Among Schoolchildren Essay

Among Schoolchildren Essay - Taylor Brean Education in...

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Taylor Brean February 11, 2008 Education in American Society with Field 1 Among Schoolchildren Book Review Among Schoolchildren in a non-fiction novel written by Tracy Kidder in 1989. Kidder observes a fifth-grade classroom for nine months taught by teacher Mrs. Zajac. Kidder analyzes Zajac’s teaching style as well as the many difficulties a teacher faces. Through Kidder’s novel, we grasp a better understanding of what it is to be a teacher and the amount of great skill and commitment it requires. Mrs. Zajac is a thirty-four year old teacher teaching in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Holyoke is a somewhat deprived area and it often makes it difficult for Mrs. Zajac to teach. She encounters many students that come from a poor family that rarely enforces rules, making it difficult for her to motivate them. One student in particular, Clarence, is especially difficult for her to teach as he often acts out in class and she continually attempts to help him. However, Clarence takes an assessment test and after receiving the results, he is sent to an alpha school for troubled children. Yet, for every difficult student there is usually a well-mannered student such as Judith. Judith is outspoken and the brightest student in the class, although she doesn’t flaunt it. Mrs. Zajac is able to talk to Judith as an adult, which can often be a relief for teachers after dealing with children for six hours a day. Yet no matter what the children’s backgrounds, Mrs. Zajac treats them all equally, as she expects nothing but the best from her students.
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Throughout the novel we see how difficult it often is on Mrs. Zajac when the students do not put forth any effort. For example, after Clarence yells that he hates Mrs. Zajac while running out of the classroom crying, Zajac states “I wasn’t trained for this.
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2008 for the course EDUCATION 14.200 taught by Professor Kolodny during the Spring '08 term at Mass Colleges.

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Among Schoolchildren Essay - Taylor Brean Education in...

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