Written to show what is right and wrong in public education, providing a voice for the teachers of such students, and the students themselves, Notes from a Classroom provides poetic, diary-like essays, dated and covering a number of topics in teaching. With a number of stories of students as well as entries from her own personal history, teachers will be encouraged and inspired by her tales of accomplishment and perseverance. 317 pages, hardcover with dust jacket.
Kay McSpadden's classroom in rural York, South Carolina is windowless, water stained, gray ? and the scene of something amazing. Inside, slackers stay late to wrestle with Socrates. A teenage mother discovers Shakespeare. And a shy special ed student wins applause for powerful public speaking. In Notes from a Classroom, McSpadden introduces her unforgettable students. She chronicles their encounters with literature. And she shares what she's learned in 30 years of trial (and error ) in the classroom: How to turn teen diffidence, bravado and apathy into a lifelong passion for learning.
The latest in a recent spat of from-the-trenches teacher memoirs, this one is notable for McSpaddens clear-eyed understanding of teenagers, and her compassion for the underprivileged students she works with everyday. A collection of McSpaddens biweekly columns in The Charlotte Observer, these 70-some pieces share a knack for the well-observed detail, be it the sadness of a young man reciting a Sara Teasdale poem that quiets a class of wriggly sophomores, or the startling significance of a students note, placed among a student exhibit of photos they took of their homes, reading We dont got a camera. Sorry. Though it suffers when McSpaddens attention turns away from her classroom to other, more sentimental topics, and the brevity of unexpanded newspaper columns can wear thin when reading straight through, most of these snappy lessons feature plenty of hard-earned wisdom, gentle humor and memorable student portraits. (Nov.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.