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Don't Smile Until December, and Other Myths About Classroom Teaching

Don't Smile Until December, and Other Myths About Classroom Teaching

Edited by:

February 2006 | 104 pages | Corwin
Teaching is a complex profession, made more complex by many of the myths about teaching told by teachers themselves. This lively new book by veteran teacher educator Peggy Deal Redman identifies eight of the most powerful and longstanding myths about classroom teaching, and explains the classroom realities too often hidden by the myths.

Explore the real truth about such myths as "Good teachers are born, not made"; "Good teachers don't make mistakes"; "Teaching is a dead end job"; "They can't learn, they belong to special education," and more. Each chapter explores the reality behind the myth against the backdrop of today's professional learning communities, where teachers and teacher leaders know that every child can learn and that every teacher is a lifelong learner who grows through caring, collaboration, and reflection.

All chapters include classroom stories, reflective questions, how-to tips and strategies, and inspirational quotations. In the words of Peggy Redman, "Smile as early on and as often as you can to build a healthy classroom climate."

About the Author
1. Myth #1: Don’t Smile Until December
Reality: Smile as Early On and as Often as You Can to Build a Healthy Classroom Climate

2. Myth #2: Teaching Is a Cushy Job
Reality: Teaching Is Hard Work and Requires Year-Round Planning in Addition to Daily Preparation and Professional Development

3. Myth #3: Good Teachers Are Born, Not Made
Reality: Teachers Are Lifelong Learners Continually Growing in Their Profession From Their “Aha” Moments Through Their Veteran Mentoring Years

4. Myth #4: Good Teachers Don’t Make Mistakes
Reality: Good Teachers Learn From Their Most Dramatic Mistakes

5. Myth #5: Good Teachers Teach Facts
Reality: Good Teachers Teach the Whole Child How to Think and Learn

6. Myth #6: They Can’t Learn; They Belong in Special Education
Reality: Every Child Can Learn and Is Legally Entitled to the Best Education

7. Myth #7: Teaching Is a Lonely Job
Reality: Teaching Is a Collaborative Profession and Today’s Schools Are Professional Learning Communities

8. Myth #8 Teaching Is a Dead End Job
Reality: The Rewards of Teaching Are Unending


"...gets the message across without resorting to an excess of technical language...the stories and examples invite the reader into the author's world..."

John Pieper
Teacher, Webster Stanley Elementary School, Oshkosh, WI

"A great read, and the title is a winner! Upbeat, validating, different from a highly technical or research-oriented piece...refreshingly light and readable, yet substantive."

Patricia Clark
Patricia Clark, Teacher, Gotham Avenue School, Elmont, NY

"We teachers don't have a lot of time, so the length was perfect! ...I felt inspired and renewed and validated."

Cathy Lutz
Teacher, Madison Station Elementary, Madison, MS

"Shows a human side to teaching--very important for success in any grade...the chapters are short and to the point, something I really liked. They are easy to read, and the personal examples really make the key points effective."

Mary Eby
Woodbine, IA

"Reminds me of the writing of Harry Wong who conveys his experiences very effectively...The book title is very catchy. It would make me pick it up in the bookstore and look further...both practical and inspirational."

Chris Laster
Teacher, Russell Elementary, Smyrna, GA

"I would use it as shared text-based reading for my school's Critical Friends Group. We are seasoned teachers K-6, special education teachers and our school social worker, who want to continue to grow professionally and need a source to use for discussions and for reflecting on teaching practices, and to keep us from burning out...having a book of this nature helps us realize we are making a difference each day one child at a time."

Pam Roller
Teacher, Galveston Elementary School, Galveston, IN

"The book is uplifting...excellent reminds us of why we wanted to be teachers..."

Carrie Carpenter
Teacher, Deschutes Edge Charter School, Redmond, Oregon

"I think this would be a fun book to share and to just have around the desk or home...I can definitely hear the readers saying, 'I didn't know that'....This is a book I want to utilize with my pre-service students. It is right on, a great positive PR tool for our new teachers."

J. Victor McGuire
Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Founder, National Association for Beginning Teachers

"I would publish it as 'comfort reading' for seasoned teachers and a guide for new ones...This would be especially good reading for students and new teachers who are bound to hear some of these sage myths from sage teachers as they begin their careers."

Gail McGoogan
Narcoossee Community School, FL

"The book's focus on human interest stories, examples from real classrooms, and the author's teaching and observing experiences lends interest and realism to the content...The author's voice is clear and comes from a deep set of values and beliefs that should be heard by contemporary teachers in training and by practicing teachers."

Marilyn Katzenmeyer
Professional Development Center, Tampa, FL

Sample Materials & Chapters



Chapter 1

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ISBN: 9781412925532