Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Construction of Adolescents

After reading "The Construction of Adolescents" by Nakkula & Toshalis, I can say that I did actually learn useful, and new information. I never really thought about my life being coauthored with educators or even other people in my life. But of course that makes a lot of sense. Specifically referring to the example of Ms. Petersen and Antwon, I felt like I was once in that type of situation And now that I think about it, my teacher, Mrs. Healey, did coauthor my life story. It is because of her, that I love writing so much. And I always say that the reason I developed the love of writing is because of her teaching in 8th grade. She was my 8th grade Writing teacher, but she also taught ESL students and I feel like this is why she was able to understand her students so well. As the article ask, is it the role of teachers to just simply teach us and "go by the book" or is it their jobs to form relationships with students and teach them more than text book material? Mrs. Healey and I developed a relationship that was more useful than text book material. She was the type of teacher that did what she had to do to make students feel appreciated and understood. 100 percent do I feel as though she coauthored my life because I do not see myself as a writer, if it wasn't for her. And yes at times, she acted as a normal teacher when students would talk and give her a hard time, and she'd yell and frighten us, but at the end of the day, she was helping us shape our lives and for me, she truly did help me and I love the art of writing so much because of her. (Thank you Mrs. Healey)

But then to think, did I help coauthor her life? The article would suggest that I have. That somehow her coauthoring my life and  creating the love of writing within me, helped her own "professional growth" and "personal gratification."  The term reciprocal transformation was new to me. Basically it reveals that youth and adults help each other's development. Learning this term is definitely useful because this is what I aim for. I am to help the youth and in term they help me. It shouldn't be a rare occasion where an adult says the youth has helped them in some way. That should be an everyday thing just as youth are required to learn and get something out of life everyday; an adult can and should to through the youth. I genuinely do not know if Mrs. Healey felt a development growth because of our relationship but thinking that she did is rewarding. It is one thing to have that one adult that has helped you throughout your life, and then another to realize that you actually helped them as well.

The article then ends emphasizing the importance of a relationship between students and educators. Something that stuck out to me was that, "distancing between educators and students has less to do with the participants themselves and more to do with the logistical or social demands placed on learning relationships.." Meaning that educators and teachers should influence each other more often and open up to one another about their lives, about their needs, about their goals. This does not mean that educators are shying away from their purpose of teaching, but rather enhancing their teaching experience.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Danai

    Before reading this article I also never gave much thought to people being co-authors to my life, but as you said, it makes a lot of sense. I loved your personal example of a great relationship you had with your 8th grade teacher, co-authors come from everywhere.