Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ken McLintock On Teaching

From a letter applying for a teaching position, 1961.
As a teacher I believe that at least as important as developing an individual's potentialities is the passing on of certain constant and residual values of our society. A child must learn what he can make of himself, but he must also learn something of the world of adult values in which he will in time find himself. A child-centered school may be all right, providing it does not turn out a child-centered child. ...

As an English teacher I am aware that, traditionally, "English" is a catch-all which includes anything and everything to do with the spoken or written word. An English teacher is expected to "teach" such diverse subjects as poetry, punctuation, and paragraph writing; to "train" students in such diverse skills as reading, penmanship, and debating; to "guide attitudes" in reading, listening, and observing. I attempted all these in my early years of teaching, either at the behest of the school administration or at the prompting of my teachers-college-trained conscience. I now believe an English teacher should not try to cover everything, especially if he is involved in other school activities. ...

The concept basic to all others in the English classroom, it seems to me, is the effective communication of meaningful thought. If a student can not read with adequate understanding, he has not effected communication between the printed page and his mind. If he can not write or speak coherently, he has not effected communication between his mind and the eye or ear of someone else. All this is obvious. The prevalence of mediocrity in expression among high school students and graduates, however, convinces me that training in communication has not been intensive enough.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I arrived at this site while looking for members of the Wilcox Tech Class of '58. Ken McLintock was my English instructor. He had quite a 'row to hoe' for none of us believed we required additional instruction in English. Our interests were in chopped and channeled Hudsons and basketball. For our 1958 yearbook, Mr McLintock leans into the camera with a genuine smile. That's exactly as I remember him. Hank Benoit

11:02 AM  

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