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Roxanna Elden Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

See Me After Class (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rudy's New Human (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Adequate Yearly Progress (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Roxanna Elden is a literary fiction author best known for her debut novel “Adequate Yearly Progress” that she published in 2018. She loves to call herself a writer of teaching and teacher of writing. In her work, she combines more than a decade of experience as a public speaker and public-school teacher to bring to light issues in education. Elden published her first work “See Me After Class” in 2009. The book became a bestselling title and was a favorite among teachers as it became a staple for educator training programs and school districts across the United States. She has gone on to be featured in publications such as “Education Week,” “NPR,” “The Atlantic,” “The New York Times,” and “The Washington Post” among many others. Roxanna got her experience teaching all manner of students from middle school, elementary school, adult education, night school, day school summer and Saturday school in Miami, Chicago, and Houston. She has also given speeches on some big stages including “The Myth of the Super Teacher,” a TED-style talk that she presented at a 2013 Education Writers Association national seminar that has garnered more than 40,000 views. Apart from speaking and writing, she is also a teacher at creative workshops which she organizes with the Miami Book Fair.

Elden’s “Adequate Yearly Progress” is a story that follows the adventures of a group of teachers. She chronicles how their personal lives have a bearing on their professional lives in a story that she says is “The Office” set in an urban high school. She started writing the novel during the National Novel Writing Month and for once got a taste of what it was like to do it. For years, she had been bribing several of her students with pizza and extra credit for participating but had never thought to do so herself. But then one of her students asked her why don’t you also take the challenge. It was the kick in the behind she needed to get started. A bulk of the inspiration for the novel came from experiences she had during the school day. However, some nuances can only come from watching how students react to a bug walking across the ceiling or listening to students during a test prep pep rally. Since Roxanna wrote “See Me After Class,” she had been jotting down notes on her experiences and hence, she had a lot of material to work with. All she needed to do now was work out how the different pieces fit into one story.

For Roxanna Elden, the most important thing while writing her debut piece of fiction was the myth of the super teacher. She has always been portrayed as a young spirit, sassy teacher with a can-do attitude that cares about the students more, has not learned the word can’t, and proceeds to achieve what has never been done before. Many such stories had some silly assertions like “believing in students is the key” or other such unproven things and she set out to set this right in “Adequate Yearly Progress.” For Roxanna, the missing element in teaching was the same thing you would find in a “Scrubs,” “Parks, and Recreation” or “The Office” workplace. Teachers too like other professionals have their own story arcs and are recognizable as individuals. Just like in any other workplace, there are conflicts other than learning the job and figuring out what cant and can be done. Teachers are people and their personal lives are impacted by what is happening in the classroom and vice versa. For instance, if a teacher broke up with an ex and came to the class and a student said something that reminded them of the fight, their reaction will be colored by the events of the past night.

Roxanna Elden’s “Adequate Yearly Progress” is a novel that opens at the start of a new school year. It is a time when familiar challenges rear their head at the struggling high school named Brae Hill Valley. Apart from the professional challenges that are common at the start of the year, the teachers too have their individual issues that may just spill over into their work. Lena Wright an English teacher and spoken word poet has always had issues connecting with the kids while Hernan Hernandez has no such problems when teaching biology but cannot muster the courage in front of the woman he is interested in. Maybelline Galang the math teacher is struggling with parenting her teenage daughter even as Coach Ray works to motivate a football team beset by myriad challenges, as it hobbles towards another successful season. Kaytee Mahoney is the idealistic history teacher only in her second year of teaching. She has been blogging in recent months and her blog has been gaining momentum though it has started to veer away from classroom reality. Things are complicated even further when the new superintendent makes new rules in his quest to leave a mark on the school.

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