The Myth of Education and Empowerment

Topics: Teacher, Education, Frank McCourt Pages: 13 (5460 words) Published: November 15, 2011
I’d like to begin by introducing myself, so you can get to know me, and my writing background better. I am in the science field at UMKC hoping to pursue a career in medicine. I am from Portland, OR, where I attended a school that stressed the liberal arts. Although the science field has always been my favorite academic area, reading has also always been a paralleled interest of mine. It is currently Saturday morning on October 12th, and I finally have a completely free weekend from work and all other distractions. I am planning to read through Teacher Man this weekend, and provide an overall summaries and an in depth look at the meaning behind the words. Chapter 1

The book begins by providing an introduction to Frank McCourt’s life. We learn that Mr. McCourt had an unhappy childhood and education in Ireland. McCourt shared stories throughout the chapter ranging from his childhood to having sex with a girl named June who was in the teaching program at New York University. Towards the end of the chapter he told a long drawn out story regarding the process of becoming a licensed teacher. Like with any book, chapter one set the tone for the rest of the book. The chapters thus far are short, the stories are funny, many parts are drawn out, and I lack to see the significance in some of McCourt’s rants. Various stories stood out, including the sandwich incident. Mr. McCourt attempted to show the class who was boss by eating a student's sandwich that had been thrown at a classmate, which then landed on the floor. This incident caused Mr. McCourt to be questioned by the principle as to what his intentions, and goals were. Later in the chapter, the stalling questions the class presented to Mr. McCourt in an attempt to avoid work reminded me of some specifically similar instances that occurred in my classes as a high school student. The students asked him anything that would get him off topic, ranging from what he studied in Ireland to why he was a teacher. This is an interesting question, which I am not sure if I would be able to answer if I was in the profession. One student asked him if they dated in Ireland, and Mr. McCord gave a sarcastic answer, which got in trouble again with the principle. In this chapter we begin to see that Mr. McCourt treats his students as adults. At one point he asks them to calm down, but he never plays the type of teacher that belittles his students. After going through the education system for over a decade, I realize the importance of treating students like adults. This is one aspect that I would be able to condemn Mr. McCourt for doing well. One teaching aspect I believe Mr. McCourt did poorly with was addressing the student’s questions. Many of the questions were not appropriate for a classroom setting. The students were simply trying to get him off topic and they were succeeding in doing just that. As a professional McCord need’s to take command of the class. The students also succeeded in getting their teacher in trouble. Students always challenge teachers to try and show who has more power, and in this case I believe the students won the battle, (after Mr. McCourt was called into the principals office). The book failed to address what exactly the principle wanted Mr. McCourt to do differently. This brings me to the point that the book thus far has failed to provide any objectives, or goals. Whether discussing the meeting with the principle, or the classroom environment, there appear to be no goals. Mr. McCourt appears to be scared in the office, but I don’t believe he changed anything upon leaving. This chapter provided a couple situations that put “flash backs” in my head. I can remember when we had my freshman biology teacher go on thirty-minute rants about his solar powered watch just so we wouldn’t have to cover the scheduled lecture material. At this point I am not a huge fan of the book, because I am unable to see the significance to many of the stories. The book is not discussing...
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