Lives on the Boundary

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Midterm Essay Question: Discuss the benefits one may obtain form reading Mike Rose's book citing specific examples. How may this book be used to help shape a teacher's philosophy and effectiveness? The book Lives on the Boundary, written by Mike Rose, provides great insight to what the new teaching professional may anticipate in the classroom. This book may be used to inform a teacher's philosophy and may render the teacher more effective. Lives on the Boundary is a first person account composed of eight chapters each of which treat a different obstacle faced by Mike Rose in his years as a student and as an educator. More specifically in chapters one through five Mike Rose focuses on his own personal struggles and achievements as a student. Ultimately the aim is to highlight the underpreparedness of some of today's learners. First and most importantly Mike Rose writes the book in the first person. This provides an invaluable view to the actual thoughts and perceptions of a student who considered himself to be underprepared. Mike Rose begins his accounts in grammar school when he felt lost in the material. The teacher did not hold his attention and therefore he began to "daydream to avoid inadequacy" (Rose 19). Mike Rose does not describe himself as a nuisance, but as a student who was overlooked. This treatment was very a detriment to his education. "I would hide by slumping down in my seat and page through my reader, carried along by the flow of sentences in a story." (Rose 19) He discusses the teachers' inability to "engage the imaginations of us kids who were scuttling along at the bottom of the pond." (Rose 26) This strategy combined poorly with the attitudes of other students who did not want to work hard, who just wanted to be average. (Rose 28) Mike Rose describes that mix of students and how it affected his own perception of education: "School can be a tremendously disorienting place… You'll also be thrown in with all kind of kids...
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