OOPS

Overview

Super teachers, step aside. There's a lesson here: It's okay to fail!

We've heard enough about your successful teaching-your workshops that run like Cuisenarts, your students who listen with empathy and respond with insight, your conferences with parents and principals which end with hosannas and hugs. You're too perfect.

Welcome to the world of Oops, where things can-and ...
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Overview

Super teachers, step aside. There's a lesson here: It's okay to fail!

We've heard enough about your successful teaching-your workshops that run like Cuisenarts, your students who listen with empathy and respond with insight, your conferences with parents and principals which end with hosannas and hugs. You're too perfect.

Welcome to the world of Oops, where things can-and do-go from bad to worse in the classroom. If you've ever had an awful day (or week or month or year) as a teacher, you will enjoy the essays in Oops. These are stories of failure from over forty-five new and veteran teachers in every field, stories that will resonate with every teacher who took a risk and blew it.

Some failures are embarrassing: the male high school students in grass skirts surprising the class with a dance illustrating their notions of a jungle tribe . . .

Some stories make you cringe: the disruptive college student who tries to lead the class in a spontaneous prayer ...

Others will remind you of your own lapses: a class of second graders arrives for the field trip with parent chaperones, picnic lunches, and maps, but you forgot to order the bus . . .

And, because this is a book about the realities of teaching, you will see how others have learned the hard way about some of the intractable problems in education and society, for the issues of race, economics, undersupplied classrooms, and mind-numbing bureaucracy are all here.

There is sparkling humor and genuine pain in these stories of teachers who care deeply about their students and still make mistakes. Every failure matters, and often hurts. But ultimately, many teachers have learned the most about the art of teaching when their teaching fails.

As contributors like James Beane, Glenda Bissex, Leila Christenbury, Jerry Harste, Donald Murray, Susan Ohanian, Patrick Shannon, and Kathy Short demonstrate, even the profession's gurus struggle with disaster. As educators we should write about, talk about, and think about failure more. The essays in Oops acknowledge the gaps between our theory and practice, between our dreams of what we might be as teachers and who we are.

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Editorial Reviews

Rethinking Schools
A delightful collection of short essays by more than 40 teachers describing their worst teaching experiences and what they learned from them. A number of the stories could be used with students to critically examine school life. A welcome contract to the "look how great I am" accounts in many books on teaching.
NEA Today Voices
Oops is a winner because its authors don't pretend that all mistakes can- or even should - be avoided. Like the rest of us, its authors are smart without being perfect.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571100276
  • Publisher: Stenhouse Publishers
  • Publication date: 1/28/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

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