Making the Journey is a staple of secondary English methods courses and teacher libraries because it not only provides practical advice on what to do in the classroom and how to act, but also offers a realistic but optimistic sense of what it means to embrace the practice of good teaching. Now, trusted educator, writer, and researcher Leila Christenbury has returned with a remarkable new edition of her classic.
The third edition of Making the Journey will be both refreshingly new and satisfyingly familiar to those who've come to rely on Christenbury's wisdom and uncommon common sense. Every chapter has been revised and updated with new examples, the latest research, and stories from today's classrooms. Even more important, Christenbury has devoted new sections to discussing instructional and political topics crucial to the contemporary teacher, including:
supporting English language learners
developing students' ability to write on demand
meeting the challenge of high - stakes standardized testing
balancing depth of coverage with breadth in standards - based curricular planning
creating tests and other assessments that align with curricular goals and provide useful information for subsequent instruction
engaging students' reading interests through nontraditional, real - world genres like graphic novels
teaching writing and media literacy through digital - age innovations such as blogs and WebQuests
navigating the politics of school while remaining an activist professional
With the latest, smartest strategies, techniques, and ideas as well as Leila Christenbury's trademark pragmatism and know - how, the third edition of Making the Journey will be an indispensable guide for anyone just starting their own journey into teaching or for anyone already on their way.
Among the troubles plaguing today's schools is the frequency with which new teachers abandon the profession after only a couple of years in the classroom. Christenbury's book cannot solve this problem completely, but it might help stem the flow of new teachers leaving the field. The first several chapters of the book explore general components of teaching, such as school structure, student attitudes, and classroom environment. Later chapters discuss specific disciplines within English language arts teaching, such as literature, language, writing, and media studies. Christenbury frequently reminds readers that her book is only a beginning point for resolving classroom problems and generating new teaching techniques. Along with the concrete suggestions and strategies she presents, the author suggests journal-writing prompts to help teachers explore and develop their own ideas, recommends her own favorite professional tools, and concludes each chapter with a thoughtful bibliography of resources and references. Christenbury's personal style, practical advice, challenging ideas, thought-provoking exercises, and supportive acknowledgment of the many issues outside an instructor's control combine to make this guide the closest thing to a personal mentor in print that a teacher can hope to find. New teachers who use this volume are sure to find reassurance and inspiration; experienced teachers also will benefit from the book, as Christenbury challenges every reader to examine both traditional practices and the assumptions that underlie them. Making the Journey is a fine text for middle and high school teachers as intent upon challenging themselves as they are upon challenging their students.2000, Heinemann, 322p, Index, Biblio., Further Reading, pb. Ages adult. Reviewer: Megan Isaac VOYA, February 2001 (Vol. 23, No.6)
Leila Christenbury is Professor of English Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she teaches young adult literature, the teaching of writing, teaching methods for both secondary and middle school, and instructional theory and design. A former high school English teacher, well-known writer and researcher in English education, and past English Journal editor, Christenbury was recently elected president of the National Council of Teachers of English.