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Reach Before You Teach

Reach Before You Teach
Ignite Passion and Purpose in Your Classroom

November 2013 | 216 pages | Corwin
The authors provide concrete ideas that inspire academic success, stimulate curiosity, and develop a strong sense of self among students AND teachers. When the self is supported and developed, students are more apt to reach their full potential because they have been provided a meaning in context. The authors hope to inspire educators to start incorporating the self into their curriculum and school climate using the steps they have created. The book contains many interventions illustrated by examples to help educators create an environment where the self is engaged and working in synchrony with academic instruction.
A Child’s Sense of Self Is of Paramount Concern

The Focus and Purpose of This Book

This Book Applies to Educators of Teens

The Bottom Line

About the Authors
1. The Self
What You Will Learn in This Chapter

What Do We Mean by the Self?

The Self in School

Social Emotional Learning: Its Importance and How the Self Enables SEL Potential

How Does a Sense of Self Contribute to Personal Success and to Society?

Steps to Success – For Teaching and for You

Chapter Summary

2. The Development of the Self: Understand and Connect With the Self Behind the Desk
What You Will Learn in This Chapter

Early Attachment and Self Development

True Self Versus False Self: The Battle Begins

Making Connections

Chapter Summary

3. The Unaware Emotional Self: Soften Defenses to Foster Academic and Personal Growth
What You Will Learn in This Chapter

The Purpose of Defenses

The Development of Defenses and How They Inhibit Optimal Learning

Common Defense Mechanisms and How They May Manifest in the Classroom

How to Manage Defenses Through Interventions That Build the Self

Chapter Summary

4. The Aware Emotional Self: Provide Tools for Emotional Management
What You Will Learn in This Chapter

Emotional Awareness - Knowing Your Temperature

Emotional Management – Shutting the Window

The Emotional Self in the Classroom

The Benefits

Chapter Summary

5. The Cognitive Self: Use Cognitive Understanding to Awaken Potentials
What You Will Learn in This Chapter

Brain Structure and Related Functions

Stress on the Brain

Neuroplasticity: The Role of Experiences

Improving Motivation

Chapter Summary

6. The Social Self: Consolidate the Self in the Social World
What You Will Learn in This Chapter

Set a Positive Social Tone in Your Classroom

Top Social Skills


Chapter Summary

7. The Physical Self: Support the Physical Self for Optimal Overall Health
What You Will Learn in This Chapter

The Importance of Physical Health

Exercise and Health

Nutrition and Health

Sleep and Health

The Mind/Body Connection

The Physical Self in the Classroom

Chapter Summary

8. The Self in the School Climate: How to Put the Environment to Work for You
What You Will Learn in This Chapter

What Is School Climate?

Personal Principles of Behavior

School Wide Policies

Parents and the Off-Campus Community

Chapter Summary

9. The Self: Decision-Making, Motivation, and Giving Back
What You Will Learn in This Chapter

Where Are We?

Where Can We Go From Here?

Decision-Making – The Sine Qua Non of Self Skills


Final Interventions

Chapter Summary


"This book is filled with useful material that will help educators better relate to their students and empower them to reach their full potential."

Steve Reifman, National Board Certified Teacher
Roosevelt Elementary School

"This book is a must for all educators wanting to help students understand their emotional 'Self' and its impact on their academic and future success."

Diane P. Smith, School Counselor Grades 7-12
Smethport Area School District

"With the growing focus on mental health issues in our communities today this book is a much needed publication and very timely.  Thanks to the mental health professionals who worked to make this easily applicable to the school environment and to give school professionals guidance in how to structure our schools so that students develop a strong sense of self."

Dr. Janice Wyatt-Ross, Assistant Principal
Cardinal Valley Elementary

"This book is a must-read for all who want to encourage self-awareness and self-reflection during classroom instruction and help students feel more connected, curious and confident! Students no doubt will achieve emotionally and academically with help from some strategies in this book."

Dr. Ann Marie Dargon, Assistant Superintendent of Schools
Westport Community Schools

"In our present education system that seems to be caught up with numbers and standardization, Prentis’ book is a welcomed read. Education will never improve if we don’t make the social-emotional skills of children our first priority."

Peter DeWitt, Ed.D., Principal and Corwin Author
Poestenkill Elementary School

Sample Materials & Chapters

Front Matter

Chapter One

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781452261386