December 6, 2010

Contact:  Kris Collett, 414-964-9646, 414-807-5193

Becoming a Better Teacher . . . For Real

The 2nd Edition of The New Teacher Book

In a new book from Rethinking Schools, practicing teachers share the real deal about life in the classroom, and what it takes to cope, persevere, and ultimately find joy in the journey of becoming a good teacher during those critical first years.

The new edition of the highly acclaimed The New Teacher Book is an expanded collection of writings that offers practical guidance on how to navigate the school system, form rewarding relationships with colleagues, students, and parents, and help shape the education reform debate in our communities.

The collection is an insider’s view and provides advice for educators on keeping their sanity and social justice values intact as they struggle to improve their craft and make school meaningful and relevant for their students. Unlike most books of its kind, The New Teacher Book unabashedly takes on issues like the effects of racism and over-testing on students, the struggles of new teachers to connect with kids who come from cultures not their own, and what it means to be a member of a teacher union.

“We wrote this book because it’s important for the profession that new teachers with social justice ideals remain in the profession,” says Linda Christensen, one of the editors of The New Teacher Book. “We hope this book will help our fellow educators to understand they are not alone, and to remain strong even in the face of the difficult challenges we face in public education today.”

With 39 essays and 20 Q&As, the book addresses a vast array of issues, from how to build a sense of community in the classroom, to how to navigate the treacherous waters of pre-scripted curriculum and standardized testing.

Essays like

offer deep insight into the every-day challenges and expectations teachers face during their careers. The authors tell their stories with stark honesty, and generously share lessons learned.

Questions and answers sprinkled throughout the book hone in on specific situations that every teacher faces – often many times – during his or her career, like:

The New Teacher Book is not only a resource, but a source of comfort for educators,” says Kelley Dawson Salas, a teacher in Milwaukee Public Schools and co-editor of the book. “Let’s face it. There are days when life in the classroom is chaos and you wonder if you’re cut out to be a teacher.  The best teachers in our schools have days like this, share their experiences in the book, and help the reader understand they’re not alone. That’s powerful.”

The book has received praise from noted educators throughout the country, including:

Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, says The New Teacher Book “is full of insight and wisdom – much of it hard-won – from educators committed to their profession, their colleagues, their students and to social justice.”

Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester (NY) Teachers’ Association and founding director of the Teacher Union Reform Network, says the 2nd edition is even better than the first. “It’s a roadmap that will help new teachers navigate the rough journey of doing right by their students and a reminder to us all that responsible and responsive teaching must be learner-centered . . .”

Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, says, “Just when new teachers might feel that it’s time to throw in the towel, The New Teacher Book makes its appearance with stimulating stories, ideas, and encouragement that remind teachers why they entered the profession in the first place.”

Rethinking Schools is the country's leading grassroots voice for education reform, advocating for equitable and excellent public schools for all of our children.