Wayside teaching is about intentionally practicing what educators do every day in perhaps unintentional ways: relate to students. This practical, research-based guide illustrates how wayside teaching—the informal curriculum, implicit instruction, and mentoring that happens in sometimes unintentional ways—can be intentionally practiced across grade levels to enhance learning and boost student outcomes. Through a framework focused on attitudes, approaches, and actions, and using vignettes that illuminate wayside teaching in action, Sara Davis Powell demonstrates how reaching out to students in formal and informal situations helps create a culture of belonging and safety that strengthens a student’s self-image, confidence, resiliency, and cognitive processes. Offering invaluable resources, including student surveys for learning more about your students and an annotated booklist for promoting acceptance and compassion, Wayside Teaching reflects the powerful influence that teachers’ actions can have on their students’ academic and personal lives.
Sara Davis Powell is a teacher— from elementary, middle, and high school classrooms to teacher preparation as a professor and chair of the Department of Education at Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. Her most recent books include An Introduction to Education: Choosing Your Teaching Path (2009) and Introduction to Middle School (2nd ed., in press).