Foreword by: Gloria J. Ladson-Billings
Publication Date: August 16, 2019
After a decade as an education professor, Greg Michie decided to return to his teaching roots. He went back to the same Chicago neighborhood, the same public school, and the same grade level and subject he taught in the 1990s. But much had changed—both in schools and in the world outside them. Same As It Never Was chronicles Michie’s efforts to navigate the new realities of public schooling while also trying to rediscover himself as a teacher. Against a backdrop of teacher strikes and anti-testing protests, the movement for Black lives and the deepening of anti-immigrant sentiment, this book invites readers into an award-winning teacher’s classroom as he struggles to teach toward equity and justice in a time where both are elusive for too many children in our nation’s schools.
Gregory Michie teaches 7th- and 8th-graders in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood. He is the author of Holler If You Hear Me: The Education of a Teacher and His Students, Second Edition; See You When We Get There: Teaching for Change in Urban Schools; and We Don’t Need Another Hero: Struggle, Hope, and Possibility in the Age of High-Stakes Schooling
"Michie’s ability to straddle the two worlds of university teaching and public school teaching gives the rest of us an opportunity to know them both a little better."
—From the Foreword by Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin–Madison
“From his classroom on Chicago’s South Side, Greg Michie chronicles a teacher’s uncompromising love and commitment for his students in spite of unrelenting bureaucratic hurdles, institutional racism, and societal neglect. The result is another honest, complicated, and ultimately beautiful book that defines public education today. Teachers will love this book, and anyone who cares about the future of our democracy will find in it the kind of vision that’s sorely needed to reimagine U.S. schools, particularly those that serve our most vulnerable students.”
—Sonia Nieto, professor emerita, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and coauthor of Teaching, A Life's Work
"Our students don’t just need our 'wokeness.' They need our work. Gregory Michie is about the work, and this book is a powerfully rendered map into the complexity of that work. Michie is not here to solve things for us. Rather, he helps us to see the successes, tensions, shortcomings, and triumphs in his own classroom and community so that we may see the extraordinary possibility of the work to be done in ours."
—Cornelius Minor, educator and author of We Got This.: Equity, Access, and the Quest to Be Who Our Students Need Us to Be
"Honest and compassionate, Michie highlights how the work of teachers and the lives of students have been altered by the devastating effects of racism, poverty, and “test and punish” education reform, while also honoring how community- and teacher-led movements have fought back. Most important, Michie’s reflections on his own ups and downs in the classroom are a subtle but poignant reminder of how essential loving relationships, a student-driven teaching philosophy, and a critical consciousness of what is happening in the world are to transformative, high-quality teaching today."
—Edwin Mayorga, Swarthmore College
Tentative Table of Contents
Foreword Gloria Ladson-Billings
1 Same as It Never Was
2 A Strike of Choices
3 Seeing My Students (Again)
4 Hellos and Goodbyes
5 Not Highly Qualified
6 On the Importance of Mirrors—and Windows
7 Test and Punish
8 When the World Hands Us Curriculum
9 Stupidity and Evaluation
10 Unfolding Hope
11 What Sammy Taught Me
12 The Class Takes a Knee
13 On the Side of the Child
14 Uncertain Certainty
15 Do Not Forget to Reach
About the Author