"Penny Kittle is an extraordinary teacher who writes. And because she has taught in classrooms ranging from first grade through high school, these short essay-stories show the full range of what it means to teach today."
Don Graves has this to say about Penny Kittle, having seen her at work. He also believes that it is in the shared story, teacher's and student's, that solutions exist in an era that maximizes measurement, that sees scores and standards as the norm. Penny sees way beyond the numbers. She appreciates faces, lives, passions, and very difficult personal struggles. And she responds in her teaching and writing.
With this captivating collection of 19 essays, Penny takes us straight from her classroom to our own hearts. Penny wrests from the teacher's life—its trials and triumphs, frustration, fury, and fun—all the emotional data that opens up her mind to good, solid instruction. It also frees her, making her ever-willing to lay herself open to her students. She writes with them, seeks their help, and teaches them by example—showing them exactly what the function of writing is, and how to think, understand, and read differently as writers themselves. Penny's mentor, Donald Murray, interviews her at the end of her book. He asks how, as a mother, wife, and teacher, she found the time to write and what she has learned as a published writing teacher.
Read Penny's stories and be reminded of the importance of your work as a teacher. Think of the stories of your own you could tell. Notice how you will observe your students differently. Cheer for their accomplishments, and your own, as you tackle the difficult work of learning together.