A Classroom of Her Own: How New Teachers Develop Instructional, Professional, and Cultural Competence

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Corwin Press, May 16, 2002 - Education - 156 pages
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`This engaging and insightful book highlights issues of power and authority, which are often overlooked yet critically important in teacher preparation, induction, and retention′ - Judith Haymore Sandholtz, Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Riverside

`A Classroom of Her Own is as practical as it is insightful. It is a rare combination of revealing case studies and practical advice designed to help beginning teachers learn how to teach′ - Elliot W Eisner, Lee Jacks Professor of Education and Professor of Art Stanford University, School of Education

This book is a study of six teachers, all of them young, white, and female, and the challenges they face in the classroom as they grow and learn as educators. The author describes their relationships with students, parents, other teachers, administrators, and office personnel, and details the obstacles they face while developing the confidence and wisdom that all teachers need.

The nine chapters cover a wide spectrum of issues, including instruction, discipline, working conditions, safety, and more. Complex problems, such as troubled students, ineffectual colleagues, less-than-helpful administrators, language and cultural barriers, are explored. The six voices represent a variety of schools, urban and suburban, affluent and poverty-stricken, well run and troubled.

Included are many stories in the teachers′ own words, describing their frustrations and fears, as well as their triumphs and successes. The six women discuss the career angst common to all new teachers, sharing how they deal with challenges such as modest salaries, keeping professional and personal life separate, dealing with evaluations, and finding the help and encouragement they need. The joys and rewards of working with children and making a difference in their lives comes through clearly in each teacher′s story.

This book is a wonderful resource for all pre-service and beginning teachers, as well as veteran or mentor teachers who will be working with newcomers to the profession.


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Cultural Dynamics
The Paradox of Authority
Meet the Teacher
Tips for New Teachers
Professional Identity
School Culture
School Administration
Professional Judgment
Affirmation and Attainment
Race Ethnicity and Class
Classrooms of Their Own
Age Dynamics

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About the author (2002)

Dana Haight Cattani, a writer and researcher, holds a doctorate in curricu­lum and teacher education from Stanford University. She studies teacher education and induction, school/university collaboration, and the sociol­ogy of education. She has conducted qualitative evaluation of school reform and has been a university and school site supervisor of beginning teachers. A former elementary and high school English teacher, Dr. Cattani was a fellow and teacher consultant with the California Writing Project, where she published and presented classroom research. Currently, she is active in school governance and as a classroom volunteer in her local public schools.The mother of three, she lives with her family in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Her e-mail address is dana_cattani@stanfordalumni.org.

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