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A Response to John Gatto’s Article Essay

In an article written by John Gatto, who is a very good teacher as proven by his numerous awards received, it seems that he is no longer an adherent of a curriculum of contemporary education. It seems that he is a bit late in knowing that he, as a teacher, is a slave of this kind of system. For more than two decades and a half, he never refuses to be part of it. Why a sudden change?

As for my personal opinion, I am certainly agreed with the current type of contemporary education designed for kid’s learning at certain level but I hope that it would not be misunderstood with my position about the article of John Gatto because I am really opposed in his idea. I am not a believer of John Gatto’s description about the said scheme, because I guess, he made such exaggerated illustration of core curriculum according to his belief alone and is not proper to just be put in general situation.

If, for any reason that John Gatto’s description is true, perhaps that only exists in his area of jurisdiction and is therefore an isolated case. To further explain my viewpoint, let me discuss and elaborate it. What is a teacher’s role anyway? Ever since formal schooling is born, which says by John Gatto that the blueprint of school procedure is from an Egyptian custom and that only brought in US trough Puritans, the teacher, or rabbi in their term, has the several roles.

Firstly, a teacher is the one who educates students any lessons, in accordance to what they need to learn. Of course they know that a grade school kid does not need to learn at early age some subjects like accounting, trigonometry or geophysics because those types of subjects are much more complex things that young minds would not understand whether these kids are normal kids or gifted, and this will only be justified by a licensed teacher. Hence, it is but a right thing to call a teacher an educator.

The second role of a teacher could be viewed as equal as parent’s role. Since kids spend most of the time of their growing years at school than at home, the teacher has all the responsibility in disciplining these kids especially when troubled with bad manners and behavior. Disciplining kids that are not biologically them would never be an easy task that only good teacher can do. Teachers mold these kids and prepare them to become a well-disciplined and well-behaved citizen of the country.

To end this essay, I want to emphasize my position of disagreeing with John Gatto’s viewpoint and to once again make an appeal to the public, to every public school teacher, and especially to John Gatto himself to understand the disadvantages and advantages of teaching within the standardization scheme set by the norm and traditional custom, to realize that teaching is not just a work for a living. Teaching is, and will always be, a noble profession! R E F E R E N C E Gatto, J. T. (1991, July 25). I May Be A Teacher But I am Not An Educator. The Wall Street Journal.


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