Saturday, July 14, 2007

Inquisitive or Inquisitor?

There are two kinds of teachers-the inquisitive ones, and the inquisitors. Which kind does your child have?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Julia Alvarez describes how NOT to teach

There are two kinds of teachers, the nurturers and the controllers.

Generally, the controllers oppress not only students, but other teachers. Schools will improve greatly when we help these people calm down and appreciate the joy of seeing young minds expand, instead of wallowing in the unhealthy pleasure they take in limiting other human beings.

Toward the end of the clever novel, "How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents," author Julia Alvarez describes the experience of Sandi, a gifted child who is attending her first art lesson:

Doña Charito demonstrated with her brush. "The first step, one must check the bristles for the correct alignment." Doña Charito dipped her brush into a jar of water and made all manner of finicky, tidying up, tapping noises on the brim, like a nursemaid spooning mouthfuls for a baby.

Obediently, we did likewise.

She went on in her garbled Spanish we could barely understand. "The second step is the proper holding of the implement. Not in this way, neither in this fashion..." She inspected, chair by chair. She mocked us all.

It seemed with so much protocol, I would never get to draw the brilliant and lush and wild world brimming over inside me. I tried to keep my mind on the demonstration, but something began to paw the inside of my drawing arm. It clawed at the doors of my will, and I had to let it out. I took my soaking brush in hand, stroked my gold cake, and a cat streaked out on my paper in one lightening stroke, whiskers, tail, meow and all!

...I was so much to myself as I worked that I did not hear her warning shout or the slapping of her Island thongs on the linoleum as she swooped down upon me. Her crimson nails clawed my sheet off its board and crumpled it into a ball. "You, you defy me!" she cried out...

Monday, July 02, 2007

Why are so many schools run by a Kakistocracy?

From The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.


Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.

kakistos, worst
(superlative of kakos, bad)