1st Edition

Tenaciously Teaching Teenagers Stories and Strategies for Reaching Even the Toughest Students with Humor, Love, and Respect

By Pamela Jean Matusz Copyright 2024
    156 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    156 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    156 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    The most rewarding aspect of being a teacher isn’t how you get through the content, but how you reach your students and have a lifelong impact. In this funny and heartwarming book, Pamela Jean Matusz lets us into her classroom and shows how she connects with an often hard-to-understand species—teenagers!

    She provides stories and strategies on earning respect, using humor, and being your weird self, giving students a voice, earning respect, and making yourself human. She also demonstrates how to put students into the lesson, grade what you say you’re grading, teach and not penalize, address bullying, and understand where parents are coming from. And finally, she helps you remember that the toughest ones need you the most. Each chapter has a relatable story and takeaways you can apply to your own teaching situation. The book ends with a list of key things teachers shouldn’t be without, and a collection of “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” classroom stories that will remind you why you chose this profession.

    Perfect to read on your own or in book studies, this isn’t a research- and strategy-filled resource to tell you how to improve; it’s a heartfelt look at effective ways to reach teenagers and a reminder of the huge difference you’re making as a teacher!

    About the Author  Preface  Section One: Classroom Culture 1. Do You Earn Respect?  2. Making Yourself Human  3. Give Them a Voice  4. Kids Can Hear You Too  5. Humor In Kind  6. Late, Missing, or Absent, Oh My!  7. Safe From Reading  8. Writing Utensil Cat’astrophe  9. Accent’uate Your Lessons  Section Two: Movement in the Classroom and into the Community  10. Learning In Motion  11. Musical Notes and Hitting School Property Softly  12. Put Them In the Lesson  13. Grade What You Are Grading  14. Your Student Is Their Heart  15. Go to Them  16. If You’re Not a Little Weird, You’re Not Normal  17. Thrift Life Forever  Section Three: Teaching the Toughest Kids  18. In School Suspension Sucks  19. Don’t Sink Like a Stone  20. "Get Real" Talk  21. The Power Of Choice  22. The Toughest Ones Need You the Most  23. Step Into My Office  24. I Am Your Teacher For Life  Section Four: Things They Cannot Teach You in College  25. The Teacher Survival Guide: The 15 Things You Do Not Want To Be Without  Section Five: The Real Reason I Am a Teacher: True Stories  26. True Stories: I Cannot Make This Stuff Up  27. Proceed With Caution


    Pamela Jean Matusz is in her 15th year as a teacher in New Jersey.

    "There are so many inspiring story books for educators out there but this one is different because it attaches an instructional strategy with it, genius! Teachers need teaching strategies that work and this book has them."

    Nikki Carel, Instructional Coach, Missouri

    "This book is what every educator has been waiting for! The author provides a toolbox for teachers that includes practical ways to call out undesirable student behaviors while simultaneously establishing and maintaining positive relationships with your students. If you are an educator who wants to show ALL students that you care, this is the book for you!"

    Theresa M. Pietrowski, MAE, School Principal, New Jersey 

    "Pamela’s book invites her audience to inventory their classroom skillset to meet students where they are. She provides non-traditional and practical insight to help educators build genuine relationships with students, in a non-traditional world. She goes above and beyond to help model what being a safe and supportive ally is while also maintaining curriculum."

    Guy Crawley, M.A., School Counselor, New Jersey