Dragons in My Classroom by Barbara Kennard Book Tour, Guest Post & Giveaway! {Ends 7/15/22}

Jul 13, 2022 | 2 comments

“In this memoir, Barbara Kennard so expertly captures the array of experiences that teachers encounter—the high and the low, the heartwarming and the hilarious. During her year teaching in Oxford, she comes to learn a new way of approaching both her classroom and her life that makes for an incredibly engaging read. Teachers everywhere will love this book.”—Nadine Kenney Johnstone, writing coach and award-winning author of Of This Much I’m Sure: A Memoir

Book Details:

Dragons In My Classroom: A Teacher’s Memoir by Barbara Kennard
Publisher: She Writes Press, (June 14, 2022)
Category: Memoir, Educator Biographies, Mid-Life Management, Inspirational
Tour dates: June 15, 2022-July 15, 2022
ISBN: 978-1647423650
Available in Print and ebook, 224 pages

Book Description:

As a young book lover with dyslexia, Barbara found the solution to her reading struggles in Miss Gluding, her first-grade teacher, who showed compassion for her student’s plight—and knew how to help her. From that time on, Barbara knew what she wanted to be: a teacher, just like Miss Gluding.

Unfortunately, Barbara also had some bad teachers in the years that ensued—including her sixth-grade teacher, an exacting woman who called attention to Barbara’s learning disabilities in front of classmates. Still wanting to follow in Miss Gluding’s footsteps in 1964, Barbara vowed she would be a better one than her sixth-grade teacher; instead, however, she became very much like her, with unattainable expectations for her students and herself. After seventeen years in the teaching profession, she realized she had to either change her teaching style or change careers. By providence, right as she stood at this crossroads, she was offered the opportunity to teach overseas at The Dragon School in Oxford, England, for a year—an opportunity she jumped at.

In the year that followed, Barbara would rely on her faith in God to give up a lot of what she knew about teaching and learn to do it differently—ways that wouldn’t have room for her perfectionism. In short, she would have to begin again.

Add to Goodreads ~ But Links: Amazon  ~BarnesandNoble  ~ Indiebound  ~  

Review By LAWonder10:

In Barbara Kennard’s memoir, Dragons in My Classroom, she not only shares with her readers the struggle she went through in holding high expectations for herself and others, but she also gives helpful advice to others who may struggle with a similar dilemma. The author also shares her efforts in overcoming some learning problems as she grew up.

If ever one thinks a teacher is overwhelming and too strict, do not be too strict to judge harshly. This teacher exhibited these tendancies because she truly cared.

This memoir was quite interesting. Her relationship with her husband was also very endearing.

The Title wa slightly confusing until one advanced further into the story then realized the “play on words” she used.

The book was very good. The only thing I feel would have made it better is if she would have gone into slight more detail in the teaching technique differences, and at what point in her career she met her husband and “felll in love”.

I offer a Four Stars rating.

This book was gifted me with no pressure to post a positive review. This is my honest review.

Guest Post:

What do I feel is missing in the education of this generation?

Our education system has greatly diminished emphasis on reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. Let’s change the acronym STEM to SHEAM: science, history, English, Arts, Mathematics. (Technology is a type of science and we need history to show us “History never repeats itself. Man always does.” ― Voltaire)

My greatest concern for this generation is this: we aren’t teaching students how to write correct syntax that uses challenging vocabulary and correct paragraph structure.

To teach students these elements of English invite them to read a few pages from a classic piece of literature silently, so they have a personal experience with it first. Then, ask two or three students to each read it aloud to hear the beauty and mechanics of the English language. Ask students to look for words they don’t know and make an educated guess at their meanings using the syntax of the sentence- where they are placed in relation to other words. (This is course presumes students are learning grammar, or at least the parts of speech.)

Next, have them identify a well-constructed paragraph by its engaging topic sentence, vivid supporting details, a strong opposing point of view, and an intriguing concluding sentence which asks a question or points to the next topic sentence. Such a paragraph can be a piece of great writing in itself.

But all this means very little if we don’t grasp that we write what we read. If we read poorly constructed syntax that doesn’t challenge our point of view or teach us original ideas and new vocabulary, we will emulate those weaknesses in our own writing. To avoid this, students need to read classic literature. Here are two short lists of must-read books for middle and high school students:
Middle School: (Grades 5-8)
Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules
So Far from The Bamboo Grove by Yoko
Kawashima Watkins
The Red Pony, by John Steinbeck
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred
The Giver, by Lois Lowery
The Call of The Wild, by Jack London
My Side of The Mountain, by Jean
Craighead George

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
The House on Mango Street by Sandra
Cisneros ( 7-8th grade)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William
Shakespeare (Grades 6 and 7)
High School: (Grades 9-12)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Things Fall Apart, by China Achebe
Deep River by Shizuko Endo
The Woman Warrior by Amy Tan
A Raisin in The Sun, by Lorraine Hansbury
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty White (9th grade)
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
In The Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
Hamlet, By William Shakespeare
Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare

In reading great literature, we can move students away from narratives that focus on who’s right and who’s wrong. Instead, they will enjoy a more intimate experience with texts. Reading classic literature holds up a mirror to our lives, and make us grateful for what we have and who we are, no matter what our circumstances. Great Literature gives us hope for the long haul of life. These stories also engender compassion in us for others. For we are Oliver in Dickens’ classic novel, Oliver Twist; we are the cross dressing Viola in Shakespeare’s hilarious comedy, Twelfth Night; we are Esperanza Cordero, the reluctant heroine of The House on Mango Street; we are John Grimes in James Baldwin’s autobiographical novel, Go Tell It on The Mountain. In reading these and other “Great Books”, we can be changed. CS Lewis said it best, “By reading great literature…I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.”

We also learn to appreciate something else that’s just as important: the beauty of English language, how it works and thus how to best write our own stories.
©Barbara Kennard, author of Dragons in My Classroom, A Teacher’s Memoir

Meet the Author:

Barbara Kennard taught English and performing arts to elementary, middle, and high school students from 1980 to 2015 and has received two teaching awards: The Christa McAuliffe Award for Teaching Excellence and The Barbara Kennard Sixth Grade English Prize, established in her name at The Fessenden School by a Fessenden family.

Barbara lives in Texas with her husband, pianist Brady Millican, and their cat, Piper.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

You Can Find the Tour Schedule Here :

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus June 15 Kickoff & Interview
Bookgirl Goodreads Amazon June 16 Review
Suzie. My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews June 17 Review & Guest Post
Gracie Goodreads June 20 Review
Amy Locks, Hooks and Books June 21 Review & Excerpt
Sal Bound 4 Escape June 23 Guest Review
Nora S. Storeybook Reviews June 28 Guest Review
Bee Book Pleasures July 7 Review
Bee Book Pleasures July 7 Interview
Laura Celticlady’s Reviews July 8 Guest Review
Lu Ann Rockin Book Reviews July 12 Review & Guest Post
Linda Goodreads July 13 Review
Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus July 14 Review

Giveaway Details:

This giveaway is for 3 print copies and is open to the U.S. only. This giveaway ends on July 15, 2022 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

To Enter the Giveaway click on the Rafflecopter below:

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  1. Nancy

    Fantastic cover

  2. Teddy Rose

    I am so glad you enjoyed ‘Dragons In My Classroom’! Thanks so much for hosting Barbara!

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Please note that I only recommend authors and books that I  approve of and  I always have my readers’ best interest at heart. 

Any book or audio that is gifted me is done with no pressure to post a positive review.  The review I give is my honest opinion! 

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