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Tom Rademacher wishes someone had handed him this sort of book along with his teaching degree: a clear-eyed, frank, boots-on-the ground account of what he was getting into. But first he had to write it. And as 2014’s Minnesota Teacher of the Year, Rademacher knows what he’s talking about. Less a how-to manual than a tribute to an impossible and impossibly rewarding profession, It Won’t Be Easy captures the experience of teaching in all its messy glory. The book follows a year of teaching, with each chapter tackling a different aspect of the job. Pulling no punches (and resisting no punch lines), he writes about establishing yourself in a new building; teaching meaningful classes, keeping students a priority; investigating how race, gender, and identity affect your work; and why it’s a good idea to keep an extra pair of pants at school. Along the way he answers the inevitable and the unanticipated questions, from what to do with Google to how to tell if you’re really a terrible teacher, to why “Keep your head down” might well be the worst advice for a new teacher. Though directed at prospective and newer teachers, It Won’t Be Easy is mercifully short on jargon and long on practical wisdom, accessible to anyone—teacher, student, parent, pundit—who is interested in a behind-the-curtain look at teaching and willing to understand that, while there are no simple answers, there is power in learning to ask the right questions.
After a recent CUFA conference, many social studies teacher educators came to realize that pre-service teachers are skeptical of calls to integrate sensitive topics in the curriculum because they do not see it in their field experiences. The purpose of this edited book is to share examples of Pre/K - 12 grade teachers, schools, or school systems that infuse race, class, gender and sexuality in the curriculum. This book offers concrete examples of social studies teachers, schools and schools systems committed to the inclusion of topics often deemed as sensitive or controversial. Care was taken to provide examples from diverse geographic areas, school types (public, charter, private etc.), and grade levels. Researchers teamed with practicing professionals to highlight teachers and schools that successfully integrate race, class, gender and/or sexuality in the curriculum. The chapters provide specific examples of content inclusion, share high leverage practices, and provide advice for others infusing race, class, gender, and sexuality in the curriculum.

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