Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Instuc* (for Instruc*)

Teachers and other teaching instructors sometimes feel stuck in their jobs. They've either got tenure or they don't; they're bored with the curriculum; they're weary of their students and of "teaching to the test"; they simply want to do something else. (Those who can, do; those who can't, teach, as the rather offensive, but perhaps somewhat persuasive, saying would have it.) Some instructors feel stuck in a tiresome stereotype: I saw an elementary school production of a contemporary adaptation of Alice in Wonderland recently, in which Alice's pedantic tutor went by the colorful name of "Mr. Knowsitallsmartypantsmcfool." Others eventually come to the conclusion that they're just "too cool for school." However, few of them ever get as literally stuck as the one in the book Let's Take Over the Kindergarten, by Richard Hamilton and Sue Heap. Here Miss Tuck gets hopelessly entangled in the indoor jungle gym, until the rambunctious and anarchy-addled youngsters figure out how to work together in order to free their teacher and restore order to the classroom. Instuc* appears 45 times in OhioLINK today.

(Cover of Let's Take Over the Kindergarten, 2007, from Amazon.com.)

Carol Reid

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