Reflection On: The Boy Who Would Be A Helicopter By Vivian Gussin Paley (In the book, The Boy Who Would Be A Helicopter, Vivian Gussin Paley discusses her experiences in her preschool classroom with Jason, a boy who tends to isolate himself, and offers solutions on how other educators can help students become well-adjusted and active learners.) – not sure to mention this..
I think this book gives us the opportunity to reflect on our roles in our students’ lives, as a general classroom teacher and how we can best help our students develop into active learners and well-adjusted adults. Paley also made us think about how children’s story and classroom community play a significant role in helping children learn about themselves and confront and solve the problems of daily life. As teachers, we often do not recognize the unlimited inner ability every child possesses. I also think that as an educator, it is easy to fall into the trap of having lower expectations for students with special needs like Jason. It’s very easy to view these students as “defective or different”, who will need a lot of help adjusting to the school environment. However, Palely, as her interactions with Jason show, truly believes that each student, whether progressing as expected or having difficulties, possesses the capability to succeed in the classroom under the guidance of a dedicated teacher. One of the strategies she utilizes to accomplish this goal is to help the child create and take an active in telling their own story, allowing them to express their own unique world view. She encourages her students to feel pride in their stories and in this way helps build their self-esteem. Paley is also flexible, allowing the student to choose for themselves whether to act out the story, write it down, or dictate it to someone else. In this way, she can address the unique needs and capabilities of each student. (Personally, I would like to plan to make the same accommodations in my classroom...
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