Mentoring and Coaching: A Lifeline for Teachers in a Multicultural Setting
Publication Year: 2010
“These two remarkable educators not only document the development of their own relationship from mentor/mentee to professional colleagues, they also draw from their own experiences, research studies, and the real voices of countless new teachers to provide an excellent, hands-on guide for perfecting the mentoring role in multicultural settings. Kudos!”
—Lisa Delpit, Eminent Scholar, Executive Director
Center for Urban Education and Innovation
Help new teachers thrive in culturally and linguistically diverse school settings!
The challenges of teaching in a culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) school, including language barriers, special needs, and teacher isolation, can be especially overwhelming for early-career teachers. This unique book on mentoring and coaching new teachers is specifically designed for multicultural school settings, although educators in all settings can benefit.
The authors draw from their own experience ...
- Front Matter
- Back Matter
- Subject Index
- Chapter 1: Teacher-to-Teacher: Making a Difference
- Teachers Making a Difference
- Enhanced Personal Growth
- From the Voice of Magda
- From the Voice of Denise
- Chapter 2: The Voice of the Struggling Teacher
- Typical Stages of Teacher Development
- Managing Tips
- Chapter 3: Teacher Leaders and Their Roles as Mentors
- Teachers as Leaders
- The Role of the Mentor
- What Do the Voices of New Teachers Say About Mentors and Their Roles?
- What We Now Know
- Chapter 4: Characteristics of Effective Coaching
- Components of Effective Coaching
- Designs for Effective Peer Coaching
- The Art of Coaching
- Coaching and Intergenerational and Cultural-Linguistic Differences
- Chapter 5: Communication
- Intercultural Communication
- Nonverbal Communication
- Listening in Intercultural Settings
- Intergenerational Differences in Communication
- Written Communication
- Intercultural Communication and the Standards of the Profession
- Appendix 5.1: Project GATE Newsletter
- Chapter 6: Mentoring in a Large Multicultural Urban District: Induction Programs and a Case Study
- What Does the Research Say About Retention of Beginning Teachers?
- What an Induction Program Should Look Like
- A Case Study
- Appendix 6.1: Beginning Teacher Questionnaire
- Appendix 6.2: Interview Question Guide
- Appendix 6.3: Project GATE (Getting Assistance for Teaching Effectively) 2006–2007 School Year
- Appendix 6.4: Sample Special Education Mentor Teacher Application
- Appendix 6.5: Sample Special Education New and Early-Career Teacher Application
- Appendix 6.6: Project GATE 2006–2007 Yearly Calendar At-a-Glance
- Chapter 7: Professional Development Through Learning Opportunities
- Professional Development
- Professional Development That Embraces Diversity
- Facilitating Adult Learning Opportunities Effectively
- Study Groups
- Instructional Data Discussions
- Professional Learning Communities
- Personal and Professional Growth
- Chapter 8: Lessons Learned
- What We Have Learned
- What Are the Lessons Learned, and, Just as Important, from Whom Did We Learn Them?
- From the Voices of Two Teachers
- What Are the Connecting Threads Woven into the Experiences of Successful Mentoring Relationships and Successful New Teachers?
Praise for Mentoring and Coaching: A Lifeline for Teachers in a Multicultural Setting[Page i]
“The authors take an important multicultural approach to mentoring by showing how teachers from different cultural heritages translate concepts into practices. Their concrete examples at different grade levels explain how struggling teachers can become successful. Easy to read and understand, this book contains valuable resources, self-assessment tools, and tips for effective communication that will ensure successful implementation of mentoring programs.”—
“In this book you hear the voices of new teachers who have struggled with the myriad of challenges that drive so many good and potentially effective teachers out of a career in education. Mentoring and coaching have made a difference in the professional lives of many motivated and talented teachers who have, in turn, improved the learning outcomes of their students. Gudwin and Salazar-Wallace provide a realistic and practical guide to successful mentoring and coaching that is grounded in their own successful experiences with struggling teachers and students.”—
“Sustaining young, spirited, gifted teachers in our public schools, especially in our urban systems, is one of our country's greatest challenges in education. This book, written by two educators who have brilliantly faced that challenge and helped create a comprehensive program to retain those teachers, is a blueprint for the nation's ‘way out’ of losing the very people who can inspire a higher level of academic achievement for our children.”—
“Using the voices of teachers, mentors, and school leaders, this book is an insightful analysis of the role that mentoring and teacher induction programs play in the retention and success of urban public school teachers. A must-read for all stakeholders serious about teacher success in today's challenged climate surrounding public education. This book represents the hope that is necessary to retain the next generation of public school teachers.”—[Page ii]
Copyright © 2010 by Corwin
All rights reserved. When forms and sample documents are included, their use is authorized only by educators, local school sites, and/or noncommercial or nonprofit entities that have purchased the book. Except for that usage, no part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Gudwin, Denise M.
