"The Woodcarver" a Model for Right Action

In Parker Palmer’s The woodcarver the author present a unique story that teaches individuals how to transform themselves into a profession or vocation. The story is meaningful and powerful because it deals with thought processes of human beings in everyday situations. The woodcarver is a successful story because it teaches us how to discover our innate abilities and strive to become experts in our jobs. The key to the story is voice of the author. His tone is humble and his goal is to help individuals discover the art of teaching.
The first line that I would like to comment on is as follows: We want to believe that we are so ordinary compared to “the experts,” that our action cannot possible be as free and graceful as theirs, that we cannot be held to those standards (pg 57-58).
Presently, I worked for The Association for MetroArea Autistic Children (AMAC) as a special education teacher. A few months ago, a student in one of the classroom on the 4th floor displayed severe challenging behaviors. For the sake of confidentiality I will call the student Ana. The classroom teacher did not have any control over Ana’s challenging behaviors. Ana urinated on the floor standing up, she hit others (teachers, related service providers, classmates and other students) she cried and rolled on the floor, she refused to do her work and took off every piece of her clothing on a daily basis. Ana is a teenager, so when she starts to take her clothes off, the head teacher would leave the room with the other students. A female teacher would stay with Ana until she calm herself down. The “expert” was called to observed Ana during one of her episodes. After observing Ana for a couple of hours, the expert (behavior analyst) said he did not have any answer regarding Ana’s behavior. I was in shock, I said to a few of my colleagues “if the behavior analyst doesn’t have any answers what are we suppose to do.” I would like to mention that Ana had been displaying severe challenging behaviors...