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Teachers usually have no way of knowing that they have made a difference in a childs life even when they have made a dramatic one But for children who are used to thinking of them selves as stupid or not worth talking to or deserving rape and beatings a good teacher can provide an astonishing revelation A good teacher can give a child at least a chance to feel She thinks Im worth something Maybe I am Good teachers put snags in the river of children passing by and over the years they redirect hundreds of lives Many people find it easy to imagine unseen webs of malevolent conspiracy in the world and they are not always wrong But there is also an innocence that conspires to hold humanity together and it is made of people who can never fully know the good that they have done Anyone looking for insight into what makes a good teacher would greatly appreciate reading Tracy Kidders Among Schoolchildren This passage from the book exemplifies the importance of a role that a teacher plays in a childs life Teachers have the ability to improve a childs life without even realizing it a refreshing revelation for both new and old teachers who may often wonder if they have ever made a difference Reading Among Schoolchildren one encounters a school year in the life of a fifth grade teacher Miss Chris Zajac and her fifth grade class observed by the author Tracy Kidder The setting is in a low socio-economic class neighborhood in Holyoke Massachusetts a town consisting of a high population of people of Puerto Rican descent Miss Zajacs class is made up of about twenty students most of whom are Puerto Rican low-income students many of whom have been abused neglected or have emotional difficulties Kidder portrays Miss Zajac as a charming yet tough fair and dedicated teacher Among Schoolchildren focuses on a particular group of students
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