* AlphaBook Blogging: D is for David Copperfield

Charles DickensToday’s AlphaBooks Blogging features David Copperfield.. (Not the magician, whom I think has disappeared.)  No, “David Copperfield” is a masterpiece of Charles Dickens, one of my favorite authors.  Dickens himself writes, “Of all my books, I like this the best.  It will be easily believed that I am a fond parent to every child of my fancy, and that no one can ever love that family as dearly as I love them.  But, like many fond parents, I have in my heart of hearts a favourite child.  And his name is DAVID COPPERFIELD.”

It’s true for teachers also, that we often have a favorite student.  For me, the challenge is keeping that a secret.  I fear it might be heartbreaking for some kids to know they aren’t my favorite.  But a more serious pitfall occurs when my heart favors a student.  I lose that oh-so-slight emotional distance which makes me more effective.

Our daughter, a former student, was a perfect illustration of how I lost my teacher perspective.  When she whacked me on the rear with a notebook, I took her firmly in hand to the principal, who stared at me with disbelief.  I’d had kids in my self-contained class pull all sorts of amazing stunts and I’d never batted an eyelash.  But our daughter-to-be?  Ah, I had lost my heart to her and could never maintain that distance again.  It was a good thing that she was mainstreamed into a regular classroom and her special education status eventually became a thing of the past.  Then she was simply special.

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