Child holding on to adult's pinky finger

THE PSYCHE AND PSYCHOLOGY OF AN AMERICAN TEACHER: A Depth Psychological Approach to American Education

By Deborah E. Louis, Ph.D.

“If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.” C.G. Jung, (Collected Works, Vol. 17, para. 287)

Introduction

For the past sixty years, my life has been a part of the psyche and psychology of the American teacher in public education, and particularly, in the English language arts classroom. I was born in the 1950s to high school teachers: my mother taught high school English language arts; my father was a Physical Education teacher, as well as a tennis coach, football official, and basketball referee. At ten and for the next twelve years, my father hired me as a swimming instructor, teaching students whose ages ranged from two years old to seventy.

At twenty-two, I lost my mother; at thirty-two, my father. So my journey continued without the two greatest teachers in my life.

I worked as a high school English teacher for fifteen years, an adjunct professor on occasion, and a consultant for the College Board, Advanced Placement Strategies, Laying the Foundation, and others. Today, I have an educational consulting firm, Louis Educational Concepts, which provides professional development to elementary and secondary teachers. I am a Teacher. And as a Teacher, I believe that changes and challenges in education are normal in an industry that revolves around what is best for children, what is best for our future. 

However, over the past two decades the acceleration of changes and unrelenting challenges to teachers are telling signs of a period of struggle which historically precedes transformation while also manifesting clearer and discernible phenomena that typically lie beneath the surface. The purpose of this 2022 blog series is to analyze the current state of flux in both the macrocosm of American education and the microcosm of the English language arts classroom and, from an archetypal and depth psychological approach, to provide insight into the underlying causes of the flux and solutions to the challenges that it poses for teachers.

Dr. Deborah E. Louis

Ph.D. in Humanities

Dr. Deborah E. Louis' passion for educational excellence began as a classroom teacher. For sixteen years, Deborah taught On-level, Pre-AP®, and Advanced Placement® English Language Arts to secondary students of diverse ethnicities and learning styles. In 2010, Deborah purchased the Jane Schaffer Writing Program®, and along with her non-profit organization, Center for Educational ReVision (CerV®), her goal and that of her national team of experts is to provide the highest quality professional learning and mentoring to teachers in the areas of writing, advanced academics, high-stakes testing, and educational technology. Through webinars, workshops, job-embedded training, and teaching materials, Deborah strives to ReVision the educational system, combining traditional and flipped approaches to professional learning for teachers of grades K-12; and differentiating for Special Education, English Language Learners, and Gifted and Talented. Although her mission takes her all over the United States and abroad, Deborah lives in Dallas, Texas USA. She loves music, dancing, archetypal psychology, and continuous learning opportunities.