The theme of this text is teaching for learning in the classroom community. As an educator for more than forty years, I have found teaching personally rewarding and challenging. When teaching, I am learning from my students--by the questions they pose, the discussion that is stimulated, and the expansion of knowledge that occurs. I detect learning in students by observing their active engagement and participation, the spark that is visible in their eyes, the questions and insights they share, and their interest and excitement when clearly expressed. Learning is natural for all individuals, but some experiences offer more opportunities for learning than others. The old adage that "teachers are born, not trained" has not been corroborated by research. Underqualified and unprepared teachers result in chaotic and rigid classrooms and unplanned and thoughtless curricula. This book is written for novice teachers, be they student teachers, beginning teachers, or interns. Teachers who fail or quit the profession do so primarily because they do not feel successful in helping students read, write, or achieve the standards deemed appropriate. Sometimes teachers give up because they have not learned to balance their personal and professional obligations. In my work with students in the public schools in grades K-12 and my students at the university, I have learned that when students (of all ages) work together in democratic classroom communities and are supported by teacher and administrative efforts, the classrooms become exciting environments, with students and teachers more engaged in meaningful activities. When teachers and students are able to share their zeal for learning, teaching is not burdensome; it is not routinized; it is not dehumanizing. Instead, teachers feel fortunate to be in a profession that emancipates the spirit and thoughtfulness of all individuals. In addition to sharing my experiences in democratic classroom environments, I show how such environments can be recognized and created. I focus on some of the dilemmas teachers face in dealing with students who lack self-discipline or who have not experienced a supportive environment or an engaging curriculum. I describe successful teaching lessons--techniques and strategies implemented every day by thoughtful, accomplished teachers. This book is what is professionally described as amethodstext. It focuses on the learner (both the teacher and the student), the environment for learning, and the process of teaching. Lesson examples or teaching episodes are content-based in order to demonstrate understanding and implementation of pedagogical content. I believe that, to be a good teacher and to enjoy the profession of teaching, teachers need to be competent in the following areas: Establishing a classroom community Knowledge of their subject matter and how to plan appropriate experiences for students' learning Delivering instruction for students' learning (pedagogical knowledge) Ability to understand students' differences in experience, culture, language, gender, family, and community Understanding motivation--what kinds of experiences stimulate learning and how to use motivation for different types of learning--including classroom management Assessing what students know and don't know-strengths and weaknesses Seeking information, assistance, and resources when needed Ability to analyze and reflect on their own teaching and students' learning We live in a very diverse pluralistic society, and as teachers we must strive to teach all students to the best of their abilities. To do so we must continue our own learning. My goal is to contribute to learning about teaching. Special Features in the Text Teaching Hints.Critical content, such as teaching English language learners or differentiation of instructioLemlech, Johanna Kasin is the author of 'Teaching in Elementary and Secondary Classrooms Building a Learning Community', published 2003 under ISBN 9780130976956 and ISBN 0130976954.