Journal On Gryphon By Charles Baxter Is Miss Ferenczi A Good Teacher? Why Or Why Not?

710 words - 3 pages

The short story Gryphon by Charles Baxter has an unusual character, a new substitute teacher at the rural community of Five Oaks in Michigan. The students meet with the strange lady who brings them strange yet fascinating lectures. Miss Ferenczi could be an exceptional teacher in a suitable environment, with her willingness to break the boundary in teaching method, her lectures on new materials never presented in textbooks, and her influence to help the students explore new things.I wonder if there would be any teacher daring enough to tell the class "six times eleven could be sixty eight." Miss Ferenczi accepts the normal mathematical answer, but she also provides a different view and solution to the math problem, because "it's more interesting that way." When the narrator boy could not spell "balcony" she whispered to him; that the word is ugly and if he does not like a word, he does not have to use it. The students who have the wrong answer and the wrong spelling would always remember the right answers that way; moreover they do not feel ashamed of their wrong reply. They feel better when they are accepted and gently guided toward the right knowledge. Miss Ferenczi hates the way teachers are supposed to follow the rules, timeline, and the material presented readily in textbooks. When she told the children to open the book she herself "was staring at some object just outside the window." She refuses to have lunch with other teachers since she wants to stay close with her students. Miss Ferenczi feels comfortable only when she can teach in her own way, not to be directed by any rules or any inflexible method or limit, which makes the students less distracted at the same boring way they have always been taught.The new substitute teacher appeared in the class surprising the students as much as her strange stories. The kids have never heard of the Antipode stone that would blind people, the Hope diamond, or the plant that can eat meat. The things they get to learn in textbooks are boring numbers and parched tiresome text. Miss Ferenczi knows the...

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