The Principle of Teaching

by: Brooke and Nancy


Mr. Jimmy S. Dutton has been teaching since 1962. In his 33 years of teaching, he's touched the lives of many, both inside and outside his classroom. Upon interviewing Mr. Dutton, we discussed the way teaching should be and if it has changed over the years. Mr. Dutton is a firm believer in making a difference in the lives of others. His principle for teaching comes from Haim Ginnott. Mr. Dutton told us that if all teachers and principals taught that way, it would make a big difference in the lives of others.

Ginnott said, " I have come to a frightening conclusion. I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated, and the child humanized or dehumanized."

The teaching approach has not changed in the last 33 years according to Mr. Dutton. He believes that, "Socrates taught without a computer and any good teacher can teach without a computer." He also told us," A good teacher can teach in a burned out garage." He told us that what he meant by this was, a good teacher can teach without any "technological" machines.

As we walk through the halls and realize that Mr. Dutton has really retired, it's wonderful to know that he helped so many people whom we sometimes thought were out of reach. It is with great admiration that we look at the way he touched the lives and attitudes of those in his presence. Mr. Dutton is perhaps the only teacher that had innocent nicknames for students. He knew the difference between teasing and humiliating. We would like to thank Mr. Dutton for his dedication to the students of Springlake-Earth High School. He brought the best out in everyone who crossed his path.


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