Caroline C. Williams et al. 2016

Teachers are collaborators.

Teachers work with students, parents, administrators, coaches, camp counselors, education researchers, postsecondary institutions, teachers of other grades and other subjects—in short, teachers accomplish their daily miracles through collaboration by asking questions about what they don’t know and sharing what they do.

Teachers are designers.

Teachers look around their classrooms, their forests, their towns, and think, How can I make this better? How can my learners be successful today, tomorrow, next semester, next year? How can my learners change the world?

Teachers are scholars.

Teachers are constantly evaluating their classrooms, their learners, their activities, and—hardest of all—themselves. They are scientists, researchers, learners, and coaches, balancing the needs and desires of every role at the very moment of choice and enactment.

Teachers are pioneers.

And sometimes when teachers ask questions and look around at their world, they find out that there are no answers. Yet. And they go to the very very very edge of what is known, and think, What should I do next?

"Teachers often must play the part of the pioneer if changes are to be made. Pioneers forge ahead in spite of difficulty, learning all they can before striking out for new territory. They study maps, anecdotal records, and talk to those on the edge of the frontier. They take old knowledge with them, but expect to develop new strategies, solve novel problems, create new language to describe what they see, and share what they learn with those who have not yet made the journey. Pioneers learn as they go." (1)

This book was written by teacher pioneers to share their collaborating, their designing, and their exploring.

We’re heading to the edges of the map—welcome aboard!

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(1) Armstrong, B. E., & Bezuk, N. (1995). Multiplication and division of fractions: The search for meaning. In J. T. Sowder & B. P. Schappelle (Eds.), Providing a foundation for teaching mathematics in the middle grades (pp. 85-119). Albany: State University of New York.