1st Edition

Wise Women Reflections of Teachers at Mid-Life

By Phyllis Freeman, Jan Schmidt Copyright 2000
    286 Pages
    by Routledge

    286 Pages
    by Routledge

    Wise Women is a collection of autobiographical essays by important and renowned teachers at mid-life. The essays, which are deeply personal, will focus on how these women negotiate the psychological, physical, and social changes brought on by menopause and how the aging process affects their lives as professionals, feminists, writers, mentors, and instructors in the academy. The book addresses such questions as the following: What challenges are left for the feminists who came of age during the women's movement and now have achieved academic success? How do women teachers experience their aging selves in the classroom? What legacy will mid-life women leave their younger women colleagues? All of these questions, as well as many others, are covered in this insightful and groundbreaking work.

    Part I Body Time
    1. Teaching Where I Was Taught: Coming Home - Mary Gordon
    2. Game Plans - Mimi Schwartz
    3. "Pregnant With [Myself], At Last":Images of Midlife/A Journal Entry - Jan Zlotnik Schmidt
    4. :Saturating LAnguage With Love": Variations on a Dream - Marlene A. Schiwy
    5. The Time of Our Lives: The Public Life of Teaching - Patricia E. Phillips
    Part II Ripening Rootedness
    6. Reverie - Jane Tompkins
    7. Goodbye, Ms. Chips - Julia Alvarez
    8. But Tell Me, Do You Like Teaching? - Patricia Hampl
    9. Me, Myself,Menopause, and I - Donna Lee Davis
    10. Reflections on Teaching (And Life in General) Once You've Become a Grandmother - Jean Bethke Elshtain
    11. Mud Ponies - Diane Glancy
    12. Unsettled Weather - Gail B. Griffin
    Part III Feisty Girls
    13. Academic Witchery: Snakes and Snails and Scholarly Tales - Dean Falk
    14. Choice Points and Courage - Diane F. Halpern
    15. I Can't Hear...I Can't See...I Can't Remember Anything - Lynne Taetzsch
    16. Memories of a "First Woman" - Tikva Simone Frymer
    17. Rant for Old Teachers - Paula Gunn Allen
    Part IV Teaching in Time
    18. A Teaching Life - Christa L. Walck
    19. Too Soon Old, Too Late Smart - Gayle Pemberton
    20. Ecstacy: Teaching and Learning Without Limits - bell hooks
    21. Re-viewing our Professional Lives: Talking (And Listening) For a Living - Margaret Matlin
    22. On Statutes and Dogs, Poems and "Regs," and Life Inside the Classroom - Judy Scales-Trent
    23. Exploring Critical Feminist Pedagogy:Revelations and Confessions About Teaching at Midlife - Esther Ngan-ling Chow
    Part V Community and Generativity
    24. Themes that Link Through Time - Sue V. Rosser
    25. Naming, Sharing, Speaking: Teaching in Midlife - Jean F. O'Barr
    26. "Thinking Back Through [My] Mother": Reclaiming Anger, Advocacy, and Pleasure in Teaching - Judith A. Dorney
    27. Charis=Light=Grace - Phyllis R. Freeman


    Phyllis Freeman, Jan Schmidt

    "This collection of essays or stories, written by female teachers and professors, captures the mood and thoughts of women entering their fifties. It is so honest, thoughtful, funny and engaging that even just skimming the chapters will bring enjoyment." -- --Vancouver Public Library Online
    "Rarely has an anthology chronicled the joys and miseries of the professorate with such clarity and transparency as this book on female professors at midlife. Freeman and Schmidt have assembled a widely varied group of professors from many regions of the country in order to reach a large group of college professors. What makes this book so successful is its editorial bluntness combined with a wonderful flow of stories and characters. It reads like personal diaries of professionals who cannot (and will not) separate their professional and personal lives. And-- the other success of this book-- the writers seamlessly weave their stories so that readers have a complete understanding of the writers "dual" lives. Recommended for every college professor and aspiring future professors." -- L.B. Gallien, Spelman College, Choice
    "I loved this book...I had this book on my bedside table. I read it, reread it, underlined it, listed my favorite essays inside the front cover and so far have bought five copies for friends...[T]his book will make you a richer person and put you in touch with the complexities of academic life...Teaching captures our attention with details; there is no time to think, to reflect, to wonder, and to put things in a larger context. Let this book bring that gift to you this summer." -- Maryellen Weimer, The Teaching Professor
    "Wise Women will appeal to anyone, male or female, who has an interest in the educational experience from the instructors perspective and should be in any educator's professional development library.After reading this book the reader will take away a very clear message about education: that teaching and learning, for all of the parties involved, is an ongoing process in which understandings of strategies, techniques, students and "selves" is continuously evolving and that it is not a process confined to classrooms or "hallowed halls." The impact of educational experiences overflows into all aspects of the lives of those involved." -- Canada's National Social Studies Journal, Volume 36, No. 2, Winter 2002
    "bWise Women will appeal to anyone, male or female, who has an interest in the educational experience from the instructor's perspective and should be in any educator's professional development library.Human interactions; increasing understanding of self and others; adapting teaching techniques to changing students and changing times; learning to balance personal and professional needs; these are the things which this book deals with so effectively, and it is an essential read for anyone who is, has been, or desires to become that much maligned, but very essential professional - a teacher." -- Canadian Social Studies, Winter 2002, Volume 36, Number 2.