“We can all have 2nd Acts, 3rd Acts…” Dr. Lowery-Moore used this quote from Mr. McCourt in her introduction of him. I found this to be a very poignant statement. He made this statement because he feels that he has had several acts during his lifetime. He was a teacher for 30 years and now a Pulitzer Prize winning author. He wants to let others know that it IS possible to start new chapters in your life at any age.
I enjoyed the comedy in the stories that Mr. McCourt told about his early days teaching. It is so very true that the college you attend does not teach you about the things that sometimes happen in our classrooms. The fighting, the throwing of things, and the myriad of other things that happen even in the most disciplined classroom. I agree that you learn so very much your first year, no, your first day as a teacher than all the field experiences you might have had added together! I found that his experiences were much like every other new teacher, including myself.
Mr. McCourt also told an interesting tale about being a boy growing up in a Catholic school in Limerick, Ireland. He told tales of being a boy and learning things from observing the mistakes of others as well as making his own mistakes. His stories are so full of life and the way he tells them, you can picture yourself there.
As he was closing his lecture, he made what I feel is a very important statement about teachers. As teachers, we must go into a classroom having a sense of humor and be compassionate versus acting like a dictator. In my minimal experience, I have found this to be a difficult task at times. You have to find the right balance between these things in order to be really effective. I have been told by seasoned teachers that it is easier to let up later on than it is to try to reel them in after they have been let loose for too long.