The Power of One: How You Can Help or Harm African American Students

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YOU have the power to make a difference with your African American students!

This interactive staff development resource helps educators deal with the main barriers—often personal assumptions or mind-sets—that can impede their progress with African American K–12 students. Calling upon readers to embark upon a personal journey to address these issues, the author skillfully combines moving first-person narratives, personal growth exercises, and informational text, and shows educators how to:

  • Deal with obstacles to successful classroom management
  • Foster positive interactions within the classroom
  • Prepare African American students to succeed on standardized tests
  • Build positive relationships with African American parents

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Editorial Reviews

Julie Landsman
"This is the book I have been waiting for.It is filled with stories, the latest research, data, and a workbook all in one. In clear, beautifully written prose, Gail Thompson asks us to examine our own preconceptions and perceptions. By completing her exercises and keeping a journal as she suggests, we can discover our strengths and our challenges. We are encouraged by Thompson to continue this exploration and to make real changes in the way we teach and in our relationships with our African American students.This book isfor all of us: new teachers, experienced teachers, administrators, mentors, community workers, and anyone who wants to help rather than harm these brilliant, hopeful, marvelous young people in our care."
Deborah Appleman
"GailThompson is one of the few scholars around who actually can help teachers increase their efficacy with African-American students. In this terrific follow-up to Through Ebony Eyes, Thompson provides specific strategies and useful exercises to help teachers understand their own power to be positive forces in the lives of children."
Audrey P. Watkins
"Acomprehensive, definitive resource for educators and all those responsible for and interested in enhancing equity, excellence, and educational achievement for African American students. I congratulate Thompson for producing such an engaging, solutions-oriented workbook, which artfully integrates well-documented research and the right, rich blend of theoretical insights. The absence of jargon, the clarity of the writing, the substantive content, and the personal accounts of the educational experiences of an array of diverse education stakeholders contribute to making this work understandable, engaging, appealing, and imaginative. Thompson’s own compelling experiences as a student and her successful experience as a researcher and as an educator inform the work. If I could choose only one resource, The Power of One would be my number one choice."
Chance W. Lewis
"A much-needed contribution to the field of education. This book eloquently discusses the impact that one educator can have on the lives of African American students. From the discussion of the 11 ways this book can help the reader to the productive exercises within each chapter, this book is a must-read! I definitely endorse this book for anyone who is interested in the effective education of our African American children."
P.S. Arter
"Thoughtfully engages readers on the power of challenging mindsets to help provide positive outcomes for all students. "
P. S. Arter
"Thoughtfully engages readers on the power of challenging mindsets to help provide positive outcomes for all students."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412976763
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 12/7/2009
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Gail L. Thompson, has written five books: A Brighter Day: How Parents Can Help African American Youth; Up Where We Belong: Helping African American and Latino Students Rise in School and in Life; African American Teens Discuss Their Schooling Experiences; What African American Parents Want Educators to Know; and Through Ebony Eyes: What Teachers Need to Know but are Afraid to Ask About African American Students, a book that has received a considerable amount of attention from educators, talk show hosts, and news reporters across the nation. One of her essays was published in USA Today, and her work has been published in numerous academic journals, and three edited books.

Dr. Thompson has appeared on PBS television’s Tony Brown’s Journal, National Public Radio, and Tavis Smiley’s radio show. She has been interviewed for Scholastic Instructor and Inside Higher Education, and has been quoted in numerous newspaper articles. She has served as a reviewer for the Educational Broadcasting Network, Millmark Education, Houghton Mifflin, and several academic journals, and has done presentations, keynote addresses, workshops, and consultant work throughout the United States and two presentations in Canada. Dr. Thompson , who taught junior high and high school for 14 years, is a member of the California Department of Education’s African American Advisory Committee. She has received several awards from student organizations and a civic award for teaching. In 2009, Claremont Graduate University gave her its “Distinguished Alumna Award.”

Dr. Thompson is married to Rufus Thompson, a veteran educator, with whom she has three children: Dr. Nafissa Thompson-Spires, NaChe’, a college undergraduate, and Stephen, a college undergraduate.

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Table of Contents

About the Author
Introduction: Why Alarm Bells Should Be Ringing in Our Heads
Part 1. Beliefs, Mind Sets, and Baggage
1. Identifying the Personal Benefits of Increasing Your Efficacy With African American Students
2. That Baggage Is Too Heavy: Uncovering Negative Mind Sets That Can Undermine Your Work With African American Students
3. "You Can't Help but Talk About Race": Examining Your Beliefs About Racism and Racial Problems
4. "To Be Honest, I Can't Stand His Mama": Facing Your Personal Issues About the Parents of African American Students
Part II. The Curriculum, Classroom Management, and Testing
5. A Hard Knock Life: How Teachers Can Use the Curriculum to Empower African American Students
6. Only the Strong Survive: Dealing With Roadblocks to Effective Classroom Management
7. Using Wisdom in Assessing Students in Spite of the High-Stakes-Testing Mania
8. Learning From Classroom Scenarios and Other Problems That Concern Educators
Conclusion: A Work in Progress: Committing to Ongoing Personal and Professional Development
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