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 Ishmael #5 - Is it possible for Takers to change? 
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This is the question that I really like and the one that I think applies most to us in our lives as teachers. If we buy into Ishmael's story, I think it's important to note the point that "People need something positive to work for....They need more than a vision of doom. They need a vision of the world and of themselves that inspires them" (243-244). Isn't this what we try to do everyday, with our students and ourselves? We try to show the world that things can be better -- you can write a better paper, you can pass the test, you can leave the world a better place because you were in it...you can make a difference. You can tell your own story, and I'm here to help you. When the man asks "What do I do?", Ishmael replies, "What you do is teach a hundred...and inspire each of them to teach a hundred" (248). "You can't change these things with laws. You must change people's minds" (249).
Teaching is the most important job we can do!!!

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Laura Branch


Wed Mar 31, 2010 11:04 am
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I think Laura's interpretation of our work as teachers is a hugely hopeful one, and one that really makes sense to me. But I want to extend this a little bit and ask, Would our behaviour as teachers have to change? If so, how?

I find myself thinking about a teacher up here who worked with her students and won a grant to do a multi-year gardening/science project that by all accounts had an amazing impact on kids. Would it have to have been organic to fit this shift that Quinn is arguing for?

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Gayle Turner


Wed Mar 31, 2010 3:05 pm
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I think it would have had to have been organic. Quinn was talking about just taking what we need, and leaving everything else. A non-organic garden, in my opinion, would have the opposite effect. Please correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm not a gardener in any sense of the word (truly, I have black thumbs instead of green), but you mentioned the 7 that the previous owners of your house used in the garden. That was to eradicate the bugs, etc. If the teacher had used the same method, it would have meant killing off all other competition to benefit 'man'. That goes in direct accordance of what Quinn says the Takers do. An organic garden would have the opposite effect. Kind of like planting an extra row for the bugs. Take only what you need, leave the rest for the other inhabitants of earth.


Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:46 pm
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I don't think it would have to be organic. As long as you produce enough that would leave enough for everyone. Many times we have an over supply of produce because it was a good growing season, not because we were organic or not. This would have benefited them all. As teachers we do need to encourage students and give them something positive to work for and not a vision of doom. Many times that is the message they get from the media and not the positive. I agree with Laura good teaching is an important job.

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Leah Buckley


Sat Apr 03, 2010 4:42 am
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Last week I took a group of first graders to the WPCC campus. We toured the greenhouses and listened to professor Chip Hope speak about the new “Sustainable Agricultureâ€

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Laura L. Scott


Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:09 pm
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Laura,
That sounds like an interesting field trip. We took our first graders to Shelby last year to a farm that did hydrophonics, they produced food using water that they recycled. There was no soil and everything hung in greenhouses. I think we need to expose the students to many different ways of doing "stuff" so they can "see" all sides.

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Leah Buckley


Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:30 pm
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Earlier this week we went through the Cherokee Indian Museum and it is quite obvious that they were leavers. One thing I saw that was interesting was that they hung gourds for Purple Marlins near their gardens to attract the Marlins and keep bugs out of the garden. Reading about the organic gardening reminded me of this. My husband and I talked about getting some gourds for Purple Marlins to put near our garden in an effort to go more organic. It seems that we would all have a much simpler life if we were all leavers and it would be better for the earth. However, in today’s society people are driven to have more, do more and be more. The things that are suppose to make our life better and things easier for us seem to end up creating more work or more time for other work.

I'm not sure whether the garden wolud have to be organic or not, but I think it should be as close to organic as possible to do the most to acheive the goal here.
I also think that most people are in too big a hurry or are just too lazy and or too selfish to really become a leaver society. I know that in my own home my step daughter is in the conservation club at school, but I constantly have to go behind her and her sister to pull recyclying things out of the trash cans and I have to keep reminding her to not use so much water. I'm sure she just thinks I am "Nagging", although we do get along pretty well.

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Shelia Wood Cuthbertson


Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:07 am
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Laura, I agree with you about our ability to impact students and the future because we teach. When I read your response and the quote about "Teach a hundred" it reminded me of a poem or story about a man at the beach throwing starfish back into the ocean early in the morning. He kept walking along the beach picking up the starfish & throwing them back into the water. Finally someone walked up to him and said you can't possibly make a difference for all the starfish, he continued his task and as he threw the next starfish back into the ocean he said "no, but I can make a difference for this one." We can all do our part to make a difference. So we can teach children and I think we do have to also teach by example, so in answer to your question Dr. Turner, we might have to make changes ourself in our behaviors if we are not already beginning to practice some of the "leavers" traits.

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Shelia Wood Cuthbertson


Mon Apr 12, 2010 10:27 am
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