Containing real stories from real school leaders, teachers, students, and parents in seven key areas, this book demonstrates how educators can use narrative to trigger wonder, reflection, and change in their classrooms and schools. By including examples of the narrative process in action, this book invites educators to think deeply about their daily practices, struggles, and victories in order to carry out immediate and incredible changes in their own schools. The authentic stories presented in this book offer ideas for fostering a positive learning environment and for finding solutions to the most challenging issues today in areas such as teacher‒student relationships, learning and instruction, assessment, motivation, educational policies and politics, and student engagement. By using the powerful self-reflective tool of narrative, this book will help educators to increase student achievement while constructing a positive school culture that is built on igniting authentic stories.
Table of Contents
Meet the Author
Chapter 1: When and How to Constructively Use Authentic Stories at Your School
Stories as Social Legacies
The Top Seven Areas of Powerful Storytelling
How to Use Stories
When to Use Stories
Chapter 2: Stories that Improve and IGNITE School, Community, and Interpersonal Relationships
Strengthening Teacher–Student Relationships
Strengthening Staff–Staff Relationships
Strengthening Educator–Parent and Community Relationships
Chapter 3: Stories that IGNITE Powerful Instruction with Reduced Variance
The Power of Feedback
The Redundant Curriculum
Fieldtrips and Recess
Chapter 4: Stories that IGNITE Advocacy for Thoughtful Assessment
Homework and Pop Quizzes, One Century Later
"Pop" Goes the Pop Quizzes
Test Construction and Preparation
Chapter 5: Stories that Make Us Wonder about Our Own Policies
Policies that are Silly
Policies that are Missing
Policies that Leverage
Policies that are Abused or Taken for Granted
Policies that Protect
Chapter 6: Stories that Help Us to Work through Educational Politics
Common Core Politics
The Common Core State Standards and "New" Math
The Opt-Out Movement and High-Stakes Tests
Follow the Leader through the Chain of Command?
Questioning Decision Making
The Race for a School Board Seat
Chapter 7: Stories that IGNITE and Motivate Teachers and School Leaders
Stories of Victory
Stories of Defeat
Recognizing the Conditions for Celebrating Educators
Chapter 8: Stories Written By Students for Helping Other Students and Adults
Teaching Narrative Writing
Boys Will Be Boys?
Posting Student Work (a Story in Reverse)?
The Never-Ending Discipline Cycle?
What about My IEP? Creating Students with Voice
Master Schedules from a Student’s Perspective?
Rick Jetter is an Educational Consultant for K‒12 schools across the nation and a speaker, trainer, and multi-genre author. He has worked in the field of education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent, and superintendent of schools.
"Stories are one of the most crucial, yet vastly under-utilized, aspects of leading education in the context of teaching and learning. Igniting Wonder, Reflection, and Change in Our Schools does a great job not only in showing the reader how powerful stories are for moving education forward, but also in showing how the reader can share their story to create much better opportunities for our learning communities. Stories are the fuel to innovation in education, and this book paints a beautiful reminder of this."
-George Couros, Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Consultant, author of "The Innovator's Mindset"
" ‘Change’ should be an ongoing process in education, and Dr. Jetter's book offers school leaders a fresh way to spark interest in renewal efforts. The book's theme—using narratives as a springboard for initiating change—will appeal to educators at all levels."
-Cathie E. West, Education Consultant and Author