In an effort to utilize my librarian background, I am embarking on a series of book reviews, to be published every Friday. These reviews will cover computer programming books aimed at children, as well as reality-based children’s books.
This book is a departure from the typical children’s book that is usually showcased on this blog, but this book was too inspiring not to share. It is one of the most useful and uplifting books that I have read on teaching in a long time. Not only has Rafe Esquith been teaching for over 20 years, he has also been working with mostly low socioeconomic students for whom English is a second language. Do not make the mistake of assuming he was born the perfect teacher, rather he humorously shares how he has learned to be a better teacher – by listening to and observing his students and other teachers.
This book would be just a “feel good” story for the students of L.A. if it were not for Rafe’s anecdotes and practical suggestions for other teachers. He shows how much time and effort he expends (12 hours a day) to help his students rise to the challenge. In addition, he names books and curriculum he uses in his 5th grade classroom to help him achieve his lofty goals for his students. He is a truly inspiring teacher who provides hope for the world.