By George Dennison
Of the entire books written on schooling within the sixties and seventies, The Lives of youngsters used to be probably the most major.
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Extra resources for The Lives of Children: The Story of the First Street School (Innovators in Education)
I was impressed by the way Ernesto treated the younger children, showing them the consideration of an adult, yet enjoying himself in an easy, direct way, with none of the embarrassment or self-conceit so typical of American adolescents in this kind of situation. Finally the girls showed up for the play--Elena, Dodie, Rudella, Dolores-all in robes and crowns, Rudella with B tall black witch's hat. At first there was a melee as the boys attacked them, but Elena cursed and cajoled-- "Dejalo! Dejalo!
I haven't got it in me to bawl them out--or to ask for the tokens back again, taking pennies from the poor. And so I shake my head in stupid embarrassment and put my token in the slot. We went to the art room when we got back. All the girls were working very contentedly. Rudella looked up when we came in and said, "Hey, George, take these boys outa here. " Rudella has loosened up a great deal. In fact, she has become prettier. She swings in with the others now, cursing occasionally in her broad, slow, imitative way.
The other kids-and for the most part Vicente and Julio, too - kept horsing around and took no interest whatever in making the castle. And I realized that the image in my mind was from my own childhood, and that these boys, who cannot feel safe on the street unless they carry knives, have no such images in their minds. Nor can they make anything that requires the slightest patience. The moment anything goes wrong, Vicente scatters the material like an angry baby. ) It was clear, too, that they could not accommodate their game to the flimsiness of the castle (five feet high).