A Child Called "It" book cover

A Child Called "It"

by Dave Pelzer
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Mr. Ziegler - Did he contribute to Dave's feelings of self-worth?

Mr. Ziegler contributes greatly to Dave's feelings of self-worth. He treats Dave with kindness, consideration, and respect. He puts Dave on a committee charged with coming up with a name for the school newspaper. When Dave's name wins the competition, Mr. Ziegler tells him how proud he is of him. He then gives Dave a letter to take home to his mother, which is full of praise for his student.

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Mr. Ziegler doesn't understand why Dave's such a troubled student; to him, there is no explanation as to why he steals food and dresses the way he does. Until he gets to the bottom of the problem, though, he's going to treat him with the kind of dignity and respect...

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Mr. Ziegler doesn't understand why Dave's such a troubled student; to him, there is no explanation as to why he steals food and dresses the way he does. Until he gets to the bottom of the problem, though, he's going to treat him with the kind of dignity and respect he simply doesn't get at home. As Dave puts it, Ziegler makes a special effort to treat him like any normal kid.

As sponsor of the school newspaper Mr. Ziegler forms a committee of students to come up with the name for the paper. Ziegler picks Dave to be on the committee. This gives him the confidence to choose a catchy title. After Dave's title wins the vote in a landslide Mr. Ziegler takes him to one side and tells Dave how proud he is that his title won the competition.

Dave's not use to anyone saying anything positive about him; thanks to his abusive mother, he has no sense of self-worth. But now that Mr. Ziegler has expressed pride in him, Dave feels like crying. More than that, he's utterly elated.

Mr. Ziegler attempts to boost Dave's sense of self-worth further by giving him a letter to take back home to his mother. In the letter, Ziegler tells Dave's mother that she should be proud of her son for naming the school newspaper. He also says that Dave is one of the top students in his class.

However, Dave's mother is not impressed. She angrily tears up the letter and screams abuse at her son, telling him in no uncertain terms that there's nothing he can do that will ever impress her.

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