A teacher will learn a lot about managing a classroom in 31 years, valuable information she can pass on to beginning teachers and students contemplating a career in education.
Former Prattan Virginia "Ginny" (Stitt) Hoover collaborated with two other former teachers on a book that addresses some common concerns:
"If only I had more time!"
"I can't fit another table, desk, or chair in this classroom!"
"Teach? You've got to be kidding! I spend all my time trying to control the kids!"
"My students just didn't get what I taught yesterday. What am I going to do today?"
Nearly a decade ago, ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) was looking for someone to write a book that covered all areas of classroom management — time and space, student behavior, and instructional strategies.
So instead of writing a book and then searching for a publisher, three women had a ready market. ASCD reached out to Joyce McLeod, a senior editor for textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin, and to Jan Fisher, a writer for Teachers Net. They invited Hoover to join them in what was first envisioned as a three-book series but later changed to one book with three major parts to be used as a college text and for professional development.
"Key Elements of Classroom Management" was completed in 2003 and is still for sale by ASCD. It was picked up by quite a few colleges for texts and has done well, Hoover said.
"Just when we thought the book would fade away, a company bought the rights to a Chinese translation," she said. "Then again the Arabic translation was done — completed in 2012. I'm proud that others have seen the value of the book and made the effort to make it available to teachers in many countries."
Hoover recently received her copy of the Arabic translation — it reads from back to front and right to left on the page, she noted. She did question how a country with such a different culture would be able to apply the information in the book, but said if they can take just some of what the veteran teachers shared, it will have been worth the effort. Neither the authors nor ASCD were involved in the translation.
The women had never met when they began collaborating on the book, but knew each other through the Internet. They conference-called to make plans, and each developed her own section, then e-mailed files to each other for input. After more conference-calling and e-mailing over the course of a year, they got the work done, then it took another year to get it published.
"We dearly loved the experience of writing the book," Hoover said. "Truthfully, it was popular enough that we could have written a second edition. We elected not to, as we were all in different places in our retirements. But it continues to influence the world of education through each translation."
Page 2 of 2 - Hoover is the daughter of David and the late Viola Stitt. She spent her growing up years in Pratt, attending North School, Liberty Junior High and Pratt High School. She attended Emporia State University — still named Kansas State Teachers College — in 1968 and taught 31 years in Kansas, at Goodland, Miltonvale, Williamsburg, Macksville and Garden City.
She worked at the state level as a trainer in Six Traits Writing Assessment and was a state writing assessment grader for three years. She also worked at the state level in social studies and served on two consecutive committees rewriting state standards. She retired from teaching in 2000. She has teaching units sold at Teacher Timesavers in Canada, but sys that most of her teaching today is focused on helping her grandchildren.