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A Culture of Fear

Peace Corps Thailand Magazine

IMG_1991Clarence Say, 129 TESS

All quotes in italics are taken from The Courage to Teach by Parker J. Palmer.

As a student, I was in too many classrooms riddled with fear, the fear that leads many children, born with a love of learning, to hate the idea of school. As a teacher, I am at my worst when fear takes the lead in me, whether that means teaching in fear of my students or manipulating their fears of me.

When I first started teaching in the classroom, the best piece of advice others could give me at the time concerning classroom management was a serious joke, “don’t smile until Christmas.”

Every teacher I approached gave me the “you’re not here to be the student’s friend” speech. On the front lines of that message was my Classroom Management Professor, I’ll call him CMP for short. He was in charge of instructing…

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