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Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Creating a Dynamic Classroom


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Table of Contents

Introduction Chapter 1: How Do I Build an Affirming Classroom Community? Chapter 2: How Do I Keep Students at the Center? Chapter 3: How Can I Design Effective, Fun, and Engaging Learning for Students? Chapter 4: How Can I Make Assessments Work for Me and My Students? Chapter 5: What Are the Things I Need to Know.. But Are Rarely Discussed in a Teacher Training Program? References

About the Author

Serena Pariser, M.A., has twelve years classroom experience in public and charter schools from kindergarten to 12th grade. She has taught in some of the most challenging school settings from coast to coast. In addition to her extensive experience in urban school settings, she also has experience in affluent schools, and has truly seen all sides of education. Most of her full time teaching experience is at the middle school level, although she has experience in high school and elementary school settings. She earned her master's degree in Educational Technology from San Diego State University. She has been a teacher, teacher coach, curriculum designer, and has held leadership positions in school settings. Serena was humbled to be recognized as Teacher of the Year at Gompers Preparatory Academy. She has been invited to present at three consecutive Character Matters conferences at University of San Diego about integrating character education into the Common Core curriculum. Furthermore, she co-presented at the 2015 UCSD Diving Deep: Common Core and NGSS conference. Serena was a three-year member of the advisory board at the Character Education Resource Center at University of San Diego. She later transitioned into the role of an assistant to the Character Education Resource Center and then to Lead Administrator to the 2017 21st Annual Character Matters Conference, that brings together administrators and teachers from all over the country. In addition, Serena was selected to be a National Evaluator for Schools of Character, where she evaluated elementary schools' character education programs and determined if they were eligible to be a National School of Character. In addition to her educational work in the United States, Serena has expanded her educational knowledge around the globe. She coached teachers and modeled best practices and engagement strategies in Kathmandu, Nepal and also taught in rural parts of Turkey. Serena was selected as a U.S. Ambassador with Fulbright Distinguished Teachers Award, which gave her an opportunity to coach teachers in Botswana on engagement strategies, smart technology uses, and best practices in the classroom. Serena has a national audience of educators on social media and her website at www.serenapariser.com, where she writes educational articles for teachers around the country and globe. She currently works as Assistant Director of Field Experience at University of San Diego, where she has a broader influence on new teachers entering the profession. She also instructs a seminar class for new teachers. Dr. Victoria Lentfer is an education instructor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She teaches classroom management and middle level courses. She is an educational consultant and founder of the CALM Classroom Management Program, which is a comprehensive behavior management and teacher leader program that provides communication models to guide teachers and students to an inclusive and productive classroom. She has more than 20 years of experience of providing instructional support and teaching at both the middle and high school urban districts, and extensive work with incarcerated youth. Victoria has also been a Trailblazer Leader and keynote speaker for the Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE).


A must-read for classroom teachers, for teacher leaders/mentors, for teachers-intraining, and for teachers' instructors. All great teachers know that there are five essential things that they need to know and do to create a dynamic classroom. This book answers the five "big questions." In our current environment, teachers are asking for help creating a dynamic classroom. There isn't another book on the market like it. This book is the answer to how to create a dynamic classroom that is student-centered, engaging, relationship-building, goal-oriented, and lively. -- Edward DeRoche * Director, Character Education Resource Center Department of Learning & Teaching, University of San Diego *
Serena Pariser and Victoria Lentfer offer us exemplary classroom practices, teacher wisdom, and a healthy dose of optimism. They encourage us to "take a deep breath" and intentionally choose our next small step. The answers in this book can minimize stress, help teachers avoid burnout, and improve teacher retention. -- Carol Pelletier Radford * Author of Teaching With Light, Mentoring in Action, and The First Years Matter *
Serena Pariser and Victoria Lentfer's Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Creating a Dynamic Classroom provides newer teachers with answers to common questions that linger in the brain of a newer teacher. As a newer teacher myself, I wish a book like this existed when I started out. This book is engaging, informative, and so much more. If you know a new teacher, work with a new teacher, or are a new teacher, this book is absolutely for you and will make the perfect gift for a new teacher in your life. Each section includes helpful tips and is easily organized and accessible. This book is truly an amazing guide for newer teachers, and I highly recommend it as it will form the perfect basis for that exciting and powerful start of a new journey. Teaching can be many things, but this book is truly a game changer for anyone starting out. -- Susan Jachymiak * Teacher, Leader, and Author *
Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Creating a Dynamic Classroom embraces the need for engagement of both the student and the teacher. It's a book that not only helps a student to thrive as a learner but also helps a teacher to thrive as a coach, a guide, and a facilitator. Each chapter launches with an "Imagine This" scenario, and then breaks down and deconstructs what makes that moment in the classroom engaging and successful. The suggestions nod to what we all feel in the moment of classroom stress and give alternate solutions that are efficient and doable. This is a book that shares strategies for Monday, not someday. -- Heather Wolpert-Gawron * Author of Just Ask Us: Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement *

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