Start reading Real Talk for Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Roo... on the free Kindle Reading App or on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Enter a promotion code
or gift card

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player


Real Talk for Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: "No Retreat, No Surrender!" [Kindle Edition]

Rafe Esquith
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
You Save: $8.01 (50%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $7.99  
Hardcover $20.59  
Paperback $11.70  
Kindle Delivers
Kindle Delivers
Subscribe to the Kindle Delivers monthly e-mail to find out about each month's Kindle book deals, new releases, editors' picks and more. Learn more (U.S. customers only)

Book Description

The New York Times–bestselling author and world-renown teacher offers no-nonsense wisdom for teachers of all ages

There’s no one teachers trust more to give them classroom advice than Rafe Esquith. After more than thirty years on the job, Esquith still puts in the countless classroom hours familiar to every dedicated educator. But where his New York Times bestseller Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire was food for a teacher’s mind, Real Talk for Real Teachers is food for a teacher’s soul.

Esquith candidly tackles the three stages of life for the career teacher and offers encouragement to see them through the difficult early years, advice on mid-career classroom building, and novel ideas for longtime educators. With his trademark mix of humor, practicality, and boundless compassion, Esquith proves the perfect companion for teachers who need a quick pick-me-up, a long heart-to-heart, or just a momentary reminder that they’re not alone.

Editorial Reviews



“The most interesting and influential classroom teacher in the country.” – The Washington Post
“Rafe Esquith is a genius and a saint.” – The New York Times
“One of those magical teachers.” —Los Angeles Times
“Esquith is a modern-day Thoreau, preaching the value of good work, honest self-reflection and the courage to go
one’s own way.” Newsday
“Politicans, burbling over how to educate the underclass, would do well to stop by Rafe Esquith’s fifth-grade class.” – Time
Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire . . . offers practical advice for teachers and parents.” —USA Today
"Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire," the second entry from the renowned Los Angeles educator, offers an hour-by-hour account of techniques that have helped his poor urban students excel for nearly 25 years. It is a volume that rebuts every pundit who doubts the wisdom of investing in troubled schools, but balances it with a vivid reality check for those who underestimate the difficulty of the task... If only more of us could fire up our inner Esquith.” – Cleveland Plain-Dealer
“From the moment I entered Rafe Esquith’s fifth grade classroom, I knew it was a special place.” —Bill Whitaker, CBS News
“Rafe Esquith is a trail-blazing, fast-talking fifth grade teacher.” —NPR, “All Things Considered”
“If you could distil the essence of Rafe Esquith, bottle it and sell it to school districts hungry for master teachers, you’d no doubt make millions. [Teach Like Your Hair’s on Fire] should be required reading for all teachers, especially those whose passion for the profession has cooled.” —Dallas Morning News

About the Author

Rafe Esquith has taught at Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles for twenty-eight years. He is the only classroom teacher to have been awarded the president’s National Medal of the Arts. His many other honors and awards include the American Teacher Award and People magazine’s Heroes Among Us Award. He lives in Los Angeles.

Product Details

  • File Size: 645 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0670014648
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (July 16, 2013)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AFPVQ58
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,806 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "INSPIRING, UPLIFTING, AND FILLED WITH WISDOM!" July 17, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
New York Times bestselling author of Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire, Rafe Esquith delivers another Masterpiece of wisdom for teachers. Through this award-winning author's career, he offers expert advice for the class-room from many years of experience. Rafe Esquith gives food for thought for all teachers, especially those who are teaching in their early years. The author's words of wisdom and advice are highlighted for those who struggle everyday in the class-room setting. After devoting 30 years to teaching, Rafe Esquith portrays his countless hours for dedication to students as he encourages different skills, and techniques. In addition, he gives advice for those teachers in midcareer, offering positive building blocks for education. As the author encourages teachers to cope with overwhelming challenges, he also compliments their efforts. Rafe Esquith defines the true value of good work, honesty, and courage in-and-out of the class-room atmosphere. Also, he offers practical advice and helpful tips for parents. The author's mission is to help students excel as he explains that passion and understanding are also important. The author's inspiring influence is motivating, and interesting. I wish his books were published when my children were young, because this book is an excellent guide for teachers, and parents. I will indeed be purchasing this informative and concise book for my teacher friends as a gift, and I know quite a few teachers, who will enjoy it. Helpful, educational, and encouraging. Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real talk, just like the title says! July 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Rafe Esquith is a name that I associate with one of those magically awesome teachers, who always does exactly the right thing in every circumstance, and all of his kids go from homeless, penniless, and educationless to being world leaders, multimillionaires, or astroid-destroying saviors of the planet. One of those educators whose stories and experiences make the rest of us - who DON'T always love every single second in the classroom and who often CAN'T reach every single student - feel unworthy by comparison.

But I had that impression without ever having read any of Rafe's books before. When someone emailed me with an offer to receive a copy of Rafe's newest - "Real Talk for Real Teachers" - in exchange for a review, I quickly accepted. I'm at the 10 year mark in my teaching career, feeling a bit burnt out, underappreciated, and undermotivated. I wanted to see if a super teacher like Rafe Esquith could impart any words of wisdom.

