"In Capturing the Spark, David B. Cohen shares his year-long trek through California's public school system, from elementary to high school, where he found daily examples of the kind of enthusiastic learning teachers can foster through a well-defined sense of autonomy, mastery, and purpose. If you're looking for reasons to be hopeful about public education, read this story of optimism and excellence."
- Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
"Cohen delivers big time....a message that will resonate with teachers at all levels of education.... What is most impressive about his book is that its optimistic tone and energy does not deny or obfuscate the difficulties of the modern American classroom."
- Jeremy Adams, author of The Secrets of Timeless Teachers (2016) and Full Classrooms, Empty Selves (2012)
"Don't miss this incredible book written by a veteran teacher offering keen insights into public education. It celebrates the art of teaching by showcasing the wonder of what's actually happening in so many classrooms and schools. Inspirational!"
- Dean Vogel, past President of the California Teachers Association
"Cohen offers wonder-filled, perceptive observations revealing what is usually invisible about good teaching. Equally important, he asserts that good teaching is neither a limited resource nor a competition. Only a master teacher could guide an often misinformed public and policymakers through the realities of schools today."
- Renee Moore, Teacher, Writer, Mississippi Teacher of the Year
"Save the obituaries - the teaching profession lives on. While much maligned and constrained, teachers still manage to find the spark within themselves and share it with their students, as David B. Cohen reveals in this chronicle of the 21st century California classroom. An uplifting read!"
- Anthony Cody, Co-Founder, Network for Public Education, Author
"David B. Cohen has managed to capture, at various times, and, in a variety of places, the elusive element that fuels great teaching-and teachers. As he points out so readily, that 'spark' is not sufficient to drive today's schools, but it is an absolutely necessary condition to bring about student learning. Until readers can become the 'teacher for a day' in their children's schools, they can re-enter the classrooms of California via Cohen's eyes and ears, and wise insights."
- Bill Younglove, Teacher Educator, California State University, Long Beach
About the Author
David B. Cohen is a National Board Certified English Teacher with twenty years of teaching experience, currently on the staff of Palo Alto High School teaching 10th and 11th grade English classes. He helped launch and co-directed a teacher leadership network called Accomplished California Teachers (ACT). That experience led to opportunities to learn about and work with teachers from all over California. Having worked with a variety of other networks and organizations, and having built relationships with individuals and groups throughout California, Cohen spent the 2014-15 school year traveling around the state to gather material for Capturing the Spark. He chronicled that year at the EdWeek Teacher blog Road Trips in Education, and maintains an ongoing EdWeek blog also called Capturing the Spark. Cohen is also a contributing blogger at The Standard, a group blog by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS).