I felt there was several main themes of the chapter, but the one that I particularly enjoyed is when you become an adult, one should never forget the child side of you, as you never know when it may come in handy.
At the school P.S 28 where the poverty level of the classroom truly shows through the building and the classrooms themselves. A lot of the kids in Mrs. Gamble’s class would not have been able to afford an instrument let alone corresponding music lessons to understand the basics of how to play.
Mrs. Gamble provided the very basics of how to hold an imaginary flute properly in order to gain the kids attention to ensure that she had their undivided attention as all the kids in the room had to look at her for the finger placement that she had on her air flute.
It was just to break up the dullness of the lesson and to give the kids a brief reprieve she did a short dance in front of a room of third graders and the principal of the school with no qualms about how she looked. In that moment it was only for the kids to laugh at the same time being focused. I thought that was unique and fun way to bring music into the classroom even if you don’t have the instrument or instruction. Kozol commented about Mrs. Gamble on page 227 “She also showed herself to be a woman who was not too overly “mature,” or too “professional,” to show the happiness she felt at making magic music for the children with a magic, and imaginary flute.”
I would say one of the biggest influence that kept students from learning in high school I felt, was the amount of homework. Most of the kids from my class were either from single parent homes or they had both parents who were working two jobs to keep everything balanced.
Unfortunately a lot of kids just did not get the help that they needed as my high school there was not an after school program going on that provided additional help. We had study hall, but 9 times out of ten it was staffed by our gym teacher who was not very proficient in some subjects like math. The teachers did make homework a large part of our grade in order to ensure we did the homework. So, that left a lot kids in the predicament of having to copy someone else’s work. Which was also problematic in many ways as the kids would leave just left enough time to copy off someone else to turn in the work and not read the assignment given.
While the main responsibility does resided with the student to get the work done. The teachers and the administration I feel would have to work together in not only making a balance in the homework in order for the kids to have enough time to get their help but to bring back the after school program. I know with budgets cuts that the school board faces every year. The program could a free program hosted by graduated high school students, college students, even retired veterans or retired teachers get together maybe twice a week ( a Saturday meet up would be great) and just be available to high school students during a certain time of the day. For the students have the incentive tie in with community service hours. For the retirees would probably look at as something to do to get out of the house and to stay sharp on their knowledge.