All of the theory and statistics in the world is no match for the human journeys that we have--which is chock full of our emotions, reflections, and human hearts. In education, our own stories should direct us like a compass when we are lost or like a lighthouse when we are looking for positive changes for our students. Stories reveal relationships. They locate trends. Stories threaten the status quo and terrible politics. They beat up weak arguments and amplify the meek. Stories provide voices to those who are silenced. AND, stories come from all of us: students, parents, and educators because they are the most important research around. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for quantitative research and it is important. Sometimes, the heart is distilled when numbers are reported, however.
Back in 2003, I made a decision during my doctoral studies that I wanted to provide a megaphone for the voices that powerfully construct and reconstruct anything that can be done to help students. From Pre-K innocents to adult learners, I started to gather real research with a laptop computer, a mini tape recorder, and thousands of transcript documents that could probably spread in length across the nation from Maine to Alaska. I continue to devote my career exploration to gathering the stories that will create incredible reform for our schools and learning environments.
Through the great work of my publishers recognizing the importance of stories as a powerful flashlight into some of the darkest corners of education that need fixing, I am honored to carry out continuous work that amplifies the role of our own stories for conceiving and generating positive changes in our schools. May the book collection of narrative theory methods continue to grow from many other authors' contributions as we search for our own identities which are always in the making because WE are always in the making, as well. And, our students need us now, more than ever, but will not thrive in some new and amazing ways if we hold our own stories close to our chests or disregard the stories that they are trying to share with us.
"Stories are one of the most crucial, yet vastly under-utilized, aspects of leading education in the context of teaching and learning. Igniting Wonder, Reflection, and Change in Our Schools does a great job not only in showing the reader how powerful stories are for moving education forward, but also in showing how the reader can share their story to create much better opportunities for our learning communities. Stories are the fuel to innovation in education, and this book paints a beautiful reminder of this."
-George Couros, Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Consultant, author of The Innovator's Mindset
"I'm calling a home run right now! Bold, unconventional, and arguably the 'realest' school leadership book you will ever read. Rebecca Coda and Rick Jetter definitely don't pull any punches. With riveting case studies that highlight the good, the bad, and the ugly . . . I've never read a more honest assessment of politics in education and how to rise above the perils to pursue excellence for kids. Escaping the School Leaders' Dunk Tank is one of those rare books that you won't want to end."
--Brad Gustafson, 2016 NAESP Distinguished Principal Award Winner and author of Renegade Leadership
"This book is filled with tips and strategies to ensure that the candidates you recruit and hire will become valuable assets to your school. Rick Jetter offers a set of tools that provide more insight into candidates’ attitudes and teaching perspectives than one would uncover during a traditional interview process, enabling you to hire the best staff for your school."
--Todd Whitaker, Professor at Indiana State University, internationally-recognized education expert, and author of over 40 books, including What Connected Educators Do Differently
Coming Soon--Stories about bullying and writing that will trigger reform: