Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chapters 11-15

I'm still laughing over the chapter about Mr. Chunk and Mr. Slick. I apologize for the foul language and hope that you are finding the humor in some of this.

"Birds, just live everything else, know if you like them. If you do, then they will come all around you. Our mountains and hollows was filled with birds: mockingbirds and flickers, red-winged blackbirds and indian hens, meadowlarks and chip-wills, robins and bluebirds, hummingbirds and martins - so many that there is no way to tell of them all" (p. 107).

Certainly students know if you like them. It's often not what you say, but how you act and how you look at them. As with birds, there are many different types of students. They may look different and sound different, but each must be equally important to you as a teacher. And again, as with the birds living on the mountain and in the hollow around Little Tree's cabin, students will come all around you when they know you like them. They'll be waiting outside your door in the morning before school, they'll want to eat their lunch in you room, and they'll be back after school to hang out in your room. It may become an annoyance to you at some point, but let it be a sign that you are doing something right!



  1. I was touched and saddened by the story of the girl who received the mocasins. I found it interesting that her father publically punished her, then made her take the shoes back, and she never returned to the store. I related this to the importance of teachers really understanding what is going on at home with our students. We can have a great impact on our students by learning about their personal lives, and we will be more able to serve if we know exactly who we are serving.

  2. In chapter 12 Little Tree says that nettles make the best greens but they have little hairs that sting you while you are trying to pick them. "Granpa said he had never knowed anything in life that, being pleasurable, didn't have a [darn] catch to it--somewheres" (100). The same is true with education. Learning is difficult at times and for some it is harder than for others. However, it is important to remind our students that pleasurable things in life rarely come easy. Sometimes you have to get stung along the way to truly experience the joy that learning brings.

  3. The thing that stood out for me in this reading happened in the beginning of the reading on page 113. After the snake bite incident, Little Tree tells us that granpa must kin him almost as much as granma and more than Blue Boy. This is why being an example is so important as a teacher. We should help our students feel loved, understood, and important. These qualities are important for students and lead to personal and academic success.

  4. Something that stood out to me also came in chapter 11. When Little Tree was talking with the little girl and she asked how much cotton Little Tree could pick and he replied that he didn't know because he had never done it before, the little girl quickly replied of course because everyone knows that indians are lazy and wont work. I think it is so important that we don't have predetermined stereotypes of our students before we get to know the student individually. Different cultural or economical backgrounds often label an individual prematurely. Therefore it is so important that we try to look beyond the social stigmas and focus on the strengths and help with the weakness of each of our students, without being swayed to believe one-way or the other.


  5. On page 96 it says, "I seen right off she was a Christian, for while she was talking, she had licked my stick candy down to practical a nub." This made me laugh, but I think it shows how important first impressions are, and how well they stick. As teachers, it will be important to a little more flexible and not judge our students based off of the first few times we meet them. They may just be having a bad day. We should give them the benefit of the doubt and try to figure out how to get along with them.

  6. One thing that really stood out to me while I was reading was near the beginning of chapter 11 on page 89; Little Tree talks about learning 5 new words from the dictionary every week. Granma and Granpa have been constantly working to instill a sense of life-long learning in Little Tree. In the beginning of the book with the trips to the library and now with the dictionary. Although these two parts of the book are funny and make the reader laugh, I think there is also an important lesson for teachers and parents. If we can instill a love of learning and life long education in our students we will be teaching them a something they will cherish for the rest of their lives.

  7. Throughout these chapters I don't think you can help but develop a strong attachment to Little Tree. He has the sweet innocence of a child and enjoys giving others gifts and making them feel good about themselves. He shows a great example of this in the Willow John chapter.

    To Willow John, all is lost with his people. He feels despair and hopelessness. However, when Little Tree comes in to the picture, excited and proud to be a Cherokee, a glimmer of hope appears. Little Tree, through his young innocence and kindness, gives a bullfrog to Willow Tree as a gift. Little Tree is able to touch Willow John in a way that his grandparents and other adults are unable to do. He was able, in a way, to teach Willow John who is already very wise and aged.

    I think this is an important lesson to learn for teachers. Although we are the educators, we are still able to learn lessons from our students. They bring a rich diversity of personality and lifestyle into our classroom and we should acknowledge this as a gift, as well as an opportunity. If we allow ourselves to get to know our students, who are still young and innocent, they can enrich our lives and bring us joy simply by interacting with them.