Role out the teachers!

Published January 9, 2013 by Lynda Christine Rodriguez

Notes for Professional Diatribe part 2, draft one.

According to my very nice, purple framed diploma I am a Master of Education.

One of the texts for a seminar class was bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress.  The blurb on Amazon is as followsw.

 

From Library Journal

Feminist writer and English professor hooks shares insights, strategies, and critical reflections on pedagogical practice.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
That sounds really chewy.
There are a number (I could tell you which number, but suffice it to see that it is a big one.) of articles in various journals ab0ut this book and Ms. hooks.
What I remember most about this book is that almost every single article by hooks mentioned that she grew up a poor black child.  I do not detract from Ms. hooks struggle and ability to achieve in a world that prejudges minorities and women.  That being said, I don’t think it was necessary for her to highlight this prior to every single point she made.
Our class read this text to discuss the role of the teacher.   (I know , seems simple: a teacher teaches.  Trust me, it’s rarely that easy. )
hooks made the very valid point that teachers are human beings and as such the people they are outside of the classroom directly influences who they are when they participate in the students’ learning environment.   One chapter of the text is called Eros, Eroticism and the Pedagogical Process.  There’s a lot of big chewy words that essentially mean that teachers are present mind AND body, and since we are sexual/sensual beings, we should be aware of this.
This caused quite the debate in the class because this was also at the time when Mary Kay Letourneau was making headlines across the country.  My feeling then and now is that while I do understand that characters always act in character, there is a lot to be said about self discipline and self control.
A lot of the arguments and debates were centered around the specific flaws in Ms. Letoureau’s personality that lead to this whole event.
Which leads to my main question, why do we take the time to look at this person’s actions as an individual when we don’t or won’t afford students to the same consideration?
I know this is a rather vague point.  I’m working on it.

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