Former high school English teacher turned education reformer, Pauline Hawkins, has signed with independent publisher WordCrafts Press. Hawkins’ first book, Uncommon Core: 25 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in a Cookie Cutter Educational System, is set to release in both trade paperback and all major eBook formats on April 27, 2015. The project will be distribution by Ingram Content Group, the world’s largest distributor of physical and digital content.
Drawing on her own experience as both a public school teacher and a mother of public school students, Hawkins relates to both sides of the educational debate that finds governmental and administrative forces using children as a bargaining chip to be played rather than as individuals to be nurtured. As the government increasingly contributed to a perfect storm of legislation surrounding Common Core, high-stakes testing and teacher evaluations, everyone involved got hurt, especially the students, who had little to no say in the matter.
“Students never have, and never will fit into a standardized box,” Hawkins declares. “I refuse to participate in that kind of teaching. I could no longer support a broken system that was hurting, rather than helping, our precious children.”
Hawkins famously resigned from her position as a high school Honors English teacher, in a letter that went viral, generating more than 100,000 hits during the first week after it was posted. While Hawkins, who now serves as an adjunct English teacher at Great Bay Community College in Portsmouth, NH, continues to advocate for education reform, her purpose in writing Uncommon Core has little to do with politics and much to do with helping parents prepare their children to succeed within the current educational system.
“I hope to facilitate a partnership between parents and teachers by giving parents a glimpse into the classroom,” Hawkins explains. “I don’t pretend to be a child psychologist or an expert in child rearing, but I am a teacher and a mother who has observed much and learned which traits lead to educational success. I am not implying that students need to have all of these skills or traits on the first day of school in order to be successful. Children are a work in progress; they will grow, learn, improve and sometimes take a few steps backwards, but if we are all working together to create the best scenario for our children, the success rate increases exponentially.”