Through the Looking Glass: School from the Inside Out
This book is an autobiographical commentary on education over the span of the past forty-three years. It is intended for educators, teachers of teachers, parents, and policy makers. The first chapter is a description of those who formed the author's beliefs and experiences. The second, "The Idealistic Teacher," shows the beginning of a typical teaching career and includes a section, "What I Really Learned about Lunch." Chapter 2 covers the first fourteen years in a variety of elementary grades and locations, including "Major Lessons They Don't Teach in Teacher School." Chapters 3 and 4 consider society's and schools' mutual effects. Chapter 3 makes the case for schools changing society; chapter 4 shows how society changes the schools. Chapter 5 describes the move into administration and provides many vignettes from a short period in Phoenix, Arizona. Chapter 6 shows how both education and the author are in flux and includes experiences as a teacher-coach. Chapter 7, "Classroom Management in an Increasingly Dangerous Environment," gives some memorable stories and historical and current perspectives. Highlights include extreme and bizarre behaviors as well as other concerns. The conclusion provides general thoughts, advice for the future, problems we still face, and possible solutions, and finally three commentaries on school choice, twenty-first-century rules, and twenty-first-century learning techniques.