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The Relationships Between The Students And Their Teachers

1136 words - 5 pages

The poem “Students,” by Tom Wayman and the story, “Crow Lake,” by Mary Lawson presents two teachers who cope with the same difficulties of teaching. Although the teachers are faced with identical circumstances, their resolutions for the problem vary. Wayman, in the poem, and the narrator in the story both fails to make connection with their students, however, Wayman understands his students’ behavior while the narrator refuses to communicate and simply gives up on teaching.

The two teachers introduced in “Students” and “Crow Lake” both struggle to engage their students’ interest because they can not connect well with the students. One of the main factors that separates Wayman and the narrator with their students is the generation gap. On Wayman’s first meeting with his freshman class, he already feels the distance between him and the students, as the speaker describes that “Wayman was sure the computer was in error,” because the birthdates it showed was so recent. (2-3, Wayman) There is a difference in values and attitudes between the generation the students and that of Wayman’s. Although Wayman probably needed the “Kung Fu Theory of Education” when he was young, in order to deal with hardships all by himself, the students, most of whom are still able to depend on their parents both financially and mentally, can not recognize the importance of Wayman’s words. (25, Wayman) The narrator in “Crow Lake” also senses the difference between she and her students, too. She wonders that “how many of the students” in her classroom “would have had the opportunity to see” the marvels of life which she had seen when she was little. (16, Lawson) The narrator does not understand why her students show almost no interest in the things she is so passionate about. Because most of the narrator’s students were city kids, “who had never seen a real pond in their lives, “ the students are also unable to connect with the narrator. (15, Lawson) The gap between the two teachers and their students makes it difficult for Wayman and the narrator to understand and connect with the students.

Another factor that becomes a barrier between the teachers and the students is the flaws Wayman and the narrator have. Although Wayman accurately recognizes the students’ misunderstanding on the reasons of education, and strongly stresses on the “Kung Fu Theory of Education,” he is unsuccessful in leading the students to “learn as self-defence,” because Wayman is too lenient and soft with his students. (27, Wayman) Even if there is a student who pays no attention to his lesson and listens to her music, Wayman does not point her out immediately. Instead, he waits for “after some days” to “move to inquire.” (38, Wayman) It can be inferred that Wayman failed to stop his student from using the “Easy Learning Theory of Learning,” as the student “reassured Wayman,” saying “Don’t worry, I can hear you.” (36, Wayman) His leniency allows the students to do whatever they want to do in the...

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