Book: Making AdjustmentsTwo years before the global pandemic upturned all of our lives, Ann Pelo and I wrote our book “From Teaching to Thinking” as a call to action, an urgent need to reimagine our work beyond the constricted thinking, trends, and policies that have kidnapped our field. Then, and perhaps even more urgently now in these ever more unsettling and uncertain times, we aspire to tap into the longings of educators feeling diminished, disrespected, and disempowered.

With the ROW book collection, we want to nourish imaginations with questions about the purpose of education, and how you understand the teaching and learning process. We want the world to hear what you experience as an educator who genuinely steps into companionship with the hearts and minds of children. How might this experience transform you? How might experiences with children bring you hope in uncertain times?

Book: You Can't Celebrate That!Book: A Can of WormsAlong with hearing from and engaging with children and their teachers, we want to spark a fire in the bellies of teacher educators, instructors, coaches, and administrators.

In the ROW books, you see examples of educators with a hunger for deeper meaning in their work, and hopefully, you will be inspired to uncover that hunger in all those you work with. If you are a coach, director, or teacher educator we want you to remember that whether or not you can clearly see it at any given moment, the educators you work with long for, indeed deserve, a pedagogical companion to support them as thinkers, not people who just need to be in compliance or follow a course curriculum. Educators need encouragement to learn the art of teaching, with support that goes far beyond strategies and commercial toolkits, beyond quick tips for managing children and getting good scores on rating scales and assessment tools.

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Book: Treasures in the ThicketIn “From Teaching to Thinking” we offer our ideas about the kinds of philosophical and pedagogical orientation that supports the endeavor of a deep and wide reimagining of our work, grounded in the goal, our task, really, of becoming as human as we can be, as Tom Hunter described in one of the last songs he wrote before his untimely death.

We have encountered many, many educators engaged in this heartfelt, intellectual, and emotional rigor of thinking about their work as an expansion of our humanity. You might be sitting or traveling alongside some of these folks, educators who are deep listeners, who collaboratively learn with children, with families, and with each other.

Book: Pursuing Bad GuysBook: Reimagining HeartbreakThough the barriers and pressures to conform seem daunting, we have seen educators say ¡Basta!, ¡Basta!, we will not accommodate ourselves to a diminished view of children and our work. When you take this stance of resistance and activate your longings and imaginations, you discover new energy and exhilaration for your life and work.

Watching this energy activated, Ann and I moved from our role as writers to become developmental editors, tapping into the wisdom of educator stories to help shape an emerging collection of books, each with a remarkable story representing how they are pursuing more meaning in their work, finding more delight in what they are learning about themselves as well as the children.

Book: CupBook: Art of TroublemakingI think it is fair to say that authors of these ROW books are discovering themselves as empowered leaders, as they move from being prescriptive or conforming teachers to being thinkers. As they pursue questions of genuine interest and concern, as they take up ideas of substance with children, their families, and colleagues, their stories demonstrate how theories about learning, beliefs about equity, and efforts toward social justice can be translated into everyday practice.

Each book in the ROW Collection is unique, yet as you begin to read them, you uncover threads of connecting ideas, insights, and inspiration. Ann and I hold a vision that the ROW books as a whole collection offer the potential to transform the direction and practice of teacher education and professional learning. If this appeals to you, keep an eye on the virtual community of the ROW Initiative with the possibility of a workgroup forming focused on using the ROW book collection for reimagining professional learning.

Author, Margie Carter

Margie Carter is a long-time contributor to Exchange, the co-author of numerous books with Deb Curtis and most recently with Ann Pelo, “From Teaching to Thinking: A Pedagogy for Reimagining Our Work.” Carter is a founding member of the Harvest Educators Collaborative. As she moves into retirement, she takes great heart in supporting educators to move into leadership to disrupt the current paradigm for early childhood education and shift practices toward a vision of restorative justice and true equity.

Author Ann Pelo

Ann Pelo is a co-author of "From Teaching to Thinking: A Pedagogy for Reimagining Our Work" with Margie Carter and the editor of the Reimagining Our Work story collection. She is a convening member of the ROW Initiative.

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