Thursday, January 19, 2012

The End

It's kind of hard to read when your eyes keep filling with tears. I seriously love this story.

"Wilburn said he didn't give a damn, but he did. Every time it was line-up day, Wilburn put on a clean shirt and overalls. I watched Wilburn" (p. 188).

How are we going to teach/reach the Wilburns in our classes? I'll take a stab at answering this question in class today, but I think that Granma and Granpa have already shown us. On every page of this book they have done all they could to help Little Tree feel important, to feel needed, and to feel appreciated. Next week I will ask you to read an article about how to teach "at-risk" students (think Wilburn). The author suggests that each of these children, like each of us, have the following needs: 1) love and belonging; 2) mastery; 3) power; 4) meaning. Not that I want to give away what will be on the exam, but it is possible that you will need to find examples of how the characters in this book helped Little Tree meet these needs. I reckin that would be a good question.

I sincerely hope you have enjoyed this book and that it has helped shape your teaching philosophy. I am so excited for each of you to begin teaching, I am confident that you will each be a powerful influence in the lives of your students.



  1. I loved getting to know Mr. Wine. What a man of wisdom and love. On Pg 164 and 165 he makes two statements that mean a lot to me. His first is about habits. He said "one habit led to another habit, and if they was bad habits, it would give you a bad character." He also said, "if you learnt to place a value on being honest and thrifty, on doing your best, and on caring for folks; this was more important than anything." I agree that these attributes are more important than anything. It makes me realize that as a teacher we need to be teaching and showing our students how they can become better people by doing their best and caring for others. Our job as teachers is so much more then teaching the curriculum, it is helping shape character!

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  3. On page 158 it says, "Granpa said if you showed a feller how to do, it was a lot better than giving him something." I believe this can be applied to teaching health subjects. Having our students regurgitate information we have crammed into their heads is one option, but finding ways to show how certain behaviors are relevant to them is perhaps a better option. Our students will be more willing to listen and do what we are teaching if they know how to apply it into their lives.

  4. I was really touched by how little tree reacted to being beat by the reverend for saying exactly what the deer were doing in the picture. He had the education that he needed, and knew more than others around him, yet he never complained or really questioned why what was happening to him happened to him. He said that he forgot his pain, and thought only about his spirit (or something to that effect). It was amazing to me that a little boy of just 6 years old could forget the pain of the moment, and remember who his true self was. It made me think about the Value of knowing your self-worth, and that it is divine, therefore unchangeable. If we can help our students come to the realization that the pain of their circumstances are just for now, and that ultimately, they'll be okay in the end because they have worth, how empowering that influence could be on their lives throughout their lifespan. Love this book! I am so glad we got to read it!!!! :)

  5. I love the whole chapter with Mr. Wine. He truly teaches Little Tree several valuable lessons. Little Tree would get so into watching Mr. Wine work on his clocks. I think it is so cute how Mr. Wine would lose his glasses on his head and Little Tree would point them out to him. Little Tree says, "Mr. Wine said he could not work on his clocks if I had not been there to help him find his glasses" (pg. 163). I love this because Mr. Wine (whether intentional or not) is making Little Tree feel so valued and important. I think it is so important that we as teachers instill that feeling of value in each of our students. I want my students to feel like they each play an important role in my classroom and that as a class we need one of them to contribute if we are going to be successful.

  6. Something that I thought was profound came on page 158 when Granpa is telling Little Tree how important it is to teach a man to do something so that latter in their life they can take care of themselves.

    As health educators that is our goal to teach our students how to take care of themselves. I truly believe that our teaching needs to go beyond just the health education curriculum, we need to help out students become confident and self-sufficient individuals in all aspects of their life. Just like Granma and Granpa taught Little Tree to be a capable individual, we too have that same responsibility in teaching our students.


  7. On page 170 Little Tree describes the Fall. He explains that Fall is a time "to put things in order..." I loved his whole description because I think that is what a lot of students do with each semester or quarter. They try to improve themselves.

    I think it is important as teachers to set up an environment that welcomes success and improvement. Education is not about trying to design a test for a certain average or seeing how difficult something is for students. It is about building on knowledge, designing challenges that are achieveable, and encouraging students to follow their hearts.

  8. I loved the part of the book that included Wilburn. I think as a future teacher I have a lot to learn from him. He is the student that continually acts out and pretends as though he doesn't care about anything. These are the kinds of students we need to be on the look out for because they need us. On page 193, Wilburn talks about what he wants to be when he grows up, a robber and a murderer. It is obvious that Wilburn has very low self esteem and self worth. As a teacher, I want to be able to help these kinds of students and help them to see their worth. I think that it will take time and experience to best know how to do that but the best thing to do will be to not give up on them.

  9. Mr. Wine had some really profound statements. When he spoke of education being a two-part proposition--technical and valuing--he taught Little Tree some important stuff! As much as I love health and want all my kids to learn everything I teach them, I think a large part of my time might be spent doing classroom management and reinforcing values. And as Mr. Wine says, we need to first learn to value "being honest and thrifty, doing your best, and caring for folks".
    If my students don't care about doing good work, being honest with it, and being kind to others, then I won't get very far in teaching them. I would hope these things would be installed in the home first. But if not, I would try to teach these concepts to them.
    Our job as teachers is to prepare our students for the future--for their lives. I feel that these ideas are crucial for them to be successful in the future--not only in their occupations, but in society as well.