Mentoring and coaching: a lifeline for teachers in a multicultural setting/Denise M. Gudwin and Magda D. Salazar-Wallace; foreword by Joan T. Wynne.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-4129-7957-3 (cloth)
ISBN 978-1-4129-7958-0 (pbk.)
1. Multicultural education—Florida—Dade County. 2. Education, Bilingual—Florida—Dade County. 3. Teachers—Training of—Florida—Dade County. 4. Mentoring—Florida—Dade County. 5. Personal coaching—Florida—Dade County. 6. Peer review—Florida—Dade County. I. Salazar-Wallace, Magda D. II. Title.
This book is printed on acid-free paper.
09 10 11 12 13 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Acquisitions Editor: Dan Alpert
Associate Editor: Megan Bedell
Production Editor: Jane Haenel
Copy Editor: Claire Larson
Typesetter: C&M Digitals (P) Ltd.
Proofreader: Cheryl Rivard
Indexer: Sylvia Coates
Cover and Graphic Designer: Michael Dubowe
List of Tables and Figures[Page vii]Tables
- 2.1 The Dos and Don'ts of Parent Conferences 30
- 2.2 Managing It All: What Works and What Doesn't 31
- 3.1 Common Characteristics of Teacher Leaders 38
- 3.2 If Your New Teacher Says … 39
- 3.3 The Many Roles of a Mentor 41
- 3.4 What Mentoring Activity Did You Like the Most? 46
- 3.5 Setting the Tone: Strategies for the Mentor 51
- 4.1 Comparisons of Professional Learning and the Levels of Impact 55
- 4.2 Self-Assessment for Effective Coaching 57
- 4.3 Do This! Not This! 60
- 4.4 Learning Styles and Cultural Differences 62
- 5.1 What to Do Always and Never in Intercultural Communication 67
- 5.2 Three Cs and an E 70
- 5.3 Tips for Effective Intercultural Communication Interactions 71
- 5.4 Self-Assessment: Tips for Intercultural Communication Success 78
- 5.5 Professional Standards Related to Intercultural Communication Competence 80
- 6.1 Who Should Be Included in Developing an Induction Plan? 97
- 6.2 Mentor Criteria and Interview Questions 99
- 7.1 The Never Evers of Workshop Facilitation 123
- 7.2 Five Principles of Study Groups 126
Sustaining young, spirited, gifted teachers in our public schools, especially in our urban systems, is one of our country's greatest challenges in education. This book, written by two educators who have brilliantly faced that challenge and helped create a comprehensive program to retain those teachers, is a blueprint for the nation's “way out” of losing the very people who can inspire a higher level of academic achievement for our children.
This text substantiates what Asa G. Hilliard III, educator, psychologist, and historian, insisted was necessary for the promotion of powerful teaching. Dr. Hilliard said,
Revolution, not reform, is required to release the power of teaching. … Virtually, all teachers possess tremendous power which can be released, given the proper exposure. We can't get to that point by tinkering with a broken system. We must change our intellectual structures, definitions and assumptions; then we can release teacher power. (1997)
Our large school systems are, indeed, broken. No quick fix or “tinkering” is going to work. The “fixes” offered in most charter schools and voucher systems have failed because they have ignored the lessons that Hilliard and these two practitioners hold to be true—that “proper exposure” of new teachers to expert professionals in the field and to democratic classroom philosophy and practices is essential. The hegemonic “structures” of institutional top-down leadership that privileges only the sons and daughters of the powerful elite demoralize all our teachers and keeps the nation's schools married to mind-numbing instruction and policies. The larger the system, the less it seems to challenge the racist and classist “definitions and assumptions” that constantly stifle the imaginations of the diverse populations of students who show up every day in classrooms across this nation. These policies and practices, however, are countered in the praxis advocated by Gudwin and Salazar-Wallace.
