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Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach 1st Edition

23 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 072-3812611065
ISBN-10: 0787969702
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Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach + Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach + Leading from Within: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Lead
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Teaching with Fire is a glorious collection of the poetry that has restored the faith of teachers in the highest, most transcendent values of their work with children...Those who want us to believe that teaching is a technocratic and robotic skill devoid of art or joy or beauty need to read this powerful collection. So, for that matter, do we all." - Jonathan Kozol, author of Amazing Grace and Savage Inequalities "When reasoned argument fails, poetry helps us make sense of life. A few well-chosen images, the spinning together of words creates a way of seeing where we came from and lights up possibilities for where we might be going...Dip in, read, and ponder; share with others. It's inspiration in the very best sense." - Deborah Meier, co-principal of The Mission Hill School, Boston and founder of a network of schools in East Harlem, New York "In the Confucian tradition it is said that the mark of a golden era is that children are the most important members of the society and teaching is the most revered profession. Our jour ney to that ideal may be a long one, but it is books like this that will sustain us - for who are we all at our best save teachers, and who matters more to us than the children?" - Peter M. Senge, founding chair, SoL (Society for Organizational Learning) and author of The Fifth Discipline T001 0787969702

Review

"Teaching with Fire is a glorious collection of the poetry that has restored the faith of teachers in the highest, most transcendent values of their work with children . . . Those who want us to believe that teaching is a technocratic and robotic skill devoid of art or joy or beauty need to read this powerful collection. So, for that matter, do we all."
— Johnathan Kozol, author of Amazing Grace and Savage Inequalities

"When reasoned argument fails, poetry helps us make sense of life. A few well-chosen images, the spinning together of words creates a way of seeing where we came from and lights up possibilities for where we might be going . . . . Dip in, read, and ponder; share with others. It's inspiration in the very best sense."
— Deborah Meier, co-principal of The Mission Hill School, Boston and founder of a network of schools in East Harlem, New York

"It is said in the Confucian tradition that the mark of any golden era is that children are the most important members of a society and teaching the most revered profession. Today, fear, anxiety, overwork, and under-appreciation characterize a great many professions, but few more so than teaching. Realism tells us that the journey to regain our sanity regarding children and teaching will be a long one. Passion tells us that the path to the future is the one we tread here, now. The editors of Teaching with Fire say it is to sustain teachers. I say it is to sustain us all— for who are we at our best save teachers, and who matters more to us than the children?"
— Peter Senge, author, The Fifth Discipline

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (October 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0787969702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0787969707
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #220,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've long loved poetry, but have struggled to use it successfully in the classroom. This book is absolutely PERFECT for me! First of all, it has poems from my favorite poets like Rilke, Marge Piercy, Mary Oliver, Annie Dillard, Billy Collins, Anne Sexton, and a whole bunch of others. And then there's wonderful poetry by authors I didn't know until now. I'm always delighted to find a new poet!
But the icing on the cake? The short introductions to each poem, each written by a different teacher. The one that really spoke to me was the teacher who taught "There But for the Grace" by Wislawa Szymborska on Sept. 12, 2001. It really shows the power of poetry in students' lives!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By M. Craemer on November 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This fine collection of 88 poems introduced by the educators who submitted them gives readers a new appreciation for the power poetry can provide to those who teach as well as those who learn. Though all these poems may not be new to you, the deeply-felt reflections on the opposite pages will give you a new appreciation for them.
Editors Sam Intrator and Megan Scribner weaved together these well-known poets with everyday educators so readers can take inspiration on any given page without a sequential read-through. Or, by choosing a section such as "Holding On," one can select Rubin Alves' poem "Tomorrow's Child" and take heart and courage from the commentary by Sarah Smith, academic director of Rainier Scholars in the state of Washington. "I met this poem with the heaviest of hearts, a depleted spirit, a feeling that I was failing myself and my own personal mission." And later, "I recommitted myself to the work. I reclaimed my hope and belief in the notion that education could truly be the great equalizer."
Although I'm not a teacher, I am a life-long learner and encouraged that such a book is available to help support and restore the faith of the people we put in charge of our childrens' education. Nothing could be more important or more vital.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By NWest_reviewer on December 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I begin by acknowledging that I am both a fan of poetry and a fan of the work of Parker Palmer, whose writings spawned the Courage to Teach retreats for teachers that take place across the country. The poets included in this volume are among my favorite including Rumi, Billy Collins, Mary Oliver, Rilke, and many more. The book includes a section wtih ideas on how to use poetry in all kinds of settings, not just schools. I also know some of the teachers who contributed to this book. These are real people who do some of the most important work there is to do--teaching--and who are as a group underappreciated. When I read these poems and the moving words of the teachers who selected the poems, I feel like I am entering into sacred territory. There are many moments in this book illuminating the terrain of a teacher's work and a teacher's soul. Poetry speaks to the heart, and the use of poetry for our own renewal is what this collecton is about. I highly recommend it, and I know most teachers and parents of school age children would love this as a gift.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By nikki on May 5, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely treasure this book! For several years now, everywhere I give talks or do workshops on service-learning and civic education in higher education, I find an excuse to read a poem or two from this compelling collection of poetry. I think educators are yearning for renewal, and the combination of each poem along with a teacher's note on the meaning of the poem, strikes a chord. I know this, not only from audience reactions to my reading from the book, but also because I always get asked for the citation! I am always happy to recommend the book--(no one in higher ed has said to me they were not interested in the book, when I tell them the poems were selected by K-12 teachers). Suggestion for gift-giving: whenever it fits the occasion, it is a great present. It is also perfect for end-of-year giving for groups (appreciation gift for graduating seniors, recognition of teachers, thank you to participants in service-learning and community involvement programs, etc.).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Burr on March 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book. I especially enjoyed the narratives that people wrote about why that was their favorite poem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Siegl on March 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I bought two copies of this book, one for myself and one for my supervisor. The poems are well chosen and the book is well organized into different categories having to do with vocational discernment. What makes this book unique, however, is the personal testimonies from teachers describing the meaning of each poem in their lives. Since I received this book I have used it extensively, not only for my own enrichment but also for the enrichment of the patients I work with,
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marion VINE VOICE on May 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book a while back for my oldest daughter who teaches high school English and Art. It was so awesome that I kept it for myself. (I have a naughty habit of reading all the books I buy as gifts before I give them away....does that make them used books?) My copy is quite dog-eared and worn.

If you love poetry, you NEED this book. The poems are varied and inspiring and enlightening. I discovered many new poets whose books I just had to own after reading their poems here. It's an amazing anthology and would make a great gift to give any friend or loved one who enjoys poetry.
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