I think the theme behind this chapter is that you're never to old to play with children or children's games, but there is also a line that you have to remember so they don't lose respect for you. I think this is the theme because in the chapter Kozol talks about how the teachers sometimes join the children in games they are playing, but have to remember that they can't do it all the time or the children will stop viewing them as an authority figure. The teacher Mrs. Gamble does a really good job at balancing this line. The way that really showed she knew how to do this but was in control too was "Then the teacher started humming softly - then she briefly thrilled a melody in her soprano voice - and some of the children started trilling their own voices too, and suddenly I understood: It was an orchestra, and they were the flute section! In their hands were imaginary flutes. Their little fingers played the notes and when the teacher bent her head as if she were so deeply stirred by the echanted music she was hearing that she had to tilt her body in response, the children bent their bodies too." Kozol notices she does a really good job at balancing this line too.
I think the biggest influence on keeping students from learning are the teachers. The teachers are the people that we look to to make learning interesting for us, and if they don't do that a lot of students lose interest quickly. I had a teacher in high school that was a complete monotone for math who always lectured then let us work on homework. It was the same routine everyday and I already struggled in math, so I wouldn't even go to him to ask questions. I would go to another teacher who I liked as a math teacher more for questions. If he would've been more hands on or even spoke in different tones, he probably would've been able to keep my attention better, instead of losing it completely. I like a class where I don't know what I'm going to do exactly every time I walk into the class. I had teachers in high school that did this and I did really well in their class. I think the responsibility for this resides in the teacher and the student. I should've went to him instead of another teacher for help, but he also should've made learning a little more interesting than what he did.