Congratulations to Kathryn Fishman-Weaver and Stephanie Walter on the release of their latest book, Connected Classrooms: A People-Centered Approach for Online, Blended, and In-Person Learning (Solution Tree Press).
This new book is an important and timely resource on cultivating connection in online, blended, and global classrooms.
Kathryn Fishman-Weaver says, “After doing so much work together in curriculum development and conference planning, it has been a dream of mine to write a book with Stephanie.” The two have led conferences in the U.S., Brazil, and Vietnam and have co-written online and blended courses at the middle, high school, and collegiate levels. “We have kicked around the idea of working on a book for a long time; however, there was a key moment during the COVID pandemic when we realized this is the book we needed to write. We had partnered with Columbia Public Schools to launch an online elementary school, and Stephanie and I were moments away from meeting with the hundreds of courageous teachers who would lead this work. What did we want to say to them? How could we build connection in ways that would support their practice? What had we learned from our own work in blended and global education that might be of value? How could we begin to say thank you for the brave work these educators were embarking on? These are some of the questions we explore in this new book.”
Stephanie Walter shares, “This book flowed out of the conversations, stories, and moments shared with students and teachers in all sorts of learning contexts. If I could share only one main message with a new teacher or encourage veteran teachers as they carry forward, it would be that connections are the heart of everything we do as educators. Our students and colleagues have so much to teach us about how conversations, perspectives, small and big moments, and the fabric of our everyday interactions create meaning that allows us all to find our voice and go after our passions and goals. I’m grateful for the voices in this book that root us on to that meaningful connection and can’t wait to see what other conversations might be sparked by this book.”
In addition to the strategies and stories from Stephanie and Kathryn, Connected Classrooms also features essays and insights from across the Mizzou Academy and University of Missouri’s College of Education and Human Development communities. Congratulations to the following faculty, staff, and friends of Mizzou Academy who contributed narratives, served in focus groups, and shared the stories, insights, and strategies that brought this book to life: Alicia Bixby, Dr. Ta Boonseng, Dr. Adrian Clifton, Jill Clingan, Lisa DeCastro, Dr. Sherry Denney, Jeff Healy, Chris Holmes, Lou Jobst, Diane Johnson, Kimberly Kester, Jeff Kopolow, Megan Lilien, Roberta Mayumi da Silva, Katie McClintic, Matt Miltenberg, Anthony Plogger, David Prats Vidal, Karen Scales, Greg Soden, Nina Sprouse, Nancy Stoker, Brian Stuhlman, Marilyn Toalson, and Dr. Jason Williamson.
Publisher’s Description (Solution Tree)
Create a positive learning environment for student engagement and enrichment.
Reimagine your school community. This practical guidebook will help you shift your mindset of online and blended learning from “backup plan” to unprecedented opportunity for rich connections and high-level learning. New and veteran teachers alike will gain insight on how to build in-person and online relationships with students and coworkers to achieve a learning community that supports social-emotional learning, equitable and inclusive instruction, and academic success.
Educators of hybrid learning environments will:
- Understand why relationship building is fundamental to student success and gain best practices for establishing this foundation
- Discover new blended, online, and in-person strategies for strengthening connections with your diverse students
- Gain strategies for offering instruction that is affirming, representative of our diverse world, and rooted in equity
- Be empowered to think critically about and to change systems currently in place that limit students’ ability to connect and thrive
- Choose strategies that fit your teaching style from the myriad of vibrant experiences contributed by educators around the world
One of Mizzou Academy’s strategic priorities is leveraging strengths. This priority points the team (1) to become a premiere provider of online/blended programs in intercultural contexts, and (2) to showcase faculty and staff leadership in this area. Connected Classrooms speaks to both of these goals and in true Mizzou Academy fashion it does so with strategy, many voices, heart, and even a little poetry.
Connected Classrooms is available in both Kindle and print editions at all major and independent bookstores.