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Just Teaching
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Just Teaching
Feedback, Engagement, and Well-Being for Each Student



January 2023 | 232 pages | Corwin

Elevating the essential work of today’s teachers

Teaching is life-giving work, essential for the development of thriving humans. It is devastating to hear teachers refer to themselves as “just teachers” as if they are powerless and without status. What if we turned the phrase’s meaning upside-down and claimed its redemptive power? “Just teachers” care for each student. Teachers who are just, cultivate freedom, justice, and flourishing.

This book will have readers "just teaching" in the best sense of the phrase! Just Teaching has been written for teachers who want to develop the best ways to serve students based on research on how students learn. This book shows how to use appropriate tools, based on the wisdom of generations of educators, in a focused, sustainable way. Readers will find:

  • evidence-based practices to support student feedback, engagement, and wellbeing (for students and teachers, too)
  • case studies from familiar classroom perspectives
  • useful technology suggestions  
  • solutions tools for building an overarching approach to meeting the needs of individual students

By addressing feedback, engagement, and well-being in ways that are founded on justice and love for students, Just Teaching supports comprehensive, manageable learning while elevating the essential work of educators.

 
Prologue
 
Chapter 1: Each Before All
 
Part 1: Wellbeing
 
Chapter 2: Maslow Before Bloom
 
Chapter 3: Humans Before Outcomes
 
Part 2: Engagement
 
Chapter 4: Cs Before As
 
Chapter 5: Inviting Before Demanding
 
Part 3: Feedback
 
Chapter 6: Habits Before Goals
 
Chapter 7: Feedback Before Grades
 
Part 4: Thriving
 
Chapter 8: Growing Giants
 
Epilogue: Focus On What's Essential
 
References

Free resources

Prologue

Prologue

Get to know the author, Johnathan Eckert and the purpose and inspiration behind his book Just Teaching.

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Just Teaching Tool #1

Just Teaching Tool #1

This first tool is designed to help you look at each student so you can create a forest that grows each student into a thriving giant.

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This beautifully written, refreshing, and highly intelligent book highlights the much-overlooked human side of teaching. But it’s not “fluff.” Jonathan Eckert demystifies the complexity of education and shines a spotlight on three necessary teaching elements, helping readers focus on what matters—to change the life of each student.

Megan Allen, NBCT, Founder, 2010 Florida Teacher of the Year
Megan Allen, NBCT, Founder, 2010 Florida Teacher of the Year

Leave it to Jonathan Eckert to take a phrase that conjures up the skin crawl of proverbial nails on a chalkboard, use it as a book title, and then convince the reader to embrace it! Just Teaching does just that. Although “this book is only about three things,” the synergy of well-being, engagement, and feedback as explored in these eight chapters create a powerful design of the essentials to teach each student well. Educators who prepare, are prepared, or are preparing to teach will benefit from this thoughtful work of inspiring stories and practical tools. 

P. Ann Byrd, President of CTQ
P. Ann Byrd, President of CTQ

With Just Teaching, Jonathan Eckert has written the right book for the right moment. District and school leaders are seeking coherent ways to frame the important work of academic recovery in a post-pandemic world. Eckert helps us by naming the FEW areas we must prioritize. His straightforward language along with built-in application tools allow even the busiest practitioners to read this book and—more important—use it with their teams in service of supporting students!

Joan Dabrowski, Chief Academic Officer, Baltimore City Public Schools
Joan Dabrowski, Chief Academic Officer, Baltimore City Public Schools

The dehumanization of American education on many fronts in the wake of a pandemic has often left teachers and students feeling alienated, like cogs in a broken system that no longer cares. The solution is as it has always been: in the eternity altering spark exchanged between caring teacher and engaged student. In Just Teaching, Jonathan Eckert injects new life and passion into this most noble profession, providing simple yet refreshingly creative strategies for engaging students, advancing their well-being, and restoring joy into the schoolhouse. This book will make teachers remember why they love what they do!

