When my name became Teacher – Vivian Gussin Paley

Actually, it’s worth reiterating Vivian Gussin Paley’s opening statement in The Boy who Would be a Helicopter:

I was neither a good listener nor an able storyteller when my name became Teacher. What I doubtless knew as a child was buried under piles of disconnected information. I was a stranger in the classroom, grown distant from the thinking of children.
I knew myself no better than I did the children. How was I to behave? How could I know what to say to so many children when I could hardly recall anything a teacher ever said to me? Paradoxically, as the focus shifted from me to the children – what does it mean to be a child and what do children think about in the classroom? – I began to see my own role more clearly.” (p.16)

Ref: Vivian Gussin Paley (1990) The Boy who Would be a Helicopter: the uses of storytelling in the classroom.  Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England.


About backyardbooks

This blog is a kind of electronic storage locker for ideas and quotes that inform my research... literary research into fiction for young adults (with a special focus on New Zealand fiction). Kiwis are producing amazing literature for younger readers, but it isn't getting the academic appreciation it deserves. I hope readers of this blog can make use of the material I gather and share by way of promoting our fiction. Cheers!
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