Publication Date: April 6, 2012
Series: series on school reform
What Should I Do? is a practical guide to the everyday dilemmas of the urban classroom. It offers a lifeline to both beginning teachers who are struggling to be successful and to the teacher educators who are trying to prepare them for these challenges. The author uses narratives of practice from novice teachers to help readers experience a variety of dilemmas they are likely to encounter in the classroom. By engaging with and analyzing the cases, readers come to see that the “problems” of teaching are actually “dilemmas” that have no clear-cut right or wrong solution, thus reducing the potential for frustration and despair often felt by teachers. This practical resource will empower teachers to transform the unpredictable world of troubled schools into places of learning and hope, for both themselves and their students. As a former teacher said, “I wish I had read this book and realized that I wasn’t expected to have all the answers. I would probably still be teaching.”
Anna Ershler Richert is a professor at the School of Education at Mills College in Oakland, California, where she is also director of the Master of Arts in Education with an Emphasis on Teaching (MEET) Program, and Faculty Director of the Mills Teacher Scholars Program.
“Have you ever been waiting for THE book? This is that book. It satisfies on two important levels—that of those who study teaching and those who do the teaching. At a time when the profession is suffering from a lack of support and criticism on all fronts, Richert elevates it without valorizing it. These are real dilemmas that real teachers struggle with everyday. We owe Anna Richert a big thank you.”
—Gloria Ladson-Billings, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“Anna Richert touches the inner core of the moral and professional tasks that face urban teachers and does it beautifully in rendering instance after instance of teachers making tough choices in reconciling highly prized but competing values. This book is a gem.”
—Larry Cuban, Professor Emeritus of Education, Stanford University