I was sitting in a teacher’s room yesterday when a young teacher came in. He just had a lesson for his teacher’s training in which his supervisor observed him. The way this works is that you plan a lesson, meticulously, then you give the lesson and afterwards there is a discussion if you did well. The trainee teacher was optimistic at the beginning of this talk, obviously satisfied with the lesson. At the end of the talk, after about fifteen minutes where I partially eavesdropped on it in the teacher’s room, he had his head in his hands, slumped in his chair, defeated by the criticism he had to hear. Granted, I didn’t see his lesson and I don’t know him very well. Maybe he sucks as a teacher, maybe his plan was awful, maybe he is really delusional about his teaching abilities. But something about that progress from enthusiasm to slump stayed with me.
I was asked to write not only about all those bad children’s books, but also to provide some good examples. What’s the point of criticizing all the books your children want to read, if there is no alternative? Sure, I’d still say that you can read the problematic books anyway, but point out the problems to your kid, but it is better of course to just have a good book that follows your own ideology. So, that is what I’m doing today. Be aware, there are many more examples, but in my recent attempt to write shorter articles (just in case that’s a reason people are turned off from reading them), I’ll just focus on some and come back to all of this again in the future.