Elephant in the Classroom is an exploration of the vast complexity of teaching as it is described by research and experienced by teachers. The reality of a job so vital to the proper functioning of a society should not be as mysterious as teaching continues to be. This book takes readers on a guided tour of 13 competencies and practices that are a critical part of teaching.
Andrew Maxey has been a professional educator since 1999, teaching and leading in a variety of school and district roles in three states. His passion for the profession motivated his original research seeking a concise answer to answer the question “what is teaching?” Elephant in the Classroom presents that research as an exploration of teaching.
Introduction: We need a map
1 – Know Students
2 – Know Subject Matter
3 – Demonstrate Pedagogical Expertise
4 – Plan for Practice
5 – Create a Learning Environment
6 – Engage Students in Learning
7 – Implement Effective Strategies
8 – Provide Authentic Learning Experiences
9 – Support Learning
10 – Monitor Learning
11 – Provide Feedback
12 – Know and Follow Laws and Policies
13 – Reflect on Practice
14 – What does it all mean?
Since everyone went through school, everyone has an opinion about teaching, but few people, even in the profession, understand all the variables impacting the daily work of teachers. Maxey's book is a detailed map of the factors impacting and sometimes complicating our work in the classroom. Man, I really could have used a map like this in the early days of my teaching career!
As an educator of 27 years (12 as a teacher, 15 as an administrator), I really enjoyed reading this book! I love how it is grounded in research but also shares anecdotal stories from teachers. It does an excellent job of capturing the sometimes overwhelming responsibilities, needs, knowledge, and practices that teachers must possess and be able to implement consistently. This book should be required reading for anyone who is entering the teaching profession, those who work with them in their preparation and training, and everyone who is already a professional educator!
For decades teachers have had to fight for their dignity and respect in the professional world and in society. It is a very complex profession but oftentimes teachers are under-appreciated and undervalued. In The Elephant in the Classroom, Andrew Maxey takes readers on a guided tour of teaching. In so doing, he also sends a strong message to the world that teachers make an impact like very few other professions. The best teachers choose impact over compliance! Read this book and follow the map to discover how you can make an impact too.
With a true teacher’s soul and a leader’s insight, and channeling the acumen of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Maxey describes the vital elements for teacher success, including what each element looks like in action, the research behind each element, and what the implications in teaching are for each one. His writing is clean and does not waste the practitioner’s time, as every sentence leads somewhere substantive. Elephant in the Classroom is a wonderful, “true north,” compass heading for both new and veteran teachers, leaders, and policy-makers trying to perceive the inter-connected mosaic that is teaching. For anyone just starting, anyone outside of teaching, or for seasoned veterans, this is a lucid deconstruction of a very complex endeavor.
If we are to better educate our kids, we need first to better educate their educators. This book examines, and analyzes what goes into the vast complexities of a successful teaching profession. Andrew Maxey deals with what educators should expect from their profession, as well as what the profession expects from educators. It is a guide through a system most Americans have experienced with varied results and lasting opinions. This book strives to bring clarity, through research and experience, as a guide to better educating our educators for the sake of educating our kids.