Recognizing the Best in Children.
Those who became educators entered this field to make a difference in the lives of children. Many have come to question possibility of doing so. Over the past decade the media have characterized the Nation's schools as seriously declining environments: reports of bullying, racial tensions, and escalating violence have become commonplace. Most teachers must battle another growing distraction: the high stakes test mania. The state threatens the district office personnel, who in turn pressure the principals, who pressure the teachers, who transmit the stress to students. Increasing numbers of teachers grow dissatisfied w/ their lack of autonomy & creativity & move to change careers. More talented & effective school principals forsake their leadership roles through early retirements, & there are fewer candidates seeking these administrative positions. These are times when growing children must learn how to be resilient, to emerge from the very dangers, setbacks & uncertainties that tend to cripple others, to lead healthy, productive lives. Studies of such resilient children have shown that most important factor in nearly every case was a supportive one-on-one relationship w/ a caring adult.
The Teacher Within touches our complex, troubling days w/ its refreshing ray of hope. It should be required reading for all of us who need to get back in touch w/ our prime reasons for being. Whether we’re teachers, managers, coaches/parents, Nelda Toothman's introspection motivates us to rethink our own lives & behaviors, to analyze how we will respond to the challenges we face individually.
Dr. Marilyn Katzenmeyer
Teacher, Educational Consultant, Co-author,
Awakening the Sleeping Giant: Helping Teachers Develop as Leaders, 2nd Edition,
Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 2001