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Thinking Like a Teacher: Preparing New Teachers for Today's Classrooms (Paperback)
  • Thinking Like a Teacher: Preparing New Teachers for Today's Classrooms (Paperback)

Thinking Like a Teacher: Preparing New Teachers for Today's Classrooms (Paperback)

(editor), (editor)
Paperback 204 Pages / Published: 31/08/2017
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Today's classrooms present a variety of challenges for teachers, many of which result from unanticipated, unpredictable events, from minor to serious. This collection of teacher narratives highlights several of these challenges with subsequent reflections and commentaries that invite conversations about aspects of teaching that often remain unacknowledged in educator preparation programs but that can have deleterious effects on the implementation of the pedagogical content knowledge that is promoted in these programs. Thinking Like a Teacher: Preparing New Teachers for Today's Classrooms aims to address this gap in educator preparation programs through sharing and affirming teachers' voices as sources of pedagogical knowledge. Engagement with the narratives included in this collection will help teacher candidates perceive and think about teaching in new ways as they make the transition from instructional consumers to instructional leaders while simultaneously forging a new professional identity.

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781475833737
Number of pages: 204
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm

This engaging collection of beginning English teachers' narratives portraying how they coped with the particular challenges of implementing instructional plans in their classrooms addresses a major challenge facing teacher educators-how to help pre-service and novice teachers adapt and alter their teaching ideas according to the particularities of their own unique classrooms and students. In these narratives, new teachers add descriptions on their adaption processes as well as respond to Kerr and Norris's useful questions and prompts that serve to model ways of reflecting on how to cope with these challenges. In responding to these narratives, pre-service and novice teachers can then compare their own challenges to those portrayed in these narratives, leading to development of self-reflection practices and pedagogical content knowledge. This book therefore serves to foster what Norris describes as `situational pedagogy' essential for pre-service and novice teachers achieving success in the classroom. -- Richard Beach, Professor Emeritus of English Education, University of Minnesota
Part narrative case study, part reflective commentary, part interview, part guided-discussion, Thinking Like a Teacher: Preparing New Teachers for Today's Classrooms allows both pre- and in-service teachers valuable entry points and insights into the situational narratives, teaching in-action contexts, and developing dispositions of novice teachers, making their struggles to think and teach like experts visible. These sixteen carefully crafted narratives and subsequent reflective pieces written by novice teachers for novice teachers (with carefully constructed commentaries by expert teachers Norris and Kerr) further the essential conversations teacher educators must have with teacher candidates, often stuck between school as they want it to be and school as they find it. This text bridges important gaps between narrative and research, what Bruner delineated as the differences between narrative and paradigmatic ways of thinking, by posing problems about teaching and suggesting thoughtfully framed solutions to those problems. Perhaps, however, a book with pieces by novice teachers is best summarized by one of its contributors, Patrick Gahagan, a student teacher, who writes: `Moving forward, it would have been useful to have access to narratives like mine so that our college classrooms could be adequately prepared for these issues. Being able to discuss, analyze, and deliberate about these situations will help new teachers become more familiar with the methods they can implement in their classroom in order to benefit different types of students'. -- J. Bradley Minnick, Co-Director of the Academy of Teaching and Learning Excellence at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Associate Professor, English
Drs. Norris and Kerr provide their pre-service teachers with researched-based, practical teaching methods based on true classroom stories with in-depth analysis. Because they have never forgotten their roots in the secondary classroom, they make every effort to provide their teacher candidates with real-time, authentic classroom experiences. Throughout our years of professional partnership, (they the professors and I, the high school English teacher mentor), we have bridged the gap between theory and practice. As this book attests, Kerr and Norris have never stopped growing in the profession nor stopped infusing their enthusiasm and love of teaching in others. -- Roxanne Rouse, English teacher and cooperating teacher, Homer-Center High School, Homer City, Pennsylvania
In the tradition of Lad Tobin's Writing Relationships, the young teachers whose stories comprise this volume highlight their less than perfect teaching days. Their tellings of what went wrong offer lessons for all teachers-teacher educators, preservice teachers, teachers early in their careers, and veteran teachers. Their stories demonstrate that the classroom is always a new place, that teachers must always be honing their craft. Through smart questions posed by Kerr and Norris the collection offers preservice and new teachers wonderful reflective opportunities as well as invitations into research regarding aspects of teaching those new to the profession may not be thinking about yet-different states' evaluation procedures for new teachers, districts' mental health supports for students, in-school technology support, extra-curricular expectations, the balance between work and family. In reading this I am struck by the many ways in which new teachers are made vulnerable. Some will be expected to teach outside their certification area(s). Some will encounter students who are homeless or mentally ill or living with so many different relatives from day to day that their teachers are the only caring constants in their lives. These young teachers have had to decide in an instant how to handle a high-stakes observation when a weather-related early dismissal has just been announced; what to do when a student has a seizure; how to secure a classroom against an armed intruder in the building. Through it all, these young teachers commit their energies to the thing policymakers never acknowledge. Teaching is an act of caring, not a mechanistic presentation of information. As a young teacher and even as a veteran, I wish I had had this book. As Tobin notes, we cannot improve our practice when all we tell are hero stories. This book tells educators that they are not alone on a bad teaching day. It is a valuable resource for every teacher of every subject and grade. -- Helen Sitler, Professor Emerita of English, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

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