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Powerful Classroom Stories from Accomplished Teachers
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Powerful Classroom Stories from Accomplished Teachers

Foreword by Cathy Owens



October 2003 | 216 pages | Corwin
"We must improve schools from within, utilizing our expertise as teaching professionals and placing ourselves at the center of the education reform movement. As Adrienne Mack-Kirschner informs us all in this important book, 'These stories represent what is happening in tens of thousands of classrooms. They hold within them the power of what could be if all teachers and schools provided opportunities for all children to experience powerful teaching and learning.'"
--From the Foreword by Cathy R. Owens, NBCT
Director of Teacher Leadership Initiatives

The National Board for Professional Teaching StandardsInspiring stories from everyday classrooms to move your head, heart, and soul . . .

In an increasingly rigid educational world dominated by standards, lock-step scope and sequence, and strict, scripted lessons, we can sometimes lose sight of why we chose to become teachers in the first place. This important book puts the heart and soul back in education, reminding us that we are not only teachers, but also parents, mentors, friends, and leaders. Powerful Classroom Stories from Accomplished Teachers contains 70 wonderful, inspiring stories told by accomplished classroom teachers, all of whom have achieved or are candidates for National Board Certification. These stories reach behind and around the statistics to highlight the art, craft, joys, and challenges of teaching in today's classrooms, breathing fresh life into the countless students we face every day.

Creative, caring teachers invite you into their classrooms as they relate compelling and moving narratives, allowing us to witness, first-hand, essential teaching and learning moments in the lives of individual children. The stories offer examples of instructional activities that are real, student-centered, meaningful, and most of all—lasting! Stories are grouped in harmony with the Five Core Propositions of accomplished teaching, as defined by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards:

  • Teachers are committed to students and their learning
  • Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students
  • Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning
  • Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience
  • Teachers are members of learning communities

All of us have been touched in some way by the teachers we've encountered in our lives. This incredibly moving tribute to the artistry and love of teaching opens classroom doors and lets us look inside to find out what really makes a difference in the lives of our nation's students.


Cathy R. Owens
Foreword
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
About the Contributors
 
Introduction: The Power of Story
It's Okay Not to Be Perfect Adrienne Mack-Kirschner
As Loud as Thunder Adrienne Mack-Kirschner
Resource  
 
National Board Core Proposition 1: Teachers Are Committed to Students and Their Learning
Making a Difference Christina Maffia
Christopher and Clarence Renee A. Moore
The Hook Carolyn Moser
Oh No, Not Her! Kathleen Pickard
Invisible Genevieve Bodnar
His Words, His Way Cheri J. Mann
What Dog? Sharon Chaney
A Student's Road to Success William Dean
Our Journey Odessa Cleveland
You Just Never Know Judith A. Chalmers
From Cocoon to Butterfly: Up Close and Personal Rosemary Fryer
The Pelican Way Kathryn Gemmer
First Comes Love Wendy Hacke
Success: Measured in Inches, Not Feet Foster Walsh
Finding Miguel Damien Riley
A Gift of Cookies Ann Matthys Smalley
Reflection  
Resources  
References  
 
National Board Core Proposition 2: Teachers Know the Subjects They Teach and How to Teach Those Subjects to Students
Rembrandt Comes in All Sizes Kathleen A. Blake
Collect, Select, and Reflect John Dorroh
Elementary Artist Studies Kelly Campbell-Busby
Not Just Another Field Trip Pamela Beery
Blueberry Stains Kathleen Gonzalez
The Phone Call Mark Ellis
The Forgotten Holocaust (Classroom Story) Renee O'Brien
The Forgotten Holocaust (Poem) Virak
An Emotional Response Jeanne Owens
"Way Out" But Wonderful and Worth It Marcia Harris
Even Comedians Need to Write Maureen Robinson
Getting to Know Gina Catherine Humphrey
Poetry Lesson Diane Saienni Albanese
Three Pigs Helene Hirsch
Grown-Up Language Stephanie Penniman
Economics 101 Helene Hirsch
Teaching Him to Read Anthony John Vincent Griffin
Reflection  
Resources  
References  
 
National Board Core Proposition 3: Teachers Are Responsible for Managing and Monitoring Student Learning
Role Model Alfee Enciso
One Meeting You Won't Mind Attending Patrice J. Faison
A Gram of Truth David Feela
"Fair Is Foul, and Foul Is Fair" Joel Kammer
A Gift of Progress Cindy Taylor
A Lesson About Diversity From Kyle Linda T. Johnson
Jose David Ross
Hunger Shelia Sutton
Finding Freddie Macre Jay Schwartz
The Power of Words Nicki O'Neill
Carley Linda Hollett
Reflection  
Resources  
 
