In this provocative and moving essay, Clio Stearns, a Bank Street educated teacher, toggles back and forth between moments with her young daughter who daily grows more attached to books and moments with her fifth grade students who remain disconnected from her carefully chosen texts. Refracted through a psychoanalytic lens and a deeply caring heart, Stearns’ description of her classroom practices offers a canny account of all that she must give up in order to see through and past her students’ resistance. In a surprising turn of events she learns to join with her students as they become curious readers of the world that really matters to them.

Author Biography

Clio Stearns is a learning specialist at an independent school in Boston, where she works with upper elementary students in literacy and mathematics. She consults on curriculum for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project and has taught in New York City public schools as well as in the Russian Far East. She holds an MSEd in childhood education and literacy from Bank Street College.



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