Wednesday, March 2, 2011

C4T #2

Being the Best Parent in the World
By: Teacher Tom
father and child holding hands

For this comment for teachers assignment, I got to follow Teacher Tom's (Tom Hobson's) blog. In the first blog I read, Teacher Tom discussed the anxiety of motherhood. As a preschool teacher, Teacher Tom says that he sees mothers everyday who are worried about every little detail of their children's lives. Teacher Tom contributes this high anxiety level to years of women being told that they should instinctively be great mothers.

Tom also discussed that girls who grew up having to help out with younger siblings, and learned this "on the job training", were much more confident mothers. In years past, child care was considered women's work. This "women's work" consisted of raising the children, cooking, and housekeeping. With so much work to do it is no wonder the older siblings had to help out. In today's society, Tom compares having the first child to getting a new job. Without much of the experience gained in childhood of having to help raise younger siblings, women today are usually learning everything about motherhood with their first child. Once again, no wonder the anxiety levels and self-doubt are through the roof!

In closing out his blog, Tom says that women's confidence, with regards to parenting, seems to grow as their children get older or when they have multiple children. Tom has purposefully left out fathers in this blog because he believes that men tend not to worry as much about parenting as women do. Tom contributes this to men not being held to hundreds of years of expectations. Teacher Tom also believes that men are "graded" on their parenting skills merely by "effort and earnestness" and that all parents should be graded the same!

Here is what I had to say in response to Tom Hobson's blog:

Hi Teacher Tom, my name is Jenna Baxter. I am a student at the University of South Alabama and majoring in Elementary Education. I am in Dr. Strange's EDM310 class and have been assigned to comment on your blog. I will post a summary of your blog and my comments by March 6 on my class blog, which can be found by clicking here. You can also follow me on twitter @jennabaxter1988.

First of all I would like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog. As a mother of a four year old, I can definitely relate to the anxiety felt by many mothers. Being a woman, I am just supposed to be a perfect mother (something we all know is impossible). When I was growing up, I did not have any younger siblings to take care of. My son really is the guinea pig of my parenting skills. As he has grown older I find myself not freaking out as much as I used too. I have come to the realization that there are going to be ups and downs in parenting, and that I just have to do the best I can. I do also feel that it is important for young girls to be taught some of the skills they will need when they one day become parents. This will hopefully lessen some of their anxiety. As a society, we also need to get away from this belief that women are "born" caretakers and they should be perfect at it. I believe that if you try your best and you show your children that they are loved, then you are a great parent! Thanks again for letting me read your blog! I found it very insightful.

Inventing Us
By Teacher Tom (Tom Hobson)

In this post Hobson discusses the belief that "knowing stuff is the enemy of education." Hobson also discusses that he does not find it gratifying when his students perform a task exactly as he expected them to. Fewer instructions leads to greater creativity. The classroom should be treated like an experiment in which everyone, including the teacher, is learning. Hobson also thinks the classroom should have room for "failure, frustration, and conflict", but also be a place for "wonder, epiphany, and friendship." A quote by Thomas Edison is also provided in the blog: "I didn't fail a thousand times. The lightbulb was an invention with a thousand steps." According to Hobson, this is how the classroom should be. Through thousands of steps we are inventing ourselves. Hobson finishes up his blog by saying that if you find a teacher who has a fail proof plan for educating students, then that teacher is not interested in education. They are interested in "standardization."

Here is what I had to say in response:

Hey, this is Jenna again from Dr. Strange's EDM310 class. I will have a summary of this blog post along with "Being the Best Parent in the World" available by March 6 on my blog ( I believe you made some very interesting points in this blog post. Too many times teachers want to go right by the rule book and squander any creativity their students have. It is very important that learning be a quest, or as you said an experiment, in which the teacher is continuing to learn with the students.

I also liked how you added the quote by Thomas Edison. Failure is considered such a horrible thing in today's society. We should really be thinking of failure as a time to learn from our mistakes. I also believe that our lives are made up of thousands of steps and we determine which steps we take. I truly enjoyed reading this post and I feel that I am able to take a lot away from it. Thanks for allowing me to follow your blog!

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