The Classroom from Where I Stand is a collection of twenty-five short, narrative essays that look at the relationship between a teacher and her students. The thread tying these twenty-five essays together is the connected humanity between teacher and student and the implications of that connectedness. While the collection focuses on the author's personal experiences in education, her specific role as a teacher also serves as a vehicle to explore the more universal power that teachers have to do good for students. Rebecca Potter uses her experiences as a teacher and a student to explore questions within education, such as: why does education matter for the ones who are presumably doomed to fail anyway, what does it mean to care about a student, why do teachers stay in the field with so much against them? These questions are especially important as our country deals with serious matters like school shootings, pension issues, and teacher strikes.
Five of the essays have been published in literary journals: “The Last Time He Saw His Father” in The Wax Paper, “Waiting” in Temenos, “Places They Could Go” in BioStories, and “My Invitation” in Motherwell Magazine. The essay “Safe When It’s Not” appeared in Shantih Journal.
ISBN eBook: 978-0-46352-901-0
ISBN Paperback: 978-1-71681-845-5
6" x 9", 134 pages. Printed on archival quality paper.
Praise for Both Sides: The Classroom from Where I Stand
Remember that teacher who inspired you to grow larger than you thought you could? Who pushed you to think in ways you never imagined before? Who created a classroom where everyone felt safe, loved, and honored? This book of personal memoirs reveals the life of one of those teachers, from growing up to being a mother and wife, she takes the life lessons from these experiences and applies them to her school. These are wise, thoughtful, warm, sometimes heartbreaking words that lift up anyone who reads them, but especially all teachers who love their students and the students who inspire them.
Ric Stuecker—author of Reviving the Wonder in Youth,Cultivating Kindness in School, and Inspiring Leadership in Teens
Rebecca Potter reminds us that the classroom isn’t the only place we learn, and some of the best lessons come from the people we thought least likely to teach us anything. This remarkable collection reads as more than just essays; it’s love letters and apologies, notes of appreciation, arguments, odes, and altogether a tribute to every person who has ever dared take on the awesome task of not just teaching but nurturing the next generation. Part memoir, part guidebook, Both Sides immerses readers in the stark realities of education today and resonates with triumph and genuine hope.
R Dean Johnson, editor of Teachable Moments: Essays on Experiential Education
This timely, touching collection of essays captures what it means to be a public high school teacher today. In clear-eyed prose, Rebecca Potter gives us an intimate, empathetic look into the classroom, revealing the many problems students and teachers face, but also beautifully conveying her devotion to her students and championing the importance of public education.
Carter Sickels, author of the novel, THE PRETTIEST STAR