Unlike many other reform agents, these authors recognize the need and the methods for nurturing young professionals who work with our children in outdated and uncreative classrooms. They understand clearly the need to change the mindset of teachers who fall victim to society's notions that black, brown, and white children who are forced to live in poverty cannot [Page x]academically excel. Gudwin and Salazar-Wallace create experiences for teachers to grapple with these societal myths and come to the other side—to a belief in the capacity of all children to soar when delivered a quality education. Understanding that all parents and communities bring wisdom to the table of education, the authors and the coaches teach their teachers how to encourage an honest reciprocity of knowledge-sharing in their classrooms. These teachers are coached to invite students and parents into the learning circle to enrich the curriculum and create culturally responsive pedagogy.
Mentoring and Coaching: A Lifeline for Teachers in a Multicultural Setting helps teachers and schools transcend the troubled waters of intellectual structures that have for too long trapped our professionals into practices that do not work for children or communities. As educational experts like Freire and Macedo (1987, p. 122) suggested decades ago, schools are never politically neutral. They either support the status quo or they create contexts where children learn to transform their worlds. Our teachers should be agents who can drive education beyond the boundaries of the status quo. If we are to push America toward the realization of its democratic promise for all people, not just for the power brokers, then we must develop teachers and schools that attend to liberation and transformation for everyone they serve. This is the “revolution” that Hilliard envisioned for our teachers. In fact, our democracy depends on the courage of our teachers to become co-creators in education for the liberation of children from all cultures and linguistic backgrounds.
As Bob Moses, Civil Rights legend, MacArthur Genius Fellow, and president of the Algebra Project, suggests, “All the children in the nation are the children of the nation” (2004). Our new teachers need the guidance of master teachers who understand the ramifications of that reality on the instructional philosophy and practices in their classrooms. This text can support that dialogue and praxis.
Moreover, this text is a rubric whose wisdom comes from real stories of real successes of collaboration between a large university and a giant urban school system in nurturing and mentoring beginning teachers so that they do the right thing for all the nation's children. Many of us are searching for effective induction plans for our teachers. Gudwin and Salazar-Wallace give us a “hands-on” model to guide us there.References1987). Literacy. New York: Bergin & Garvey., & (1997). The structure of valid staff development. Journal of Staff Development, 18(2).(2004). Promotional video. Miami: Center for Urban Education & Innovation at Florida International University.(
We are happy to have this opportunity to share some wonderful success stories with you regarding working with new teachers. Whether you are a new teacher yourself or soon to be a new teacher, a mentor or master teacher, a school-site or central office administrator, a professional developer, an instructional coach or other school-site support personnel, or a university professor, you will gain practical knowledge linked to research and real-life stories that will positively impact the way you do business. Whether your area of expertise is early childhood, elementary, secondary, general education, special education, literacy, content, the arts, technical, foreign languages, or any other field of education, you will see a connecting thread in the lessons to be learned from stories shared, successes experienced, and struggles conquered in this book.
We also extend an invitation to you to replicate our work with new teachers—to add to your existing knowledge of induction, thereby expanding your own professional and personal growth and development.
As fellow colleagues and educators, we are excited to share great things about working with new teachers with you:
Chapter 1 provides you with an insight of our mentoring experiences and how mentoring positively affected our own personal and professional growth, which will help you in making the connections of successful mentoring. We will also reflect upon the characteristics of high-quality mentors.
