but I see a bird out the window. Anything you want to add?

Ms. Purdin: Thanks Foggy for all the thoughtful questions. I guess all I want to add is I hope for another successful year in Kindergarten and if you need to reach me, just email me at bpurdin@johnsonschool.org.

Foggy watches for the birds.

Foggy Bottom


Time spent with cats is never wasted. – Sigmond Freud

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