The Role Of The Teacher Irving Layton Essay Writing

Digitized Layton Material at the Special Collections
University of Saskatchewan

Here you will find links to any of the digitized content from the Layton collections held at the Special Collections department of the Murray Library at the University of Saskatchewan.  If you are looking for a comprehensive list of available materials within the special collections library, please visit the Finding Aids section of this website.  The page is organized with the original Layton Collection (MSS 3) first, and the most recent (MSS 3.2) last, each divided by box and by series. Be sure to check each collection for certain thematic interests, such as "correspondence," which is series H in MSS 3, but also appears in MSS 3.2. Any problems with the website or for any digitization requests send email to:

MSS 3. Irving Layton Collection

Box 1
Series I: Published Monographs

Box 2
Series II: Anthologies

Series III: Tape Recordings

I. "Prince Hamlet and the Beatnicks" (tape 1 of 2). Lecture delivered at the  David B. Steinman Festival. St. Lawrence University.  2-18-1962.Duration - 47:23

I. "Prince Hamlet and the Beatnicks" (tape 2 of 2). Lecture delivered at the  David B. Steinman Festival. St. Lawrence University.  2-18-1962. Duration - 4:03

II. 1A. Layton Poetry. Poetry reading at the David B. Steinman Festival. St. Lawrence University.  2-18-1962. Duration - 32:14

II. 1B. Layton Poetry continued. Poetry reading and question period at the David B. Steinman Festival. St. Lawrence University.  2-18-1962. Duration (part 1) - 32:01; (part 2) - 5:19

Box 3
Series IV: Published Material by Irving Layton

4. Canadian Forum.  Collection of poems and a short story published in Canadian Forum from 1955-1962.  Only pages containing Layton's contributions were digitized.

9. "The Role of the Teacher." From the Bulletin of Montreal Teachers Federation of Jewish Schools. A piece written in reaction to criticism teachers face about insufficient education, concerning budget cuts esp. to the humanities. Also suggesting the importance of teachers. Entire Bulletin is also printed in Hebrew, pages 6-12.

Series V: Material About Irving Layton Published by Others

5a-8. Book Reviews.  A couple of book reviews of each A Red Carpet for the Sun and A Laughter in the Mind

9a-i.  Newspaper Clippings.  Newspaper articles by Layton covering wide range of topics in various newspapers.

Box 4
Series VI: Irving Layton Manuscripts

1."Machiavelli." 10 page essay. 1938.

2. Notebook containing lecture notes and drafts of poems. ms. Contents: Lecture notes on Plato & Athens; Drafts of poems; Lecture note on Hamlet; a booklist; [ca. 1944?]. 

3. Undated drafts - all prose items. 4 non-fiction prose items.  "The Poet in Canada"; "Wanted: A New Vocabulary"; "A Dominion Day Address"; "An Open Letter to Louis Dudek." "An Open Letter to Louis Dudek" is also photocopied and included (but not digitized) in fonds. c. 1955. 

4. Music on a Kazoo. Draft of book with many handwritten comments.  1956. 

5. Commonplace book. Cover dated October 29, ms. 1958. 

6. Notebook kept during visit to Europe. ms, [1958]. 

7. The Bull Calf and Other Poems. Typescript draft of book with ms. annotations.  43 leafs in a black duotang. 

8. "Poetry Outlets in Canada." Prose Article. 5 Pages. 1957. 

9. A Laughter in the Mind.  Typescript draft of book with slight ms. annotations. [1958]. 

10. Dislocation. ms draft and typescript 28 p. and 23 l. short story.  Published in shortened reviews form with title Osmeck in Canadian Forum, February 1961 and in his The Swinging Flesh in 1961. 

11. "Mrs Polinov" and "A Plausible Story."  2 short stories.  "Mrs. Polinov" 21 pages.  "A Plausible Story" 16 pages.

12. Balls for a One-Armed Juggler.  Typescript draft of book published 1964. 

Series VII: Material by Others

2. Montreal Hebrew Academy Grad Exercises. Graduation pamphlets from the Montreal Hebrew Academy. One partially in Hebrew. 

