The urge to create develops a spark into the idea, followed by the concept and consequent phases of development of the work, creating a constant process of shaping, reshaping, breaking down and rebuilding. All the while during this process, deep connection with the soul silently informs and steers the rigorous dialogue with mind and the hand.
This book was born of a specific need, first of my own and then on my students, to answer urgent questions in a speedy, but upright manner. It has taken many different forms, each folding in to the next version following new experiences (new schools, new cities, new children). While I wouldn’t want to take as much time writing another book, I am ultimately glad that I have been able to concentrate more than a decade’s worth of learning into one place for the benefit of my students and other teachers. For the past six years I have been teaching preservice teachers in classes that are designed to explore these issues and situate new teachers within the social, cultural and political context that they will eventually be teaching within. Having taught nearly one thousand students in this time, I have been able to field many concerns. Most common is What does this look like in the classroom? Most teachers, recognizing the urgency of this social context, want ready answers, prescriptions, and probably roll their eyes at me when I earnestly explain to them that it is a process; that my answers won’t be their answers and that most of the answers can only come once you are physically in the classroom and staring into the faces of your own students. In this time, most of the students have enthusiastically risen to this challenge and, even with the few who have been resistant or incredulous, I have taken their concerns to heart. I have learned from each of them. This book is the result of a perpetual breaking down and reshaping.