"I believe in the power of collaborative classroom communities where everyone's ideas are valued and respected. But had you been in my classroom that day, you'd have never known it. You'd have thought I believed that I was the one with all the answers."
Effective, intentional teaching begins with a strong set of beliefs, but even the best teachers -- including Debbie Miller -- struggle to make sure that their classroom practice consistently reflects their core convictions. In Teaching with Intention, Debbie shares her process of defining beliefs, aligning practice, and taking action to ensure that children are the true beneficiaries of her teaching. As Peter Johnston writes, "Through this book we have Debbie's teaching mind on loan. She engages us in the details of a teaching life from inside her mind, showing the thinking behind her teaching and the consequences of her actions."
While Debbie's previous book, Reading with Meaning, chronicled a year in her own classroom, Teaching with Intention brings us into classrooms of teachers and children she has met over the last five years in her work as a literacy consultant. From setting up the classroom environment to the intentional use of language, from comprehension instruction to lesson design, Debbie is explicit about what she does and why. At the same time, she encourages teachers to develop their own belief statements concerning teaching and learning, and includes key questions to guide them in this important process.
In an environment where the handing down of scripted programs and "foolproof" curricula is increasingly the norm, Teaching with Intention offers a compelling reminder that truly transformative teaching is built from the ground up, and is rebuilt every year, by every teacher, in every classroom, with every new group of students.