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Posted October 22, 2000
As teachers, we have all been there. We put together what we hope will be a wonderful class filled with opportunities for students to share their authentic voices. Then, we meet the real life students. The students are resistant, at-risk, and generally not connecting with the academic task at hand. The classroom, which you had filled with engaging materials, colorful wall decorations, and a ton of the right opportunities for students to learn turns into a dull heavy place. You want to run. You want to cry. You wonder why you thought you could even teach in the first place. You have read Parker Palmer. You know this teaching is your calling. You know that this is the very group of students who you were meant to confront. But, with the wind knocked out of your sails, you wonder how you will ever return again to teach. Well, this book is a non-stop opportunity to be filled with ideas, but more importantly, it is filled with the souls of so many teachers engaged in making a real difference in the lives of their students. This is a book I could not put down as I both read it and put it into practice. Will I be asking my students to buy this book in my college classroom next spring? I am not yet certain about whether or not I will be adopting this text (although it will certainly be on the recommended list). My resistant adult learners who have read a chapter of the text were engaged. The text does fall short for a secondary reading course that includes a broad array of content areas. First, while there are chapters like ¿Rapid Retrieval of Information: Reading Aloud With a Purpose¿ that have a content area classroom as their context, there was no attempt made to use content as an organizing theme. While it is clear that reading teacher educators and their research about reading in the content areas is substantial, the editors did not make this a coherent strand within the text. Second, the text is heavily dependent upon examples from reading courses that have the English Language Arts as their context. For pre-service student teachers from other content areas, this book may not be completely digested as the text is too often driven by how to make the English Language Arts class more effective. The strength of this text is that it provides a broad array of approaches for all teachers including pre-service student teachers who are searching for an opportunity to engage resistant learners. The editors of this text have put together an array of strategies that will refresh even the most practiced teacher. More importantly for the teacher educators, the contexts of this text are as varied as the rainbows of students we continue to enjoy in our classrooms.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.