In Their Own Voices

Let the People Who Do the Teaching Do the Talking

Edited by:
Suzanne C. Carothers, New York University

A volume in the series: Authentic Voices of Teaching and Learning in Education. Editor(s): Darrell Hucks, Keene State College.

In Press 2024

The stance of this book is not about showcasing our “expertise” on all we know about teaching. On the contrary, this is a book that describes how we have learned what we know about teaching — our journeys to becoming the teachers we are proud to be on behalf of the children and families we have and continue to serve. We explore why teaching matters to us. Our purpose here is to reflect on the values, beliefs, and practices we have as teachers who are reflective practitioners, conscientious, and committed to the work ensuring that each child in our care reaches his, her, their full potential.

Our story that has led to the writing of this book reflects the work that these teachers do – their passion and commitment to it; the beliefs and attitudes they bring to the work; the challenges and frustrations faced in doing the work; the joy and excitement of the work; the lessons they have learned by the doing the work of teaching; what matters to them in doing the work; why it matters to them; and how it could matter to others who teach and care about teaching. A goal of this volume is that here, In Their Own Voices, actual teachers tell their stories of teaching from which others can learn.

As teacher educators, committed to quality, equitable public-school education for all children, where do we find the next generation of teachers? How do we prepare them to enter the school house doors to work with children like and different from themselves? What is informing our academic on-campus preparation that reflects the lived experiences of teachers, children and their families, in the actual field of practice? This book raises these issues as it describes the relationship between a local public school on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan and its student teacher field supervisor from the University.

Foreword, Bill Ayers. Prologue—Contextualizing Our Journey of Writing This Book: And so it was ... What took it so long? Suzanne C. Carothers. Preface: Envisioning Our Journey, Suzanne C. Carothers. Introduction—Backyard School to Big City Educational Institutions: The Evolution of Ideas—The Journey of a Book. CWS Beginnings: Imagine a School, Jean M. Finnerty. We’re All A Family Under One Sky: Welcoming the Youngest Learners to School, Suma Joseph. Opening the Way to Understanding: Getting Children to Think About Their Own Thinking, Susan Browne. Letting Students Take the Lead: Inviting and Facilitating Student-Initiated Projects, Miriam Sicherman. Field Trips: Extending the Classroom Beyond the Four Walls, Jeff Symanki. The Return: To the Place Where it All Came Together, Gary Morston. How We See Our School: From the Voices of All the CWS Teachers, The CWS Full Staff. Where are They Now—What Do They Say About Then? The Larger Community Weighs In. Leadership in an Ever-changing Landscape: My Life as Principal at CWS, Maria Velez-Clarke. The Appendix: Tools Developed by CWS Teachers That Support Student Learning. About the Contributors.