In Mrs. Tully's Room makes a quiet but powerful case for the pedagogical skill and psychological insight that childcare providers—so often underpaid and undervalued—can bring to their work. It also emphasizes how warm, quasi-familial, even mentoring relationships can develop between childcare providers and their preschool families.
Part diary, part pedagogy, In Mrs. Tully's Room captures Paley's four months in the presence of an extraordinary teacher who grew up in the delightful, reassuring tangle of her grandfather's tales and became, after so many frustrating years teaching in public schools, determined to offer children something she at one point dubs "home-porch-schooling." Storytelling lies at the heart of all things Mrs. Tully does. Loneliness, otherness, rudeness, conflict can all, she believes, be cured with a story. Kindness and community can be modeled and reinforced. Sorrows can be blown off, on languaged winds...In Mrs. Tully's Room is a loving portrait of an idealized place. It is the suggestion made, again and again, that even the youngest children can be shaped by metaphor, that they can grow toward their highest potential--individually and collectively--when stories shape their days.
"Retired" teachers like Paley never actually retire, since children were never just a job but a lifelong passion and the source of their own creative inspiration...Paley doesn't need expert opinions to flesh out her book--when it comes to progressive education, she's quite an expert herself...A must-read for all thinking parents and teachers.
[This] book is full of wisdom and lessons for those who work with young children. The messages are about taking time with them, telling them your own stories and listening to theirs. Above all, perhaps it's a celebration of the work of childcare workers who, like Lillian Tully, are not teachers and yet know the true value of stories and of the loving mentoring of children.
This inspirational book explores a land of emotions and creativity far beyond the confines of targets and tests. Read it for sustenance and renewal.
- 160 pages
- 4-5/8 x 7-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
From this author
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