In a nutshell, boy could he. Right from the start, it became very apparent that Rafe Esquith is not one of those types who believes the burden of success is entirely on the teacher's shoulders. Believe me, there is no better way to turn a teacher off to what you're saying then by implying, "You must be doing something wrong!" In fact, Rafe speaks directly to one of the biggest points of contention early in the book, and it truly won me over.

More times than I can count throughout my teaching career, I've heard either directly or indirectly that the single greatest factor in determining a child's success is the teacher. Poverty? Not important, and a frequent teacher excuse. Family? They're not at school, so they don't influence learning.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Talk - Quick Read July 30, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having just completed a teacher preparation program and accepted my first teaching job beginning this fall; I'm one of those rookie teachers Rafe Esquith is speaking of in the subtitle of this latest work of his.

Real Talk for Real Teachers is an incredibly quick and easy read that was engaging and informative, though at times somewhat repetitive. Despite the occasionally echoed passage, Real Talk is a refreshing addition to the current conversation concerning teachers, education and education reform. He decries high-stakes standardized testing and the flavor of the month "game changing" standards while encouraging teachers to "stay emotionally strong" and giving practical advice and anecdotes about ways to avoid the demoralizing burnout that too many teachers suffer from.

I may not have agreed with everything that Mr. Esquith put forward in his book, but I found it on whole to be a valuable read to help me reflect on my own practice. Chapter five concerning what he calls the "Quiet Man Approach," and his highlighting his issues with classroom management techniques such as SLANT in Chapter 4 were some of those points of disagreement I found.

These two chapters, however, were followed up by my personal favorite chapter, one that I will likely be reading to myself over winter break, titled: "19th Nervous Breakdown." If there's only one chapter you read from this book, read chapter six.

My copy is already filled with notes in the margins and underlines having read through the lens of a first year teacher. I'm sure I'll read it again in a couple years a little less green with some experience under my belt and take something else away from it entirely.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Quick start, then... August 7, 2013
By J. Reed
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you're reading this book, you are probably a teacher.

And if you are a teacher, you have no doubt attended drawn-out five-day seminars, the content of which would have made great two-day seminars.

This book is just like those five-day seminars.

The advice the author offers (for those new to the profession) in the first few chapters is sound and necessary. However, as a class leader entering my fifteenth year in the profession, I felt that the title and description promised a similar level of insight applicable to my situation. Instead, the middle section of this book features a few trite pieces of advice along the lines of (paraphrasing) "stay motivated."

"Real Talk" quick devolves into a back-patting session. Esquith suggests we find people outside our classroom to assist us with what we're doing inside it - then trots out a long list of renowned artists who have come to his assistance. Perhaps the author believes this is an opportunity that exists for all of us - not just those of us who have achieved a level of celebrity by being the subject of documentaries and books.

In lieu of "real talk", Esquith pads out the final 2/3 of his book with numerous stories of taking his students on trips around the country, an interminable minute-by-minute account of one of his typical work days (and believe me...there are a lot of minutes), and a lengthy explanation of how he gets his students ready to put on a play.

While I would recommend that rookie teachers read through the first few chapters, I just don't think there is any "real talk" of much use to professionals beyond year three. The book's title is very misleading in that regard. However, if you are specifically interested in Esquith's Shakespeare program, or the famous performers who have attached themselves to him, you should definitely read this book.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Lots of good ideas I can use for my students.
Published 5 days ago by Baiying Wu
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book. Good view of what it's like to ...
Excellent book. Good view of what it's like to teach.
Published 1 month ago by Matilda
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent read, great price, well worth the $
Published 1 month ago by EC
5.0 out of 5 stars He sounds like a fabulous teacher
Rafe is so sassy and realistic. And! He sounds like a fabulous teacher!
Published 1 month ago by Jaclyn Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars Teachers Benefit from Rafe's Real Talk
Rafe's Real Talk is a guide for teachers that articulates the why and how of teaching. The elementary master teacher of the Hobart school in Los Angeles describes why we should... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Nick Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Received item sooner than expected....thanks! Book was exactly as described.
Published 1 month ago by alessandra pippo
5.0 out of 5 stars perspective of a clearly successful teacher
I have been tutoring, and decided i wanted to improve my skills at teaching. rafe describes his experiences over a long teaching career and I can see the mindset i can obtain in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Alex
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding guide
This is an excellent resource - dealing with real issues and giving great advice
Published 2 months ago by Marilyn R Hall
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous!
Very honest and inspiring. Thank you so much this book! This is my 20th year teaching and the words: "My life will be better if I learn this skill because .... Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. Fortune
5.0 out of 5 stars Rafe tells it like it is
A must read for any teacher. Rafe tells it like it is!
Published 2 months ago by John N
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only

More About the Author

Rafe Esquith has taught at Hobart Elementary School in Los Angeles for twenty-four years. He is the only teacher to have been awarded the president's National Medal of the Arts. His many other honors and awards include the American Teacher Award, Parents magazine As You Grow Award, Oprah Winfrey's Use Your Life Award TM, and People magazine's Heroes Among Us Award.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category