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Letters to a New Teacher

A Month-by-Month Guide to the Year Ahead

By Jim Burke, Joy Krajicek
Foreword by Parker J. Palmer, Sam Intrator

Letters to a New Teacher is the chance of a professional lifetime, an opportunity to read the letters and emails Jim Burke exchanged with novice teacher Joy Krajicek—letters in which Jim opens his practice, his mind, and his heart to guide Joy through her first year in the classroom.

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    Joy's questions and Jim's responses evoke in us an appreciation for what it means to do the work called teaching with the "living intensity of soul." May such soulful teaching flourish among us: here is a book that can help it be so.
    —Parker Palmer and Sam Intrator
Every new teacher needs a mentor, someone smart, experienced, compassionate, and reliable to give advice, share strategies, and lend a supportive ear. What if every new English teacher could have one the nation's most-recognized master teachers as their mentor?

Now they can.

Letters to a New Teacher is the chance of a professional lifetime, an opportunity to read the letters and emails Jim Burke exchanged with novice teacher Joy Krajicek—letters in which Jim opens his practice, his mind, and his heart to guide Joy through her first year in the classroom. Jim fields the whole gamut of questions—from typical classroom-management matters to challenging instructional situations to sensitive topics like the boundaries of student–teacher relationships. His answers open the classroom experience up for novices to understand how to organize their space and time, how to plan instruction yet maintain flexibility, how to communicate effectively with the two-hundred personalities they encounter each day, and how to maintain professionalism under pressure.

As gentle, humorous, and supportive as they are practical, Jim's responses to Joy's questions are immediately useful and are presented in chronological order. From August through June, you'll watch as her questions become increasingly complex and see how Jim's answers build upon one another to create a considered, consistent, and disciplined way of thinking about the teaching of English.

Start a your career the right way. Read Letters to a New Teacher and put the thoughts of a master mentor to work in your classroom. Or give Letters to a New Teacher to a novice so they can discover a wellspring of ideas, a source for emotional sustenance, and a buoy for their spirits during difficult moments.

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