Chapter 2 opens the door for you to get an insight on what a new teacher feels—and we will share with you the voice of the struggling teacher. We have much to learn from new teachers, if only we listen, really listen, to what they are and are not saying, and if we ask the right questions and provide the right level of support.
Chapter 3 delves into the concept of teachers as leaders, looking at personal experiences and characteristics, then taking us into the role of the mentor, and what we, as exemplary teachers, should do and how we should do it, with practical research and ideas that really work.
Chapter 4 provides you with the characteristics of effective coaching, with awareness of age, cultural, and linguistic differences as one of the highlights.
Chapter 5 shares the ins and outs of effective communication and its importance in working with new teachers.
[Page xii]Chapter 6 provides you a glimpse of an actual case study, featuring one particular program that excelled in supporting new teachers, with a 97% retention rate. This particular case study focused primarily on special education teachers with a small percentage of general education teachers. However, the content and concepts can be transferred easily to any group of teachers. It is not meant to be inclusive for only special education teachers, as that type of labeling would limit the readers’ opportunities for replicating in any locale. The key? The commitment and passion apparent in the case study are woven into the necessary components of a highly successful program. We also discuss effective induction programs in general and what they should look like.
Chapter 7 focuses on quality professional development and how it can impact teachers, whether they are new to the field or seasoned mentors.
Chapter 8 enlightens you with lessons learned through the mentoring process, including tips on how to replicate one example of a successful program, as well as personal experiences shared by two new teachers.
Culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) populations in most American schools are increasing—children from CLD heritages attend public school all over the United States, with an estimated 4.1 million students (8.5%) as English language learners (ELL) (Paige, 2004, p. 4). In Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS), our district and the fourth largest school district in the nation, the ELL population is 52.5%. That's quite a difference from the 8.5% nationally! Our district has the largest minority student population in the state and is the only district in Florida where there are more minority teachers than white, non-Hispanic teachers (Florida Department of Education, 2007). The student population of this particular school system is composed of 9.6% white, non-Hispanic; 27.6% black, non-Hispanic; 60.4% Hispanic; and 2.4% other. The top ten foreign languages spoken by students in this school district are Spanish, Haitian Creole, French, Portuguese, Zhongwen (Chinese), Arabic, Russian, Urdu, Hebrew, and Vietnamese (Miami-Dade County Public Schools [M-DCPS], 2006b). Teachers face many challenges in teaching, but add to that the CLD factors, and the challenges can be overwhelming to a beginning teacher, especially when dealing with the barrier of communication of both students and parents.
Additionally, all teachers have new challenges, as children with disabilities are now receiving more and more instruction in general education classrooms due to current legislation, which requires them to have access to the general education curriculum, as well as students of diverse backgrounds. Added to the increased diversity of the children attending school is the continuing problem of lack of diversity in the current generation of teachers nationwide. Furthermore, in a summary of Pugach (2005), in Cochran-Smith and Zeichner (2005), “Despite the trend toward preparing prospective teachers to work with students with disabilities, few studies of program effects have been studied” (p. 25). Retention of beginning teachers and prevention of burnout continue to challenge public school personnel. A study conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics [Page xiii](2005) shows that approximately 27.7% of new teachers leave the profession within the first three years, and in urban districts the attrition rate can jump to an alarming 30% to 50% in the first year. In the state of Florida, 11% of new graduates who taught in Florida public schools left the classroom after one year (Florida Department of Education, 2003). In M-DCPS (M-DCPS, 2006b), 17.3% of the teachers were new to the district; however, the teacher turnover rate in M-DCPS in 2005–2006 was 4.65%.
Increasing presence of mentoring programs for beginning teachers has resulted in an increase of teacher retention. In the past five years, M-DCPS has successfully implemented a beginning teacher program that has shown promising results in terms of retention. Our district sponsors numerous comprehensive teacher induction programs, one of which is a systematic structure of support for new and early-career special education teachers to assist them in becoming competent and effective professionals, focusing on mentor teacher leader partnerships and professional development for both the mentor teacher leaders and the new and early-career teachers. This particular program, Project GATE, a successful mentoring teacher induction program that was specifically designed for a particular group of teachers, in collaboration with a local state university and an urban school district, resulted in 97% retention of new and early-career special education teachers at the end of their first year, and is highlighted in Chapter 6. Brock and Grady (2007) suggest that such programs expect multiple outcomes such as retention of qualified teachers and enhanced professional growth.
