Monthly Archives: May 2010

Calling All Literary Agents and Publishers!

I’m currently seeking a publisher/literary representation for a 70,000 word non-fiction book titled The Village Proposal: Why Education is a Shared Responsibility.  The book is based on the African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child.  Part education commentary, part memoir, The Village Proposal analyzes the theme of “shared responsibility” in education, and examines the various entities that have an impact on America’s schools, such as parents and community, politics, private business, technology, and multiculturalism. Although some elements are more influential than others, all of these impact how and what children learn. 

 

Because teachers are the centerpiece of education, the story of my teaching career is told in alternating chapters opposite my commentary on shared responsibility.  I believe it’s necessary to put my own teaching under the microscope and lead by example.  Specifically, I highlight my transformation from a first-year English teacher struggling with classroom management to a veteran educator who develops within his students a passion for writing.

 

I’m a frequent contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, where my articles on education and school reform regularly appear.  My commentaries on public schools have also been published in the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia City Paper.  I’ve also had work featured in Education Week and Philadelphia Magazine. 

 

Although books on education reform cover a wide variety of topics, The Village Proposal is one of the first to carry the “shared responsibility” message.  It is also the first to combine commentary and memoir in a way that bridges the gap between theory and practice.     

 

Any parties interested in seeing a proposal of the book please contact me at phillystyle71@yahoo.com.

 

No “vanity” or print-on-demand self-publishers, please!

 

Thank You.

 

–Christopher Paslay

 

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Finding Mrs. Warnecke: The Difference Teachers Make

From Amazon.com:

“Finding Mrs. Warnecke tells the inspiring story of Cindi Rigsbee, a three-time Teacher of the Year, and Barbara Warnecke, the first-grade teacher who had a profound and lasting impact on Cindi’s life. Cindi, an insecure child who craved positive attention, started her first-grade year with a teacher who was emotionally abusive and played favorites in the classroom. Two months into the school year, her principal came into the classroom and announced that half the students were being moved to another classroom–a dank, windowless basement room, with a young and inexperienced teacher.  This change turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Cindi.  Her new teacher, Mrs. Warnecke, made learning come alive for her students.  She went overboard caring for each child, made her classroom “magical,” and encouraged students to pursue their dreams.  Although Cindi was reluctant to explore her creativity as a student, Mrs. Warnecke encouraged her to read and write poetry, which became a lifelong passion.  The two kept in touch for several years but lost track of each other when Mrs. Warnecke moved out of state. Cindi spent many years trying to reconnect so she could thank Mrs. Warnecke for making such a difference in her life, but to no avail.  Eventually Cindi became a teacher herself, and thirty years later she has taught more than 2,000 children and been named Teacher of the Year for her home state.  She later came to realize that all those years she wasn’t really trying to track down Barbara Warnecke, but rather, she was trying to “find Mrs. Warnecke” within herself. 

 

In Fall 2008 Cindi and Barbara were reunited on Good Morning America; the show’s producers had tracked Barbara down and brought both women on-set for a tearful reunion.  Barbara was floored at this attention–she had no idea she could have made such an impact on a former student’s life.  As Cindi travels around talking with new and veteran educators, she is always approached by audience members who are moved to tears and want to share the story of the “Mrs. Warnecke” in their own lives.  Finding Mrs. Warnecke not only tells the story of this teacher who made a lifelong impact on her students, it illustrates the importance of the teacher/student relationship in the classroom, and offers principles for other teachers to follow to make a positive impact in their own classrooms.”

 

 

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