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Reviving the Soul of Teaching

Reviving the Soul of Teaching
Balancing Metrics and Magic

Foreword by Leonard O. Pellicer

June 2008 | 152 pages | Corwin

Published in Association with National Staff Development Council

"This book is wonderful. My colleagues often state that the joy has been taken out of teaching. This book is a wake-up call that should be read by lawmakers at every level. Today I am celebrating the childhood of my students—something that we forget to do."
—Christine Zajac, Principal
Lt. Clayre Sullivan School, Holyoke, MA

There is more to education than teacher-proof curricula and scores on high-stakes tests!

Educators know that genuine teaching involves caring, compassion, and building character—principles that can sometimes take a back seat to short-term goals of standardized performance. This inspirational volume for practicing teachers, student teachers, and school leaders champions the heart and soul of teaching and emphasizes how teachers can influence, inspire, and touch the lives of learners. The book explores the central themes of teaching practice and offers perspectives on:

  • Teaching as an art that promotes creativity, character, and imagination in students
  • Balancing testing and accountability with the art and passion of teaching
  • Authentic being and authentic teaching
  • Reform from the ground level, where educators are making a difference in the lives of their students
  • New directions for accountability mandates

A motivating and empowering guide, this book reminds educators why they went into teaching in the first place!

Foreword by Leonard O. Pellicer
About the Authors
Preface: A Family of Teachers
Introduction: Teaching: Past and Prologue
Historical Roots  
Current Realities  
Schools as Organizations  
Balancing Measurements and Magic  
Starbucks and 3M: Restoring Balance  
1. Reconfirming the Soul of Teaching
Soulful Wisdom  
Supportive Folklore and Narrative  
Bumbling Passion  
Cacophony of Theologies  
The Miracle of Saturn  
2. Making a Difference: The Core of Teaching
Sonny and the Backhoe  
Learning From Excuses  
From Porsche to Prose  
Students as Candles, Teachers as Mirrors  
Sorting Out What Really Matters  
3. School Reform: A Ground-Level Perspective
The Paradox of Change  
Teachers' Outlook  
Human Touch: The Endangered Ingredient  
Janet Hart's Touch  
Missing the Boat  
Parents' Apprehension  
Student Qualms  
Recalibration NCLB  
4. Being Real: The Authentic Teacher
The Patchwork of Teaching  
Miss Juhl  
George Savo  
Yin and Yang  
The Inner Path  
The Sultan of Spunk  
Finding you Genuineness  
5. You Gotta Believe
God Is Dead  
God Is Alive and Well  
The Pygmalion Effect  
Belief Spawns Verve  
Saved From the Sharks  
Pale Gray to Hot Pink  
Hot Pink Tigers  
6. Setting the Spirit Free
The Legacy of Hisory  
The Potency of Symbols and Slogans  
The Inspiration of Heroes  
The Bonding of Rituals  
The Grandeur of Ceremonies  
The Magic of Stories  
7. Speaking Up: Voices from the Trenches
Tuning Out, Signing Up, or Speaking Out?  
Teachers Speak Their Minds  
Balancing Metrics and Magic  
8. Charting a New Course
Hidden Costs  
New Directions for NCLB's Intentions  
Threats to Global Advantage  
Some New Wrinkles  
Simple Things Mean A LOT  
Reviving the Magic  

"A most welcome dose of good sense. The authors offer an energizing call to arms for the teaching profession and a most provocative, inspired, and inspiring antidote to No Child Left Behind. In this 'open letter' to the profession, beleaguered teachers will find comfort, affirmation, and heart."

Roland S. Barth, Author, Lessons Learned

"Through inspirational stories that made me laugh and cry, as well as reports of successful organizations that made me think, this engaging and enlightening book charts a course for restoring passion, vigor, and hope to the calling of teaching. It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about schools, teachers, and children."

Susan Roper, Former Director, University Center for Teacher Education
California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo

"Deal and Redman tackle the restoration of a really sound idea: confidence and belief in classroom teachers and their ability to make a difference in the lives of their students. At a time when state and federal accountability systems have stripped teaching of its inherent joy and magic, these powerful defenders of the teaching profession are determined to put it back. Here is a must-read for those who appreciate what teachers do on a daily basis. Bravo!"

Carl A. Cohn, Superintendent
San Diego Unified School District, CA

"Terrence Deal, America’s strongest voice for reason in education reform, is joined by Peggy Deal Redman in calling for a return to balance in how we view teaching and learning. This eloquent book calls us back from the ledge and makes a powerful case for why education is much more than measures and metrics. A must-read."

Paul Houston, Executive Director
American Association of School Administrators

"This book is wonderful. I sometimes feel like a general getting my troops ready for battle instead of an educator trying to inspire others. My colleagues often state that the joy has been taken out of teaching, and there are many days that I feel the same way. This book was a wake-up call for me and should be read by lawmakers at every level. Today I am celebrating the childhood in my students—something we forget to do."

Christine Zajac, Principal
Lt. Clayre Sullivan School, Holyoke, MA

"True education extends beyond mastery of skills and captures a child’s heart and soul. This book provides a common language for parent-teacher communication."

Katie Wetherbee, Educational Consultant
HOPE Educational Consulting, LLC

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