Part of the Process

Thoughts on becoming a teacher.

You Can’t Say You Can’t Play

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I finished reading Paley’s You Can’t Say You Can’t Play this evening. I was thinking back to the discussion we had in class a few nights ago about the book and how Paley serves as a moral authority in her classroom, but isn’t authoritarian. I think she is successful with the new rule of You Can’t Say You Can’t Play is because she has earned the role moral authority in the classroom. The way she details taking the time to listen to her students and how she demonstrates she truly cares for their emotional well-being earns their trust and respect. She is modeling empathetic behavior for them. I don’t think the same rule would work in a classroom where the teacher wasn’t modeling this behavior.

I believe that Paley can serve as important model for teachers as well. The way she shows that she takes the time to hear her students is inspiring. Classrooms are often busy places, with a million things going on at once, where the teacher’s attention is at a premium. Throughout You Can’t Say You Can’t Play, Paley is showing the importance of slowing down to ensure that children are being heard.

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One thought on “You Can’t Say You Can’t Play

  1. Achall28, I completely agree, recently finishing You Can’t Say you Can’t Play I was struck by how she leads her student with the “rule” in a way that doesn’t feel forced or threatening to them. I feel that teachers, more than not, forget about the importance of Connections with their students. Students all want to be heard and I feel they also want to all play together- Paley connects with them on this and it shows throughout the book. She sets a standard I will hold to myself as a professional educator.

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