Based upon both our personal and professional experiences, we anticipate sharing the successes of the new and early-career teachers and their mentors, despite the numerous challenges. We have effectively impacted their teaching practices, thereby creating a community of diverse learners that supported one another through various mentoring components. But besides all of that, something else occurred … there was a community formed, a family was established. As one new teacher reflects,
It provided me a family of support; it was OK to cry, OK to get up one more day and do what I do. … I felt there was a sense of community; I had a sense of belonging. I didn't feel like a fish in a big ocean with nowhere to go. It felt like my family, that I was not alone.
We hope to share with you, the reader, that this is about the teachers, the new ones and the veterans, it is about real teachers from whom we can learn great things.
Acknowledgments[Page xiv]Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence on one another, and of strength to be derived by unity.—
This book was made possible by a large team of people and we would like to acknowledge them and their contributions.
To Our Families and Friends: Thank you for your support and gentle push when we needed it. We could not have done this without you. Thank you Andy, Josh, Matt, Annie, Zach, Diana, Kaylee, Anthony, Renato (Gordi), Magda (mom), Carla, Martin, Marty, Carlos, Renato Jr., Lisette, Nicolette, and Monique. A special thank-you to Andy Gudwin, Anthony Wallace, Renato Salazar (Gordi), and Vicky Dobbs for their constant support and assistance.
To Corwin: To the best editor ever, Dan Alpert, thank you for your guidance and gentle support throughout the project. To Megan Bedell, Jane Haenel, and Claire Larson, thank you for keeping us on our toes.
To Florida International University: Your collaboration and vision in working with the school system on this very worthwhile project is very much appreciated. Thank you Dr. Patty Barbetta and Ms. Melanie Morales for your incredible support. Thank you Dr. Ann Nevin for your unstoppable belief in us. You have been our true mentor through it all, always believing in us and mentoring us along the journey.
To the District Office Staff of Miami-Dade County Public Schools: Project GATE was a thriving and powerful project due to your support. A very special thank-you to Mr. Ron Felton, Mr. Will Gordillo, Ms. Rosalia Gallo, Ms. Lourdes Camji, Ms. Ava Byrne, Dr. Christine Master, and Ms. Gloria Kotrady. And a very humble thank-you to Ms. Brucie Ball in her memory, whose belief in us and support to us was always unfailing.
To Magda From Denise: Your heart and soul given to this very special group of teachers was the backbone of its success. You truly gave it your all, and I appreciate you and your sincere caring for the success of each team. Without you, Project GATE would have been just another project.
To the New and Early-Career Teachers and Each One of Their Mentors: We would like to give you a heartfelt thank-you for being a part of this project, [Page xv]embracing all that we asked you to handle. Each and every one of you were truly our inspiration. To the mentees, we thank you for your willingness to strive to be the very best you could be, and to the mentors who gave of yourselves unselfishly, we thank you for making a difference in the life of a colleague. Mentees and mentors—you were the meaning of our professional work during the year we were together. You were amazing.
Thank you to the 89 teams, even the ones who wanted to remain nameless!
