TEACHING AS AN ACT OF LOVE – BOOK REVIEW

THIS IS REPOSTED FROM (haroldshawjr.com)

Cover of "Teaching as an Act of Love: Tho...
Cover via Amazon

The other day I was going clicking on links in Twitter – As usual I clicked on Shelly Terrell’s Teacher Reboot Camp to read her blog post on Free E-books and Resources for Your Summer Reading! I am glad that I did, because several of the links looked very interesting and I downloaded them to read later, plus they were free and for a teacher free is always good :).  For one of those books later was yesterday.

I was kind of bored and had tweaked my knee, so I needed something to read (my goal this summer is one professional book for every “fun” book) and it was the professional book’s turn.  I haven’t been to B&N to pick up professional books yet, so I took a look at what I had downloaded from Shelly.

I decided on Teaching as an Act of Love: Thoughts and Recollections of a Former Teacher, Principal and Kidby Richard Lakin.

What a great mistake that was.  I started reading it about three in the afternoon and finished it just after the Red Sox beat the Dodgers 2-0.  He was a teacher and Principal during the time I was in Junior High and High School.

Some of the things he discussed are things that my school in Newport, Maine attempted to do (New Math, Reading, choice, etc.), but I believe that his progressive school ideas may have had more success than mine did and maybe a bit more public support in a more urban community, than the conservative rural community that I lived in.  The descriptions of the teachers and principals that he discussed in the book sounded an awful lot like some of the educators that I had while I was in school, who tried their best to get a hyper-active kid interested in his education.

Mr. Lakin doesn’t just bore you with this is how I did things and that is how you should do it too, with lots of statistics and graphs to back him up.  Instead he wove his ideas and approaches into stories of what worked and didn’t while he was an educator (yes I believe that Administrators can be educators also).

In the book he made me laugh

“For this valuable insight and lesson, I owe a debt of gratitude to the ghost with the bloody tits!”

made me cry

“A miracle in Kindergarten.”

and throughout the book he made me think.

I would like to believe that I am a student-centered teacher and therefore much of what I read resonated with my idea of what and how schools should be.  Throughout the book Mr. Lakin made me think about how to make my school/classroom even more student-centered.  Unfortunately, as Mr. Lakin states and I agree school’s are becoming less student-centered and more test-centered which I do not believe will benefit anyone but the bean counters and statisticians who do not “teach with their heart”.

This book is a free PDF download Teaching as an Act of Love: Thoughts and Recollections of a Former Teacher, Principal and Kid and if you want a story centered book that makes you think, this is a good choice for anyone interested in education.

I can only say it was a great read and  I have a feeling that there are more Principals out there who want to let us teach a student-centered curriculum but have their marching orders to do otherwise.  His child centered approach to teaching and leading schools is the direction we need to go.

Have you made a difference today? How?