978-0-435-08815-6 / 9780435088156

Just Teach Me, Mrs. K.: Talking, Reading, and Writing with Resistant Adolescent Learners





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About the book:

An alarming number of students today has emotional burdens and learning deficits so significant that success in a traditional classroom is nearly impossible. What kinds of strategies can teachers use to manage classrooms full of resistant teenagers? How can teachers motivate apathetic, disenfranchised adolescents who have never viewed themselves as learners?

Just Teach Me, Mrs. K. describes one teacher's journey with resistant, often over-age, under-achieving seventh and eighth graders. Mary Krogness, a public school classroom teacher for nearly thirty years, with broad teaching experience in grades K-8, presents compelling classroom stories about young people from a wide range of cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, from both urban and suburban environments. All of them, though, share the risk of being lost to learning forever.

Full of practical suggestions and inventive approaches to language learning, Just Teach Me, Mrs. K. shows how to design language-rich experiences based on students' interests, inclinations, and stages of development; how to raise questions that trigger thinking and discussion; how to create an atmosphere that is inviting and exciting without being chaotic; how to rechannel adolescents' considerable energy and seek help from their families in the process; and how to develop students' potential and create respectful classroom relationships.

Just Teach Me, Mrs. K. tells the story of a teacher who empowered her students to take control of their learning and their lives. The book is not a panacea or paradigm for teaching nonmainstream adolescents. It is a theoretically sound guide designed to inspire beginning and experienced classroom teachers whose goal is to engage students actively, to help them become generators of ideas, to build spirit and self-esteem among one another, and to explore, appreciate, and celebrate language.

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