Chapter 4: Caring for Humanity

  • Sandra Ens


Drawing upon her extensive and diverse experiences as an English teacher, Sandra Ens provides readers with a candid, reflective perspective on the multitude of difficulties and frustrations associated with the teaching life. Ens frames her discussion of the hardships teachers face using George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion as an intriguing interpretive tool to unlock valuable insights about our daily challenges. Her literary exploration concludes by stressing the importance of care or empathy in teaching. In her view, the teacher’s suffering is not simply pain or anguish, but also consists of endurance and waiting. Through the knowledge we derive from suffering as teachers, we become “masters of ourselves and of our disciplines.”


  1. Fortney, Valerie. “Fortney: Literary icon Margaret Atwood on floods, fires and compassion” (Calgary Herald, May 28 2016),
  2. Shaw, Bernard. Pygmalion. London: Penguin Books, 1914.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra Ens
    • 1
  1. 1.CalgaryCanada

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