Deborah Brandt : A Full Time Teacher Essay

1613 Words Feb 4th, 2016 7 Pages
Deborah Brandt says sponsors “are any agents, local or distant, concrete or abstract, who enable, support, teach, model, as well as recruit, regulate, suppress, or withhold literacy—and gain advantage by it in some way” (166). Bob Gibson didn’t become a full-time teacher until he was in his mid-40s, and his experiences on that career path highlight both the benefits and the hindrances a sponsor can provide. Those experiences also demonstrate how integral a mixture of positive and negative sponsorship can be. Bob calls his parents his “first teachers” and therefore his most obvious sponsors. They encouraged his earliest strides toward literacy, as they helped him write the alphabet and read road signs while providing “lots and lots of encouragement and support.” Perhaps most significantly, they pressed Bob and his brother to not only go to high school, but to get a college degree. Neither parent finished high school, instead going straight to work in the hills of Eastern Kentucky. They familiarized themselves with the often “backbreaking, dangerous work” in the mines and in the mills, and they decided that they didn’t want “their boys” to have any part of it. The dangers of this environment were sadly reinforced when Bob’s father was killed in a lumber mill accident, which prompted the family’s move to Ohio. “From the time I was little,” Bob says, “I knew I’d be going to college.” He describes Eastern Kentucky to be “in many ways...a boon, in others an obstacle.” He…

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