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Introduction

by Joseph K. Hasenstab

As a kid, I suffered from dyslexia. No one talked about it back then, I didn’t even know I had it. I just knew that it was tough getting through school and I had to work hard to read and do my lessons. I noticed that some teachers who worked with me got through to me, inspired me, and helped me learn. Others did not. We couldn’t connect and I wondered why.

The dyslexia somehow cured itself, and I made it successfully through school and on to college. I ended up becoming a teacher myself. I taught for ten years in two school districts. There again, I noticed that some teachers seemed to succeed with students and enjoy teaching, while others were frustrated, unable somehow to get through to their students on any consistent basis. Again, I wondered why.

I began to interview and study the teachers whose skills and per-formance patterns produced results—the ones people considered their “best” teachers. These were the educators whose verbal and nonverbal skills, strategies, anddecisionmaking shone; they seemed to have more tools in their tool kits. They could read their students and anticipate their next moves.

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