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