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Yes, You Can!
Advice for Teachers Who Want a Great Start and a Great Finish With Their Students of Color



May 2014 | 224 pages | Corwin
An all-in-one toolkit that empowers new teachers to meet the needs of diverse learners 

When novice teachers are assigned to teach disadvantaged students, the results are predictable: growing tension and frustration on both sides, leading to disengaged students and disillusioned educators.

Gail and Rufus Thompson are renowned experts on bridging the instructional gaps between teachers and students who don’t look like them. In this book, the authors show new teachers how to flourish by building on the assets of their students and the students’ families. 

Yes, You Can! holds up a mirror to deeply-held beliefs about race and other variables of difference. Through interactive exercises, readers gain confidence and empathy that translate to success for students. The book includes:

  •  Powerful vignettes about real teachers and students that help promote teacher empathy and understanding
  •  Original research conducted by the authors on the confidence levels of new and experienced educators 
  • Targeted strategies for many student profiles: African American, Latino, Asian American, White, high-achiever, low-achiever, and more

Before learning can take place, there must be mutual understanding and respect between student and teacher. Yes, You Can! ensures these critical links are strong.

"This is one of the most useful books I have read in some time! Whether novice or veteran, if one truly wants to be successful in teaching children of color, this exciting book is an invaluable tool. From their extensive experience as successful classroom teachers, researchers, and leaders of professional development, the authors combine authentic scenarios, reflection activities, and suggested strategies that empower educators in being effective with students at all grade levels and from all demographic groups in our society."

—Randall B. Lindsey, Professor Emeritus
California State University, Los Angeles
 

 
 
 
About the Authors
 
Acknowledgments
 
Introduction
 
Part I. Do You Really Love All of Them? Assessing Your Teaching Self-Confidence About Working With Various Types of Students
 
Chapter 1. Fear, Income, Gender, and Other Issues: Why Your Teaching Self-Confidence Matters
 
Chapter 2. Teaching in a Racially Diverse World: Examining Your Teaching Self-Confidence About Working With Students of Color and White Students
 
Chapter 3. "Oh My Gosh, He Can't Even Read!" Examining Your Teaching Self-Confidence About Working With Struggling Students
 
Part II. Student Empowerment-Teacher Empowerment: Increasing Your Teaching Self-Confidence and Your Teaching Efficacy
 
Chapter 4. This Stuff Is Hard! Improving Your Classroom Management Skills
 
Chapter 5. A Recipe for Success: Effective Instructional Practices
 
Chapter 6. Can't We All Just Get Along? Using the Curriculum to Improve Race Relations in Class
 
Part III. Getting Help From the "Village": How to Maximize Your Relations With Parents, Colleagues, and School Leaders
 
Chapter 7. Bridging the Great Divide: How to Create a Win-Win Situation With Parents, Especially With Nonwhite Parents
 
Chapter 8. Ties That Can Bind: Forming Strong Working Relationships With Colleagues of Color
 
Chapter 9. Ask and It Might Be Given: Getting What You Need From School Leaders
 
Conclusion: Don't Throw in the Towel--How to Keep Going When You Feel Like Giving Up
 
Appendix A. Background Information About the Teacher Confidence Study
 
Appendix B. Demographic Information About the 293 Teacher Confidence Study Participants
 
Appendix C. Questionnaire Results From the 293 Teacher Confidence Study Participants
 
Notes
 
Index

"This is one of the most useful books I have read in some time! Whether novice or veteran, if one truly wants to be successful in teaching children and youth of color, the Thompson’s exciting new book, Yes You Can, is an invaluable tool. The book is designed for personal use as well as professional development with colleagues. From their extensive experience as successful classroom teachers, researchers, and leaders of professional development, the authors combine authentic scenarios, reflection activities, and suggested strategies that empower educators in being effective with students at all grade levels and from all demographic groups in our society."

Randall B. Lindsey, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
California State University, Los Angeles

"After reading Yes, You Can! Advice for Teachers Who Want to  a Great Start and a Great Finish with Their Students of Color, I cannot imagine teaching or administrating without it. This honest, engaging book will open your eyes to new ways to relate to kids and help them be successful. Though focused on students of color, the book helps with all areas of diversity: all races and ethnicities, low performing vs. high performing, English learners vs. native English speakers, etc. True stories and testimonies humanize the research findings, straightforward activities encourage reflection and dialogue, and practical strategies make the book’s recommendations not just something educators can do, but something we are driven to do. Refreshingly, rather than calling for more from busy educators, the book shares how to do things differently in a way that leads to improved teacher confidence, improved classroom management, improved student/teacher and parent/teacher relationships, and so much more. Most of all, the authors – two of the best educators of our time – have shared ways we can directly improve the lives of students who need our help. For that reason above all others, this book is a must read."

Lane D. Rankin, Founder and CEO
Illuminate Education, Inc

"This book reassures, and reinforces every teacher’s confidence to teach.  The authors strategically, yet sensitively, empower teachers to delve into their own thoughts, backgrounds, and experiences in order to increase their personal effectiveness.  The research-based suggestions to teachers who want to be successful are offered in a practical, thorough, and self-examining process.  The chapters’ reflective activities can easily be used during a professional development session or during a university course.  Every teacher who reads this book will be encouraged to focus on their confidence level and know within their hearts that they can indeed raise the dialogue within themselves and build strong, caring relationships with their students, parents, colleagues, and school leaders."

Angela Louque, Professor
California State University, San Bernardino

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Sample Materials & Chapters

Table of Contents

1. Fear, Income, Gender, and Other Issues


Gail L. Thompson

Dr. Gail L. Thompson, Founder & CEO of Inspirations by Gail LLC, is a critically acclaimed author of many articles and books; former secondary school teacher; and former Executive Director of Equity at Illuminate Education. During her years as the Wells Fargo Endowed Professor of Education at Fayetteville State University, she created and served as Director of the Black Men Teaching (BMT) Program, and supervised doctoral students. In addition to creating and implementing “The Literacy Club,” an afterschool reading incentive program for struggling readers at several schools, Dr. Thompson has appeared on numerous television and... More About Author

Rufus Thompson

Rufus Thompson is a retired educator. He wrote part of the Heath (now Houghton Mifflin) Middle Level Literature series and High School Anthology. Starting in 1988, he trained teachers throughout California on how to implement technol­ogy into the curriculum using best practices and sound classroom principles and taught middle school for 17 years before becoming the technology coordi­nator of the Mountain View School District in Ontario, California. He also served as a representative on the San Bernardino County BestNet Advisory Board to Superintendents, and his Middle School Journalism program was recognized by the National Middle School... More About Author

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