Monday, February 26, 2007

The Heart of the Matter

Reading: There Are No Shortcuts by Rafe Esquith

Synopsis: How an inner-city eacher - winner of the American Teacher Award - inspires his students and challenges us to rethink the way we educate our children

Excerpt of the day in reference to some students that had chosen a less than desirable path in life and/or were angry with him:

"They taught me not to confuse academic excellence with character. When I came to the Jungle [inner city school where he taught], I was shocked and upset by the incredibly low academic achievement of the students there. Over the first few years I was so determined to inspire students to achieve academic excellence that I was confusing my best students with my best people. Now I'm focusing on students who strive to reach the highest levels of humanity, which means that I'd better reach those levels as well. "

Okay, I can't just stop with one quote:

"I knew that I had to be ther person I wanted the kids to be. I never want my kids to be depressed or despairing about any bad breaks or failures that they've had. Well, that had to apply to me as well. I now knew that if I wanted the kids to work hard, then I'd better be the hardest-working person they'd ever known. If I wanted them to be kind, I'd better be the kindest human being they'd ever met. Teaching must be by example, not by lecture."

Recommended reading: To Kill a Mockingbird
Next stop: the library

1 comment:

pita-woman said...

To Kill A Mockingbird!! Oh, that's one of my all-time favorites!!!!!!!!!!!
I only read the book once, but I've seen the movie so many times, I think I could mute it and say the dialogue myself. Of course, the book and movie are somewhat different, as is usually the case.


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