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Finding/creating what I think I need to write...a microblog

Serendipitaz's picture

For the Literacy definition paper, I had no idea what to write about. I remember last week, when I was contemplating on what to write about, all I did was compile a bunch of defintions of the word literacy. I read and re-read the prompt, but still couldn't figure out what I wanted to write about. I kept nibbling on the prompt and writing down different strategies that could help me answer the prompt. But, nothing was speaking to me. I was thinking, "how the hell am I going to fill eight pages?" I was very flustered, but not about this upcoming paper. It was about something that happened to me earlier that day when I went to my placement for the first time. Being a student a Bryn Mawr, I have had the privilage of interacting with my professors as my comrades. Part of the reason to why I felt this strong friendship with them was the fact that I call most of them by their first names. When I was at my placement, I had this strange feeling when the students HAD to call me by my surname. It was a strange feeling. It was as though whenever they needed help from me, they were calling someone else. After venting about this new found persona with a friend, I now have a better idea of what my paper of literacy will be about. I hope to focus on the power dynamics created in the classroom based on the language used.  I am not sure if I specifically want to stick titles and what they imply about the education system...but, that's where I see my mind wandering.

In case anyone wants to read my train of thought while I was being invaded by this unknown creature named Miss A, here's the link: /exchange/content/serendipitaz/becoming-miss


Sara712's picture

Titles and Power Dynamics in the Classroom

Reading your post made me recall my experiences in grade school. Generally, we were meant to call our teachers by their surnames, but there were just a few select teachers who chose to have their students call them by their first names. And actually when I think about it, it is interesting to notice that these teachers tended to be teaching subjects that were not "main subjects" (math, science, language arts, history). I believe that this changed the dynamic in the classroom, because students felt closer to the teacher and more on a similar "level." Knowing and being able to use a superior's first name allows the student to relate more to the teacher; this is important to the learning process, because when there is respect there is less chance of disciplinary problems and more chance of inspiration. In the high schol class where I called my teacher by his first name, I felt that our community was more close knit than other class atmospheres. This tends to lend a hand to the students' abilities to connect with the material and have meaningful discussions and debates. I definitely remember having heated discussions with both my peers and that teacher in that class.