National Board Core Proposition 4: Teachers Think Systematically About Their Practice and Learn from Experience
10 Powerful Consummations of Teaching and Learning From a Reflective National Board Certified Teacher Lynn Gannon Patterson
Quality Verbal Discourse Olivia Herring
The Prodigal Stapler Janet Hironaka
A Message to Keep Close at Heart Susan Sheffield Brandon
We Are Writing Marlene Carter
The "Unplanned" Lesson Marta C. Findlay-Partridge
What Holly Heard: R.L. Stine in the Classroom Stacia A. Smith
Inspire Barbara Yvette LeWinter
Our Story Janet Hironaka
Reflection  
Resources  
 
National Board Core Proposition 5: Teachers Are Members of Learning Communities
A Box is Not Just a Box Tammi Bender
Teachers Are Students Too Tammi Bender
Sharing What Works and What Doesn't Work Claudia L. Swisher
The Importance of Partnerships Karen M. Caruso
Taking the Lid Off: Social Studies and the Arts Sharon McCubbin
Opening the Door to Possibilities Mary Hanson
No More Two by Four Brenda Culp Smith
Classroom Assignment: Get on the Oprah Winfrey Show Michael Taylor
A Collegial Approach to Teaching Art Critique Constance M. Rogers
Lyreesha Helene Hirsch
If I Can Think It, I Can Speak It Kathy L. Smith
In Memoriam: Peijian, December 11, 1986 - May 5, 2003 Kathy L. Smith
Hamburger = America Cecelia D. Lozano
Reflection  
Resources  
 
Conclusion: Those Who Can Teach, Do
David's Rose Rebecca Witt
Show Me the Money Marlene Carter
Reference  
 
Index

"We must improve schools from within, utilizing our expertise as teaching professionals and placing ourselves at the center of the education reform movement. As Adrienne Mack-Kirschner informs us all in this important book, ‘These stories represent what is happening in tens of thousands of classrooms. They hold within them the power of what could be if all teachers and schools provided opportunities for all children to experience powerful teaching and learning.’"

From the Foreword by Cathy R. Owens, NBCT
Director of Teacher Leadership Initiatives, The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards

"Thought provoking and powerful."

Mary Bell, Community Advocate
Sacramento, CA

"Adrienne Mack-Kirschner's book provides a welcome antidote to all the bad news about teachers that makes daily headlines. Reading these stories gave me hope. With such teachers in our classrooms, public education is in good hands."

Carol Jago, Teacher, Writer, Editor
Co-Director, California Reading and Literature Project at UCLA

"Warm, interesting, and informative. I recommend it not only to all teachers looking to hone their professional skills, but also to all parents who insist upon a quality educational experience for their children."

Gregory J. Vallone, Principal
James Monroe High School, Los Angeles Unified School District

"How clearly teachers, in their stories, articulate the importance of connecting students--either through first person anecdotes or experiential trips--to real life. Twenty years from now when asked about memories from school these students will remember these experiences that touched their lives--the results of accomplished teachers who touch our children's lives every day."

Kathy Duba, Deputy Superintendent
Pasadena Unified School District, CA

"Adrienne Mack-Kirschner's book lets us teachers know that indeed we do make a difference in the lives of the students in our classrooms. She has collected ‘our’ stories so that we can feel connected to our fellow educators, so that we can know beyond all doubt that what we do each day does mean something. That knowledge is what makes teaching worthwhile; that is what makes teaching a joy."

Brenda Culp Smith, NBCT
Newton-Conover High School, Newton, NC

"A must read for all teacher prep programs, with enriching ideas for ALL teachers, and vital to counter the effects of teaching for testing!"

Barbara Yvette LeWinter, NBCT
Los Angeles Unified School District

"Readers are reminded that teaching reaches beyond a child's academics to personal and emotional domains. Through the author's commentary, the volume reinforces the power of story to help us understand and learn from students."

CHOICE, September 2004
Key features

  • For all teachers, teacher leaders, school administrators, educational policy planners, parents, and community members who care about schools and education today.
  • A "page-turner": 70 compelling and fascinating short stories about children, education, hope, and possibility.
  • Supported by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
  • All contributors are National Board Certified Teachers or certification candidates.
  • The author is a National Board Certified Teacher who has successfully trained and mentored > 600 NBCTs

Sample Materials & Chapters

Foreword by Cathy R. Owens, NBCT

Introduction: The Power of Story


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