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Meeting the Challenges

Stories from Today's Classrooms

By Edited by Maureen Barbieri, Edited by Carol Tateishi

What exactly does "meeting the challenges" mean in the context of today's classroom? Are the challenges teachers face today significantly different from those when we were in school? Maureen Barbieri and Carol Tateishi think so. The teacher accounts that they have collected here represent the hard, sometimes frustrating, always inspiring work going on across the country, where, for a variety of reasons, students are less than enthusiastic about learning.

Not all of the accounts are success stories, but every one is candid, thought provoking, and moving. These teachers know their students well;...

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What exactly does "meeting the challenges" mean in the context of today's classroom? Are the challenges teachers face today significantly different from those when we were in school? Maureen Barbieri and Carol Tateishi think so. The teacher accounts that they have collected here represent the hard, sometimes frustrating, always inspiring work going on across the country, where, for a variety of reasons, students are less than enthusiastic about learning.

Not all of the accounts are success stories, but every one is candid, thought provoking, and moving. These teachers know their students well; they strive to develop classroom cultures that nurture self-worth, engagement, and passionate curiosity. While the contexts vary widely, the teachers have several common values: high expectations, a belief in the necessity of a classroom community, and a willingness to adapt their personal styles to meet the needs of their particular students. These teachers eschew orthodoxies, choosing instead to work from personal philosophies that rely on both traditional and progressive techniques.

Teachers of all ages, from kindergarten through high school, will identify with the authors' frustration, determination, and vision. They will also discover new approaches to enticing resistant learners into literacy and new reasons to continue in the profession. More important than any particular teaching behavior is the sense of collegiality readers will experience here. Truly Meeting the Challenges is reassurance that no one is alone after all.

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