Jay Ferguson, Head of School, Grace Community School, Tyler, TX
Jay Ferguson, Head of School, Grace Community School, Tyler, TX

What a great book—for those beginning their training and for those in induction programs, as well as for all those already in the classrooms. Eckert reminds us of the power, complexity, simplicity, and joys of teaching. He asks us to savor the time as teachers, and make the experience meaningful to you, your students, and your colleagues. And he backs this with so many ways of thinking and doing that remind us daily of why we all entered this profession: to maximize our impact on others.

John Hattie, Author, VISIBLE LEARNING® series
John Hattie, Author, VISIBLE LEARNING® series

Jonathan Eckert’s joy and admiration for the teaching profession has led him to create a book for teachers that combines a mix of practical advice with life-giving advice for finding the joy in the work. In Just Teaching: Feedback, Engagement, and Well-Being for Each Student, he shares advice and research about finding the essential parts of the job while also serving each student. In a time when our schools and communities need teachers more than ever, this book provides a road map for new teachers to begin their profession focusing on the most important aspects of the work and gives experienced teachers space to reclaim their enjoyment of teaching. Woven throughout are practical exercises for reflection, entertaining stories, and research supporting the practices he recommends. “Each educator matters because each student matters” and this book is a road map for making teaching a joy-filled and sustainable profession. And, he wouldn’t be a former eduwonk without including a one pager to summarize all this useful advice.

JoLisa Hoover, US Department of Education Teaching, Ambassador Fellow, 2008, 2014, 2015
JoLisa Hoover, US Department of Education Teaching, Ambassador Fellow, 2008, 2014, 2015

It is easier than ever to feel overwhelmed by the multitude of demands placed on educators. In Just Teaching, Jonathan Eckert reminds us that while our plates as teachers may be perennially overfilled, success in the classroom often boils down to a handful of factors that, if approached thoughtfully, can often equal success. Eckert backs these claims up with deep and compelling research and provides his readers with a pile of proven tools for implementing these approaches in their classes. Just Teaching is that rare book that seamlessly blends scholarship, philosophy, and practicality and will be on my list to buy for almost every teacher I know.

Matthew Johnson, Author, Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Middle and High School ELA
Matthew Johnson, Author, Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Middle and High School ELA

Jonathan Eckert delivers a powerhouse book that every educator (and parent) needs now. Students are struggling like never before, and Eckert’s Just Teaching clearly explains why every child must be seen, heard, and loved and how to get there. This book is an urgent must read.

David Magee, Bestselling author (Dear William) and a creator of the William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing at the University of Mississippi
David Magee, Bestselling author (Dear William) and a creator of the William Magee Institute for Student Wellbeing at the University of Mississippi

Jonathan Eckert is a rare jewel among teacher educators today. He brings together a deep understanding of educational research, of practical classroom realities, and of the love of Christ. In Just Teaching, he draws on these understandings to pull us all back to the core of all teaching and learning: feedback, engagement, wellness. New and veteran educators will find this book revitalizing. 

Renee Moore, NBCT, BOD Vice Chair, Center for Teaching Quality
Renee Moore, NBCT, BOD Vice Chair, Center for Teaching Quality

Just Teaching is a must read for any teacher looking to build a strong classroom community where all voices are heard, students connect with the teacher and with each other, and take control of their learning. This book is needed today. In the state of our current world, students may feel more disconnected from each other face-to-face than ever. The truth is that no matter how much the teaching profession changes and evolves, the students who sit in front of us just want us to connect with and understand them. In this book, Jonathan Eckert brings us back to the heart and soul of teaching and how to rehumanize the classroom experience. 

Serena Pariser, Author, Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Creating a Dynamic Classroom
Serena Pariser, Author, Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Creating a Dynamic Classroom

Sample Materials & Chapters

Prologue


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ISBN: 9781071886588

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