Excerpt from Journal: Raywid and Paley

Excerpt from Journal 

Raywid’s argument about the power of a teacher is relevant here as she points out that as teachers we have the power to create a positive or negative environment for the class. She argues, “Teachers power is awesome with regard to establishing and controlling the social environment of the classroom. A teacher who distributes multipaged sets of classroom rules on the first day of school makes quite different demands on students than the teacher who spends the first week having students become acquainted and helping them develop class rules. But both of these teachers are dictating classroom personae for the students” (Raywid p.79). The power that we have can be used for good or bad either way it influences children. I think that if we also learn from each other as teachers on how to do model this it would be a great start.

I find you can’t say you can’t play a very interesting matter because we do grow up and most of us remember our childhood. We build on that and after our discussions in the Middle Level Class I think that we do not change much unless we are given the tools to handle how to interact with others. As we discuss bullying in class we also discuss adults doing it to and I remembered a Special Education teacher teaching about the subject of bulling among educators. She argued that, teachers are the cruelest people to deal with because they also exclude and they treat each other the way children do. I could not help but wonder how this is so similar to what Paley is addressing in her classroom. Letting children have a say and to figure out how to handle emotions and to coach through it seemed so important. Even though she got her idea out of the bible and I cringe every time I think of the bible but the idea behind what she is doing is fundamentally good and I agree on her in that we need to allow kids to be critical thinkers at a younger age. We often as adults are told that we stay children for way to long and it may be part of the problem.

I think that now that I am not going to be at the receiving end of teaching I empathies with how hard a teacher job really is. I think back to the Understanding Emotions list: Teaching is an emotional practice. Teaching and learning involve emotional understanding. Teaching is a form of emotional labor. Teachers’ emotions are inseparable from their moral purposes and their ability to achieve those purposes (Hargreaves).

This week I was listening to the news about the hurricane and how teachers were first responders and how impossible it must have been for teachers to leave children. Teaching is an emotional career. On my drive to school I tend to listen to the radio and I always listen to Sand in the Gears a retired teacher and he always talks about education as an emotional career. My guess would be that he continues to write with so much compassion and tell stories for his love of teaching. I think that Hargreaves has a great point when she says that, “teaching cannot be reduced to technical competence or clinical standards” (p850). How to teach students about their own emotions seems very fundamental and Paley demonstrates this in her book.