To Joanna and Jocelyn: Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom with us.Publisher's Acknowledgments
- Claudia and Kristin
- Ingrid and Julie
- Marisel and Michelle
- Natalie and Daniel
- Krisanne and Margaret Joy
- Leslie and Maria
- Monica and Deborah
- Mildred and Marioly
- Damion and Lillian
- Mariela and Myleen
- Pedro and Wendy
- Flemens and Linda
- Margie and Kathleen
- Angel and Mamie
- Antoinette and Kim
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- Maria and Collette
- Linda and Cynthia
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- Karen and David
- Megan and Jeff
- Tina and Wendy
- Cherry and Anita
- Barbara and Mary
- Maria and Jan
- Martiza and Lisa
- Christina and Monica
- Maba and Mario
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- Natalie and Barbie
- Soraya and Jacqueline
- David and Alina
- Darcy and Maria
- Madelin and Daniel
- Tammy and Aida
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- Rita and Michelle
- Maite and Jennifer
- Ana Maria and Clidia
- Natasia and Analee
- Martha and Lilliana
- Marcus and Maria
- Yohonn and Liana
- Jennifer and Dona[Page xvi]
- Star and Kelly
- Carmen and Yvette
- Rafael and Dayana
- Smith and Lisa
- Jaimy and Lourdes
- Elizabeth and Andriane
- Olivia and Michelle
- Ayasha and Myra
- Maria and Tania
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- Carmen and Martha
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- Iliana and Peter
- Lourdes and Maria
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Corwin would like to acknowledge the contributions of the following individuals:
- Rosemary Burnett, District Mentor Consultant
- School District of La Crosse
- La Crosse, WI
- Victoria Duff, Mentor Training Coordinator
- New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Professional Standards
- Trenton, NJ
- Belinda Gimbert, Staff Developer
- Newport News Public Schools
- Newport News, VA
- Mike Greenwood, District Teacher Leader
- Windsor Public Schools
- Windsor, CT
- Deborah Howard, Curriculum Coordinator
- Governor Baxter School for the Deaf
- Falmouth, ME
- Deborah Long, BTSA Induction Coordinator
- Merced Union High School District
- Merced, CA
- Mindy Meyer, Project Director
- New Teacher Alliance, Center for Strengthening the Teaching Profession
- Tacoma, WA
About the Authors
Glossary of Terms[Page 139]
- Bilingual/Biliterate: Ability to speak, read, and write in two languages easily and naturally.
- Camaraderieship: A term coined by a teacher who wanted to communicate her desire for comradeship, to experience a form of camaraderie.
- Case Study: A type of research approach that includes a systematic way of looking at people and events, as well as data collection, analysis, and reporting of results.
- Communication: The process of imparting information, via verbal/spoken language, nonverbal language, such as body language and gestures, and written language. Includes meaning, which is sensitive to cultural inferences, background knowledge, and attending skills.
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) Populations: A demographic shift to a more diverse population that includes all backgrounds of culture and language, with components of language, traditions, gestures, family dynamics, and characteristics.
- Diversity: Variety, assortment, a mixture.
- Induction Programs: Various models utilized throughout districts and states across the nation. Some of the common components include new teacher orientation, induction committee, mentoring, professional development, professional growth plan, and administrative support.
- Intercultural: Situations occurring between two or more cultures of people.
- Intergenerational: Situations occurring between two or more generations of people.
- Instructional Coach: A teacher, mentor, or professional developer who works with and teaches other educators how to use proven instructional methods. To be successful in this role, a coach may wear many “hats” such as exemplary teacher, skillful listener, and trusted friend and confidant. [Page 140]
- Mentor: A more experienced person who assists another person, sometimes in the role of a friend, counselor, colleague, or teacher. Many professions have mentoring programs where new persons in the field have a mentor to turn to for advice, to communicate with in time of need, and to ultimately assist them in becoming successful in their field.
- Nicaraguana, Nicaraguense: (Spanish) A woman from Nicaragua.
- Professional Development: An increase in skill or knowledge, in the form of workshops, mentors, professional learning communities. Sometimes known as staff development.
- Professional Learning Communities (PLCs): Groups of educators paired together for learning as a successful type of professional development. PLCs expand the learning opportunities for educators through engaging in cooperative and collaborative learning in the school or district setting.
- Teacher Leader: A leadership role for teachers. Often it is a shared leadership role that involves collaboration in the day-to-day workings of a school or district, where the teacher shares expertise in the field to increase student performance and overall school success.
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Corwin: A SAGE Company[Page 155]
The Corwin logo—a raven striding across an open book—represents the union of courage and learning. Corwin is committed to improving education for all learners by publishing books and other professional development resources for those serving the field of PreK-12 education. By providing practical, hands-on materials, Corwin continues to carry out the promise of its motto: “Helping Educators Do Their Work Better.”