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The Growing Teacher

Susan Notes:

I love the title of Part III of Seeing Young Children With New Eyes by Sydney Gurewitz Clemens and Leslie Gleim-- The Growing Teacher.

by Susan Ohanian

When I talk with teachers, I want to know "What did you learn today?" And they always have answers because--unless you are following a script-- you can't stand in a classroom all day without learning many things.

What do you think the answers would be if we asked each of these education thugs: "What did you learn today?"

  • Secretary of Education Arne Duncan?

  • Education policy kingpin Bill Gates?

  • Common Core know-it-all and thug David Coleman?

  • Don't be put off by my negativism. Sydney Gurewitz Clemens and Leslie Gleim offer a very positive view of the Reggio Emilia approach to teaching and learning. I had to insert my editorializing because the question is such a powerful one: What did you learn today?"

    I suspect that the world can be divided into preachers and learners, and I know in my bones that a teacher's success is pinned to her ability to learn. The day you think you know enough is the day you begin to die in the classroom.

    Part III starts off with wonderful quotes from Nel Noddings and Lilian Katz about valuing children's ideas. These aren't homilies; they are practical advice about the daily practice of valuing children.

    And you'll get a helpful explanation of why those automatic "Good job" phrases of praise are harmful.

    Go forth and read Part III. You'll be glad you did.

    — Susan Ohanian
    review of Seeing Young Children, Part III



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