Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chapter 6-10

I'll just share briefly here, but I have a few thoughts I would like to discuss as a class on Thursday.

I love Granma and Granpa's reaction when Little Tree returns from the mountain after avoiding the law and saving the still. "They didn't come up the trail but stood and watched as I come along with the dogs. I felt good about it. I still had my fruit jars and had not broke any of them. Granma set the lamp down and knelt to meet me. She grabbed me so hard, she nearly made me drop my fruit jars....Granpa said that he couldn't have done any better hisself....Granpa said I might wind up being better'n him. Which I knew wasn't likely, but I was proud he said it. Granma never said anything. She toted me the rest of the way home. But I could of made it, more than likely" (p. 75).

Being a parent, having worked with parents as a teacher and a coach, and having interacted with parents in a variety of social and church settings, it is interesting to ponder how many parents would respond in this situation. I believe most would be falling all over themselves apologizing to their child for how difficult the ordeal must have been..."Oh, I'm so sorry you had to go through that, you must have been so scared" or "Daddy will never let that happen again, I'll make sure of that" and "You poor thing, that wasn't fair, that's our fault that things were so rough." These are comments that I think we would hear, along with some sharp words between husband and wife.

The differences in response are enormous in my mind, and may have significant consequences in the development of the child. I believe that Granma and Granpa are developing confidence, resilience, and dare I say...self-esteem in Little Tree. More typical responses, although perhaps well-intended, I fear may cause children to feel a level of entitlement, to view themselves as victims, and may actually decease feelings of self-worth and confidence.

I believe that how we communicate with students, especially when they encounter a challenge or adversity, can have a great impact on their behavior.



  1. The chapter "Secret Place" is an example to me of how learning should take place. Little Tree has this secret place where he observes nature and it shows that he is excited about it. The first page of this chapter shows little tree observing nature with curious eyes. How great would it be if all of our students had this curious and observational attitude. So often we get caught up in the books and learning in a classroom that we forget that there is a world around us to be observed and learned about. I would love if my students were able to have a "secret" place of their own to think, ponder, and ask questions.

  2. At the beginning of the chapter “Secret Place,” Granma is so excited about the new discovery of the musk bugs. “Granma said I had done right, for when you come on something that is good, first thing to do is share it with whoever you can find; that way, the good spreads out to where no telling it will go” (pg. 57).
    I love this quote because it is exactly how I feel about teaching. There is so much good and valuable health knowledge to be shared and it is my responsibility to share it with all of my students. As we teach and spread our knowledge and influence, there is no telling how many people can benefit.

  3. Going along with Mindy, in the chapter "The Secret Place", I love the quote by Granma when she expresses to Little Tree her gratitude for finding something new and then sharing it with her. She also explained how it is important to "...share it with whoever you can find; that way, the good spreads out to where no telling it will go. Which is right." I think that can also be applied to the learning process. I feel that when I learn something new and then I go and try to share that knowledge with someone else I remember it SO much better. SO as teachers if we encourage our students to not only be students but to ALSO be teachers to those around them it could be incredible with the knowledge that is spread.

    Staisha Stratton

  4. In the chapter, Grandpa's Trade, Little Tree learns the important lesson of doing your absolute best and taking pride in whatever your trade is. Grandpa teaches little tree the importance of working hard. He talks about the barrel sniffers and big city whiskey makers who make cheap whiskey in mass amounts just to make a profit. Little Tree learns to take pride in their "mark" that they label their whiskey with and he immediately feels the responsibility of "never turning any bad whiskey under [their] mark." As teachers, we should try to teach our students to avoid taking cheap shortcuts but to work hard and to instill a sense of pride in them that will help them gain self-worth.

  5. I loved the calf lesson at the end of Chapter Ten. I feel this ties in very closely with Cougar's example of parental reaction. Even though Grandpa knew that the calf was sick, he knew that Little Tree had to go through the experience on his own so he could learn from it. Our students will be learning many lessons. Because we are able to teach our students about decision making, we will get to assist them in understanding how consequences (positive and negative) affect their lives through the decisions they make. - Kyley

  6. Granpa said, "When you got old and remembered them you loved, you only remembered the good, never the bad, which proved the bad didn't count nohow" (p. 78). I like this because it is often easier to notice and focus on the negative things that happen, but life is so much happier when we notice positive things. I think it is so important to praise our students. They will make mistakes and need correction, but they need to know that we notice the good things that they do too. If we make an effort to do this, it will hopefully become natural, and the relationship we have with our students will improve.

  7. I could not agree more with Cougar's post. It has drove me nuts when I have seen parents who think they are helping their children by not allowing them to take responsibility for their actions and learn from life experiences. We as teachers need to instill confidence in our students. We need to help them believe that they are awesome, because they are! - sherry -

  8. So i meant to post my comment on Thursday about these chapters, but I was being silly and using the wrong link! Anyways, I really liked granma's influence in this portion of the book. My favorite part was when little tree goes to find his secret place, and granma pretends like she has never seen it before, and it was a place he discovered all his own. I think that education should be like this! We should help our students to feel like they are discovering new things all the time. That way it becomes special to them, and concepts that they will remember for a long time!

  9. I loved reading about plowing the field with their mule Sam. The first way Granpa teaches is by letting Little Tree gain hands-on experience and allowing room for mistake. Granpa knows that Little Tree is going to make mistakes. The field might have been little messy by the time he was done with it. However, Granpa recognizes the importance of letting Little Tree gain the experience, regardless of the outcome.

    The second lesson is teaching Little Tree to take pride in his work; to do it right and do it well. This is when Granpa teaches his trade of making whiskey. When you have a job that has your name on it, it should always be your best work--no cutting corners. When we show our students what is important to us, we should be making it important to them. Little Tree is taught the value of having your own trade. Something you care about and have passion for should always be completed using your best work.

    These are two lessons that are very different. As teachers we need to have the ability to give our students the courage to try new things even though they will make mistakes. As they take those risks, we need to make sure that the overall lesson is learned without doing too much critiquing.

    On the other hand, it's important to also have expectations and desire their very best work. We need to teach them to take pride in their own work and always strive to do their best. These are two important concepts we need to understand and make sure our students also understand.