Teaching in the Real World: Strategies to Survive and Thrive

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9780131590526: Teaching in the Real World: Strategies to Survive and Thrive

This book presents a dialogue of reflective journal entries sent via email between a student teacher and her college supervisor.  Miss B is a white, female, graduate student doing her student teaching in an urban high school.  Written in a very honest, compassionate, inspiring, thoughtful, and humorous way, her journal illustrates her transformation from a passionate but struggling student teacher to a teacher who has found her voice and the confidence to be an effective teacher in her own classroom.  Most student teachers are required to keep a daily reflection/journal.  The journal entries in the book are written chronologically and provide an excellent example of what a reflective teacher should look for in trying to improve their teaching.

 

Student teaching is considered to be one of the most important components of pre-service training.  It is during these practicums that aspiring teachers apply what they have learned in their courses to the real world in a real classroom.  However, many student teachers are unprepared to face the situations they will encounter in urban school settings.  Not only will they have to deal with lesson planning, classroom management, working with parents, etc, but also such issues as homelessness, hunger, motivation, and difficult family environments.   Miss B makes a lot of mistakes that set her back as well as many decisions that move her forward.  Readers of the book will continually be thinking about how they would have dealt with that particular situation as they experience the joys, frustrations, fears, and compromises they may have to confront in their own student teaching.

 

Professors will find this book to be an excellent tool to promote discussions on contemporary critical issues of which pre-service teachers should be aware. To help promote discussion, each chapter ends with Discussion Starters:  questions that ask readers to react to key topics discussed in the chapter.  Other features include Professor Z’s Tips, Strategies, and Relevant Data and Professor Z’s Student Teaching Checklist.  It will be a valuable resource for all student teachers.

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From the Back Cover:

 Are you prepared to meet the challenges of teaching in today's urban, suburban, and rural schools?

 

All teachers, in-service or pre-service, who are teaching in an urban school or are outside their comfort zone in the classroom won't want to put this book down.  This brief collection of reflective e-mail journal entries is written by Miss. B, a white female graduate student, student teaching in an urban high school.  The Journal Entries illustrate her transformation from a passionate but struggling teacher who is sometimes stymied by the challenges posed by her environment and her students, to a teacher who has found her voice and the confidence to achieve her dream of improving the lives of her students.  Miss B's correspondence provides:

  • Discussion of issues in urban teaching, including student homelessness, hunger, motivation, and more.
  • A model of what good reflective teaching/learning looks like as she seeks to improve her teaching.

Entries from her college supervisor, Professor Z, offer readers:

  • An experienced teacher's suggestions for dealing with standardized testing, teacher and student resources, and more.
  • Tips, Strategies, and Relevant Data that provide strategies for dealing with issues student teachers will face in the classroom.
  • Checklists that serve as a resource to keep teachers on track.

Review:

TEACHING in the REAL WORLD

What reviewers have to say about Teaching in the Real World:

 

“The e-mail exchange- supplemented by tips, hints, and checklists – is an interesting, innovative format to get the readers attention. The text becomes very personal and real and provides great personal reflection opportunities.”

Lois Draina, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Education Department

Marywood University

 

 

“This text is written in a very user-friendly style. It is realistic and well-written in a readable format to provide sound advice and suggestions during the student teaching experience.”

Elaine Pierce Chakonas, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Teacher Education

Northeastern Illinois University

 

 “[The] innovation of this book is [that] it takes its own favored constructivist theory and applies it to the way that the field/internship relationship should work.”

Carole Bryd, Ph.D.

Florida Community College at Jacksonville

 

 

 “The author does an excellent job of organizing and writing sequentially about what student teachers will experience, “normalizing” it, and making it real and relevant to their daily lives as a teacher, both in and outside of the classroom.”

Linda F. Balog, Ph.D.

Coordinator of the Professional Program in School and Community Health Education and Promotion Department of Health Science

SUNY, College at Brockport

 

 

A truly worthwhile book!  Every student teacher and every new teacher should read this book.  I would even recommend it to experienced teachers who will not only recognize the strategies they use, but will take heart from the daily challenges they face.  Written in a practical, realistic manner, it discusses not only educational strategies but issues that teachers face everyday in our urban schools - issues that are not usually covered in education courses, such as homelessness, hunger, addictions, etc.  I highly recommend this book for all teachers to read.

Betty K. Gassner

Retired Assistant Principal, Public School 196 Brooklyn, NY

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