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DOUBLE TAB TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET Preface Until Lizbeth entered my life, I had believed I was a wonderful teacher. But it turned out that years of experience and my college degree were no match for this five-year-old. She threw paint on the windows and turned a favorite tape into a twisted mass of ribbon. She was fluent in the vilest profanity. Dur- ing a tantrum, she head-butted me hard enough to crack my rib. Lizbeth was first to arrive in the morning, last to leave in the afternoon, and the only one who never came down with chicken pox. That year with Lizbeth was painful and challenging. But more importantly, that year I started on a journey that was to change the way I taught forever. Lizbeth crossed my path after I had a few years of experience with chil- dren. By then I had learned classroom management from teachers with far more experience than I had. I gave my kids clear limits and time-outs. They received praise when they behaved and stern words combined with “the look” when they did not. I saw, I tried, I conquered. It was the year of stickers, a student-of-the-week phase, and gold tokens for good nappers. With each management technique, I gained more and more control over the children in my care. To me, Lizbeth appeared to be a stubborn, spoiled, headstrong girl who needed to learn that she wasn’t the boss of the universe. And I was determined to be the one to teach her that lesson. I reached deep into my bag of tricks and techniques in an effort to control and manage her. When she crashed a bike, I took away her outside time. She demolished the class gingerbread house, so I forced her to sit in the time-out chair until she apologized to the other chil- dren. When she bombarded an innocent boy with her infamous profanity, I ix COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL