Forward by Dr. Gerald Achenbach

"Teach with your heart; your subject matter will take care of itself," says
Peter W. Riffle. Could it be any clearer? Could it be any simpler... yet, could it be
any more challenging?

The Cloud Chaser brings together stories of real students and their challenges
and accomplishments, teaching tips that have been tested and perfected, and Riffle's
self-reflections on his personal learning disabilities and how he has overcome those

After more than thirty years of teaching, Riffle admits that he knows of no college
course that will actually prepare someone for his or her first teaching assignment.
He hopes that by sharing his life in the classroom, future teachers and those new to
the field, will be better prepared to face the reality of teaching. Through colorful
stories about a wide range of students and descriptions of hands-on, trial-and-error
classroom strategies, you'll learn how Riffle developed his classroom rules and how he
learned to live by them.

You'll find that success grows from risk taking. In one of his examples, Riffle shares
a story from many years ago about trust. He tells about when he tacked a twenty-dollar
bill on the classroom bulletin board one Monday morning and informed the class (a very
challenging group of high school students) that he would take down that same twenty-dollar
bill on Friday afternoon. The gamble worked - he trusted the students and they honored that
trust by leaving the money tacked to the bulletin board. Confronted by a student as to why
he would have taken such a chance, Riffle responded, "You guys are my friends and you
don't steal from your friends."

The heart of the book lies in the dozens of short anecdotal accounts about former students.
These captivating stories celebrate many success stories of special education students. In
addition, Riffle also addresses the many real issues teachers must face with students such
as drugs, poverty, depression, and death.

Every teacher says at some point in his career, "With all I've seen and heard, I could
write a book." Well, here it is. Riffle has taken the time to do what all teachers have
promised to do at one time or another - write a book! I'm certain you'll find as much enjoyment
in reading his book as Pete did in reliving those thirty years as he wrote the book.

Rarely does a school administrator meet a teacher who is genuinely a one-of-a-kind educator
and essentially irreplaceable. I've been fortunate in meeting someone who meets these criteria.
He is Mr. Peter Riffle, an extraordinary special education teacher.

Gerald Achenbach, Ed.D.
Friend and Fellow Educator