What an exciting day...my 1st book has been launched and is officially available for people to read and purchase. Teaching in High Gear is a book to help you imagine the professional development you know is critical to adopting a new way of teaching for you and describes a way that could get you there. It's not THE way...but I hope it might stoke your imagination to find your own path.
This has been a real labor of love. The act of reflective writing isn't as easy as it might seem. And this book continually pulled me back to how I felt when I wrote my original National Board application so many years ago.
Why is this something that needed to be written?
It's the question I had to answer in order to believe in the project. It came down to the fact that when I wanted to make a change to a different kind of classroom philosophy....I needed help and had no place to turn. I needed other teachers to bounce ideas off of, learn from and commiserate with.
I couldn't find books or articles that described the thinking and philosophical shifts that had to go on behind the scenes. There are loads of article advocating change. But nothing describes how you actually journey thru the process.
And it is a process.
I read this quote by Anne Lamott,
You begin to string words together like beads to tell a story. You are desperate to communicate, to edify or entertain, to preserve moments of grace or joy or transcendence, to make real or imagined events come alive. But you cannot will this to happen. It is a matter of persistence and faith and hard work. So you might as well just go ahead and get started.
My story beads took more sweat, reflection and re-reflection that I could have imagined.
What could you take away from reading this?
Fortunately for me, I found the most amazing virtual network of teachers who helped me think things through, test things out and refine/hone in on what my students really needed. This book describes how you build a network and how the network helps you.
It also gives a realistic look at how you make all these changes and still be compliance with the expectations of your school and district. Figuring that out was the game-changer for me because I could see how to do my job well and accomplish what I thought was best for my classes.
My debt of gratitude for all the help of friends and family near and far
To say that it took a village is such an understatement. There are multitudes of people who made this story possible....who changed my thinking, who helped me make the change, who helped me write the book, who helped me edit it into something coherent, who designed the beautiful look of it and who are helping me spread the world. It's the best part...while it's a story of my journey, the journey is a reflection of this collective brainpower. It's what happens when passionate teachers come together...miracluous things.