The Unfinished Teacher: Becoming the Next Version of Yourself helps educators to take an introspective look at their growth and development. This topic is timely due partly to the national teacher shortage and the rampant levels of burnout being reported nationally, including by the National Educators Association.
The intent of this book is to help teachers reclaim their “why” and to provide prospective teachers with a view into their professional future. As we continue to reimagine the value of a teacher, we must provide a guide for those in the profession to help them to remain unfinished.
Written as a self-help and teacher-focused leadership book, this book does not follow the typical form of an instructional or pedagogical guidebook. This is not a lesson planning book, though the book addresses the need for individual personal, professional, and interpersonal development. Our focus is on helping you create the next version of yourself.
Michael Lubelfeld, Nick Polyak, and PJ Caposey are three public school educators who have served as teachers, school administrators, and superintendents with nearly a century of service combined. Together with speaking, consulting, coaching, and writing, these three educators have thousands of hours of observation, co-teaching, and teaching as their foundation for the call to action in this book.
Foreword by Kim Radostits, Illinois Teacher of the Year 2023 and National Teacher of the Year Finalist
Section 1: Personal Growth: Who You Are as an Individual
Chapter 2: Awareness
Chapter 3: Personal and Social-Emotional Health
Chapter 4: Financial Health and Wellness
Teacher Vignette - Mr. Jon Bogie, 4th Grade Teacher Wayne Thomas School
Essay - Teaching has always been a challenge; that's why we like it so much. Jon Bogie, 4th Grade Teacher, Wayne Thomas School, Highland Park, Illinois
Section 2: Individual & Interpersonal Professional Growth and Change, Who You Are as a Teacher in the Classroom & Who You Are as a Professional
Chapter 5: Curriculum, Standards, Assessment and Data
Chapter 6: Meeting the Needs of Each Child
Chapter 7: Technology
Chapter 8: Teacher & Staff Morale
Chapter 9: Conclusion
About the Authors
The key to sustaining joy is creating renewable growth of ourselves and others. Mike, Nick & PJ utilize their years of experience, their hearts, and their unflagging passion to exhort us to reinvigorate our pursuit of growth even when we feel tired or overwhelmed. By strengthening the educators and leaders, we find the entire community experiences quantifiable positive growth."
The path of an educator is never the same and often a difficult yet rewarding journey. In "The Unfinished Teacher: Becoming the Next Version of Yourself," we are asked to look within ourselves and reflect on what really brought us into education in the first place. To identify and reclaim our why while also challenging us with a call to action. Great teachers do not just sit on the sidelines watching the game being played. There are no shadows in education and for that we must reassess our teaching methods, assessment strategies, and ultimately what draws us into our schools and classrooms each and every year, which is our students. Bringing our best and making our gameplan in the classroom fit the needs of our students. Not only becoming the next version of ourselves as educators but helping our students become the next and best versions of themselves as they build a love of learning.
"In their book, The Unfinished Teacher: Becoming the Next Version of Yourself, Lubelfeld, Caposey, and Polyak do a great job of examining how to move to the next level as a teacher. I particularly like their exploration of the importance of being an effective teammate in education. They make a compelling case for the need to go beyond being a great teacher in the classroom and emphasize the significance of collaboration and collective efficacy. The discussion of autonomy, self-awareness, and the purpose of collaboration offers practical insights and tips for educators to reconcile their desire for autonomy with the need to work effectively as part of a team. Because as I always say, it is the best team that wins!"
In the ever-evolving landscape of education, the need for continuous self-improvement as a teacher has become more critical than ever. With the rapid advancements in artificial intelligence, shifting curriculum demands, diverse student behaviors, and the constant emergence of new educational technologies, classrooms today bear little resemblance to those of just a decade ago. As educators, we must recognize that while many of the skills and knowledge we acquired in the past remain relevant, a plethora of new competencies have become essential. The pace of change shows no signs of slowing down.
In The Unfinished Teacher: Becoming the Next Version of Yourself, the authors, distinguished and experienced voices in the field of education, offer invaluable insights into this reality. Their wisdom and foresight, honed through years of dedicated practice and continuous learning, illuminate the path forward for educators seeking to thrive in this ever-shifting landscape. With their remarkable expertise and collective voice, Michael, Nick and PJ inspire us to embrace change in order to view ourselves not as finished products, but as lifelong learners committed to growth.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to all educators. Its compelling narrative will undoubtedly ignite a renewed passion for professional development and empower you to adapt confidently to the changing educational landscape. Prepare to be inspired, challenged, and equipped with the tools you need to navigate the complexities of modern education. Embrace the call to become the next best version of yourself, and unlock your full potential as an educator.