Series VIII: Corresondence, 1954-61

1. Correspondence.  Mostly between William Carlos Williams and Layton concerning Layton's recent work.

MSS 3.2. Irving Layton Collection

Box 1
Series I:

12. Adams Thesis.  A 1971 thesis by Richard Adams entitled The Poetic Theories of Irving Layton: A Study in Polarities.  Submitted in partial fulfilmenet of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in the Department of English at the University of New Brunswick. 

Additional Material from Shortt Collection:

1. Shadows on the Ground. Unbound manuscript pages in a duo tang of Layton's Shadows on the Ground published by Mosaic in 1982 and designed by Doug Frank. Limited to 200 copies, of which this is number 156. Portfolio is six pages with poems: “The Annunciation,” “Samantha Clara Layton,” “Portrait of a Modern Woman,” “Everything in the Universe Has its Place,” and “Make Room, William Blake.”  

2. Butterfly on Rock. Poet's signature broadsheet of famous Layton poem "Butterfly on Rock." Includes yellow butterfly image on texturized paper. Limited edition of 50 numbered and 26 lettered copies, all signed by the poet. Library has no. 41.

3. Nazi Airman. Broadside original poem by Layton written near the end of his life. Edition limited to 50 numbered and 25 lettered copies, all signed by the poet. Library has no. 31.

In our society today, many students do very poorly in school. But what is the reason for this? In Irving Layton’s essay ‘The Role of The Teacher’ he believes that teachers shouldn’t be fully blamed, and that one of main reasons why students do poorly in school are due to the cut backs and poor judgment of the school boards. Also he believes that the society has done their part to help shape our present and current students. Another main factor he discusses about is how the teacher should be teaching the students how to learn, open their minds and prepare for the future. I do agree with agree with Irving Layton, but to a certain extent. The school boards and the society do play a role in the learning process of a student, but I believe that the main factors are the students themselves and the teachers.

The choice of whether a student wants to learn is totally up to him or her. Some students do try to succeed in school and receive the education, while others just don’t care about their future and their level of education. In every class, there are always the select few of students who are superior and do very well who achieve high grades. These students are usually the ones that participate in class, do their homework, and most importantly, those who try and give an effort. Oppositely, there are some who are at the end of the line who do very poorly, and do not try to succeed at all. They have just given up without even giving a pinch of effort. These students then usually complain that the teacher is being unfair and puts the blame on the teacher, when they have done nothing productive. But on the other hand, there are some factors that can affect this.

There are students who do try in school, and yet still seem to be struggling. Some just have problems learning. They don’t earn the highest marks in the class, but they are still giving an effort, which is important. There are some scenarios where some students who are just naturally intelligent. They can do everything last minute, yet still pull off an A+. For example, I have a friend who usually does everything last minute, cramming and scrambling the night before, but still manages a 90% average. I find this very unfair. When I do this, I never get a high mark. Every student is different in his or her own way, and they just have to learn how to cope with their capabilities. Education is given to every student, but it is the students’ choice of whether or not to take it.

Teachers play a very important role in the education system. They are the ones who teach their knowledge to students. In order for teachers to be able to educate their students, I believe that they have to be very intelligent themselves. Every teacher can be different in their teaching style, but should have the same level of knowledge and will to teach. Over my past 5 years at Campbell, I can say that there are only a select few of teachers who I find very intellectual and who actually enjoys their job as a teacher. They are usually enthusiastic, amusing, and very interesting. Their style of teaching just gets you hooked on to them. They are never boring, and always have something fascinating to discuss about. These types of teachers are usually those who like to teach, which makes them excellent educators. Oppositely, there are some teachers who are just dreadful.

All they do is assign questions from the textbook. The way in which they teach is not very practical. They take a textbook, reads the paragraph and just copies out of the text. How helpful is that? Some subjects are very complicated and hard to understand. The textbook is helpful, but there are some things in the text that are hard to comprehend and we need the teacher to instruct us in another way in order for us to understand. They than go ahead and test us stuff we have never seen before. There is major difference between a teacher who is non-textbook, and one who is. Teachers cannot just use the basic formulas and expect us to learn from it. Teachers should be there to help guide us through life and assist us in developing our minds.

Students and teachers are the major factors that affect the improper development of a students mind. The education system and society does have an effect, but a very small one. Students have the power to be educated; it is their choice of whether they want to learn or not. Teachers’ need to be intellectual and have that urge that makes them want to teach. They need to more than just the textbook to help aid a student in life. A students educational success lies in the hands of themselves and the teachers.

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