“a matter of language”

Do we have enough vocabulary to specify the unique relationship that writing teachers form with students? Do we need a precise specification of what the relationship ought to be in order to be the best that we can be as instructors, mentors, even “nurses” to undergraduate writing students? The notion of being a nurse was raised by a colleague based on the pedagogy of Paulo Freire:
“…Freire [has a] strong aversion to the teacher-student dichotomy . . . what Freire suggests is that a deep reciprocity be inserted into our notions of teacher and student. Freire wants us to think in terms of teacher-student and student-teacher; that is, a teacher who learns and a learner who teaches, as the basic roles of classroom participation.”
We’re struggling with the aftermath of the mass killing at Virginia Tech. What does such an horrific event mean for us as teachers? Could anything have prevented the tragedy? Would we recognize the potential danger? If so, is any action possible that would make a difference? And if there was an action, would it not also depend on language?
How much are we willing to say?

3 thoughts on ““a matter of language””

  1. Hi Steph!
    Just a quick note to say it’s Paulo, not Paolo…
    Your blog is always so interesting!

  2. Hiya Elena!
    Duh, I KNOW that, but you see what happens when I’m in a hurry. Sigh – one should never rush text. (Especially good advice for graduate students at the end of the semester, don’t you think?)

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