New teachers need a resource which will accomplish three things. First, a work is needed that gives them the imminently practical information that they will need to succeed in their careers. This information includes tips on surviving the politics of a school and how to successfully communicate with the parents of the school. Second, pre-service teachers need a work that will provide them with a workable theoretical base that is clearly tied to their practice. There is no lack of theory in teacher preparation programs, but my research has shown that students do not see the connections between the theory that is preached and their career concerns. Finally, there is a great need for a work that will reacquaint pre-service teachers with the idealistic purposes of education. Many young people choose education as a career because of their desire to “make a difference” in the life of a child or in their community. But by the time they have completed the necessary course work, these same students no longer recall their earlier idealism. There is a tremendous need to remind new teachers of their ideals as they prepare to enter a classroom. This book does all three.
James A. Bryant, Jr. is an author and educator who lives in Western North Carolina. He is the author of Curley and Now More Than Ever: “Social Studies” in the 21st Century, as well as the founder and director of the Gadugi program, an early college program at Cherokee High School.
Foreword, Dr. Deborah Kinsland Foerst
Introduction, Cody Beasley
Chapter One: Forever Unfit to be a Slave
Chapter Two: Pilgrims to the Horizon
Chapter Three: Rowing to Galveston
Chapter Four: Standing on Desks
Chapter Five: The Same River Twice
Chapter Six: “Well done young man”
Chapter Seven: Dispatch from Jericho Road
Chapter Eight:Issues and Trends
Chapter Nine: A Vocation at Risk: Outflanking the Forty-eight
In his unique way, Bryant writes with passion about the realities of teaching. To best prepare teachers we should revisit the sage advice of the giants in our field, as he does, and give preservice teachers real experience and less of the mundane mediocrity that too often passes for teacher preparation.
Education should be viewed as a profession that is critical to the future of this country. Dr. Bryant has a unique and effective way of stating both the importance of education, as well as the crucial role in developing the integrity of prospective teachers will play in achieving a more respected status for our field. His focus on pedagogy, fostering relationships, communication and ethical behavior is spot on in developing the traits associated with successful teachers.