Lessons that Last
185 Reflections on the Life-Shaping Power of a Teacher
- Available for pre-order on August 25, 2023. Item will ship after September 15, 2023
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Going into the school day with inspiration and reflection can help you feel more empowered and ready to take on the joys and challenges of teaching. In this refreshing book, Julie Hasson and Laura Estes-Swilley provide 185 brief stories shared by former students about their most impactful teachers. With a different story for every day of the school year, the authors illuminate the many ways teachers shape students’ lives. You can use them to set your intention for the day, to reflect on your teaching in the evening, or to infuse meetings and professional development with encouragement and affirmation.
Hasson and Estes-Swilley concisely unpack each story and pose questions to help you consider the meaning it holds for your own work. While the stories themselves are inspirational, they also provide models to help you make a greater (and more consistent) impact on your students’ lives.
Through these daily reflections, you’ll have the space to contemplate your practice and consider new perspectives and possibilities. With regular reflection, you can find greater satisfaction in teaching, particularly during challenging times. And as you grow, you'll have more capacity to help your students grow, too.
Table of Contents
Meet the Authors Acknowledgements Introduction 185 Daily Entries Sample Topics: Lesson 1: Creating Tradition Lesson 2: Bringing the Light Lesson 3: Being Brave Lesson 4: Extending a Welcome Lesson 5: Being Authentic Lesson 6: Being Memorable Lesson 7: Creating Nostalgia Lesson 8: Focusing on the Future Lesson 9: Redirecting with Grace Lesson 10: Developing Character Final Thoughts
Julie Schmidt Hasson, EdD. I’m a researcher, author, speaker, and big fan of educators everywhere. My official title is Assistant Professor of School Administration in the Reich College of Education at Appalachian State University. I spent decades as a teacher and principal before becoming a professor. My books, Safe, Seen, and Stretched in the Classroom: The Remarkable Ways Teachers Shape Students’ Lives and Pause, Ponder, and Persist in the Classroom: How Teachers Turn Challenges into Opportunities for Impact illuminate the many ways teachers create ripples of impact.
Laura Estes-Swilley. I’ve been a high school English teacher for over twenty-two years, teaching several different literature and writing courses from Advanced Placement to remedial. I earned National Board certification in 2005 and was named Teacher of the Year at my school and English Teacher of the Year in my district. I am passionate about teaching and nurturing my students to become writers and readers who think for themselves.
"Lessons That Last is a simply written yet powerful testament to educators in all roles. Student learning and educator impact cannot be quantified solely by standardized assessment data or a snapshot in time captured by classroom observation. Lessons That Last facilitates the opportunity to reflect on our practice through the vivid recollections of students, which is the most authentic feedback. These stories provide a rich opportunity to be validated and inspired, transgressing commonly used evaluation rubrics. The 185 reflections will no doubt be a source of poignancy but will also undoubtedly evoke hope. Lessons That Last has personal and professional pertinence which can extend to the classroom, school and district office."
—Jennifer Sparano Weisgal, Director of Administration, Hillsborough County Public Schools
"Many books lead us through teaching techniques, goals, expectations, and pathways to success. They show us ways to fulfill our own goals and those of our students. This book, however, takes a new approach. I continually use daily devotional and meditation books to help begin each day with new purpose, and that’s what this book does for teachers. A teacher, with no matter how many or how few years of experience, can begin on day one of the school year and continue to read a new inspiration each day. It takes only five minutes or less to read each day’s thoughts, but the impact will last. A brief story of a teacher’s "life-shaping power" each day is followed by reflection questions and challenges, for growth as a teacher is dependent upon reflection. One of my favorite aspects of the book is that each entry ends with an impact statement, 185 different impacts we can make in our students’ lives! Having been involved in teacher induction and training for several school districts, I would wholly recommend this book be added to district teacher induction programs."
—Dr. Judi Briant, Professor of Education and Veteran High School English Teacher
"It is an honor to read through this book and find myself nodding, holding my breath, and wiping away tears as I turn the pages. If you have ever connected with a teacher on a personal level, you easily find yourself in the themes, stories, questions, and takeaways that are packaged so well with each succinct entry of this text. No matter where your journey has taken you, there’s a part of all of us that remembers back to a special person who taught us lessons far beyond those of the textbooks and tests. This book contains such people…
For those of us who are educators, this book offers true lessons of rigor, relevance, and relationships. As I work in higher education institutions with public school educators, I will be able to use these resources to create content for professional development, professional learning communities, and professional dialogue. I am eager to share the contents of this book with so many educators who need the encouragement, the reminders, and the points to ponder as they find the strength each day to do this important work!"
—Dr. Betsy Rosenbalm, Director of Public School Partnerships and Regional Director of New Teacher Support at Appalachian State University
"With 185 perfectly portioned anecdotes and reflections, Lessons That Last provides a daily dose of motivation and inspiration for ALL teachers. Julie Schmidt Hasson and Laura Estes-Swilley masterfully crafted a collection of meaningful memoirs from students sharing how a great teacher made a memorable impact. Reading these stories will tug on your heart strings and inspire you to be like those unforgettable teachers. Reflections follow each reminiscence and offer deeper thought on how you can be "that teacher".
The 185 lessons can be a daily inspiration tool that gets your head in the right space before your classes begin. As a busy math teacher with two children of my own, time is precious. This book is fragmented fantastically for the busy life of a teacher and offers positive open-ended reflection that allows a teacher to make lasting impressions in their own unique way!"
—Mathew Stwan, High School Math Teacher and Coach, Hillsborough County Public Schools