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Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach

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Reclaim Your Fire "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." Reclaim Your Fire "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 Those of us who care about the young and their education must find ways to remember what teaching and learning are really about. We must find ways to keep our hearts alive as we serve our students. Poetry has the power to keep us vital and focused on what really matters in life and in schooling. Teaching with Fire is a wonderful collection of eighty-eight poems from such well-loved poets as Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Billy Collins, Emily Dickinson, and Pablo Neruda. Each of these evocative poems is accompanied by a brief story from a teacher explaining the significance of the poem in his or her life's work. This beautiful book also includes an essay that describes how poetry can be used to grow both personally and professionally. Teaching With Fire was written in partnership with the Center for Teacher Formation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Royalties from this book will be used to fund scholarship opportunities for teachers to grow and learn.


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Reclaim Your Fire "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." Reclaim Your Fire "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 Those of us who care about the young and their education must find ways to remember what teaching and learning are really about. We must find ways to keep our hearts alive as we serve our students. Poetry has the power to keep us vital and focused on what really matters in life and in schooling. Teaching with Fire is a wonderful collection of eighty-eight poems from such well-loved poets as Walt Whitman, Langston Hughes, Billy Collins, Emily Dickinson, and Pablo Neruda. Each of these evocative poems is accompanied by a brief story from a teacher explaining the significance of the poem in his or her life's work. This beautiful book also includes an essay that describes how poetry can be used to grow both personally and professionally. Teaching With Fire was written in partnership with the Center for Teacher Formation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Royalties from this book will be used to fund scholarship opportunities for teachers to grow and learn.

30 review for Teaching with Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tasha

    What an excellent collection of poetry. Includes greats from Billy Collins, ee cummings, Mary Oliver and Wislawa Szymborska. Not only did it remind me of some of my favorite poems I had forgotten about, but it also exposed me to some great new works, including "I Care and I'm Willing to Serve" by Marian Wright Edelman. One of the teachers quotes poet Lucille Clifton: "Every pair of eyes facing you has probably experienced something you could not endure."

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jordan Stephens

    Found this on a friend's desk at work. It's nice little selection of poetry intended to inspire educators. Each poem is book ended by essays or letters that usually touch on the poem. I found myself more interested in the poems, so I would catch myself skipping some of essays. I might update this review tomorrow by listing some of my favorite poems selected. The book is back on his desk and I don't have it with me. However, the poem that has stuck with me the most was "I care and I am willing to Found this on a friend's desk at work. It's nice little selection of poetry intended to inspire educators. Each poem is book ended by essays or letters that usually touch on the poem. I found myself more interested in the poems, so I would catch myself skipping some of essays. I might update this review tomorrow by listing some of my favorite poems selected. The book is back on his desk and I don't have it with me. However, the poem that has stuck with me the most was "I care and I am willing to serve" by Marian Wright Edelman.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    Some of the poems in here are a bit hokey, but, for the most part, many are familiar and, in a strange way, inspiring (especially those that are taken a bit out of context). The personal stories that accompany each poem really do make the difference in this collection, though. I just wish that some of the more blatant editing oversights had been corrected.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Georgia Herod

    How I wish I’d discovered Parker Palmer and the Centers for Teacher Formation and their retreats for teachers when I was teaching in high school and college. The definition of good teaching has been my philosophy: good teaching flows out of the identity and integrity of the teacher. Without question, the teacher is the most important part of any classroom, so who she is in the core of her being matters! What keeps good teachers in the classroom for the long haul when things fall apart and nothin How I wish I’d discovered Parker Palmer and the Centers for Teacher Formation and their retreats for teachers when I was teaching in high school and college. The definition of good teaching has been my philosophy: good teaching flows out of the identity and integrity of the teacher. Without question, the teacher is the most important part of any classroom, so who she is in the core of her being matters! What keeps good teachers in the classroom for the long haul when things fall apart and nothing seems to work, along with exhaustion and frustration which accompany mandates, standards, and testing? Oh, how we long for the exhilaration of discussing big ideas and the freedom to allow students to soar! Poetry can provoke us as teachers and stir our students. If I didn’t believe that before, I certainly would after reading this anthology. Where did I find this book? It is a marvelous collection of eighty-eight poems from poets both internationally known and those unknown. Each poem is introduced by a short story from a teacher who explains the significance of the poem in his or her life’s work. In addition, Sam Intrator (editor) has written an outstanding essay on using poetry in the classroom, boardroom, social gathering, etc. I enjoyed the introductions to the poems as much as the poems. And I love the thread that ties the book together: Teaching with Fire. I read and reread the poems—not understanding all of them, but delighting in the words and pulled in by the images. I also made personal connections with my own teaching experiences. And I’ve copied some poems which I want to share with friends! If you’re a teacher or thinker or philosopher or the neighbor next door, you might be delighted by the unexpected surprises you’ll find in these poems!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kammera

    This hs been a great pick-me-up over the years for me. The book contains various poems that teachers have contributed. And their thoughts and reasons why each poem resonates for them really hit home for me. Not an overwhelming book, but a gritty and realistic look at how teachers really feel as they impact and interact with children on a daily basis. The poems are really carefully chosen. You won't go wrong with this book.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joel

    Well, the poems were good. But they aren't original to this book so I'm judging it based on its cover original content which, to me, after reading the first several entries, seemed to be only slight variations on the same theme of "we're teachers, students need pity, we need encouragement." If that's your thing this book is for you but it's not for me. Thanks anyway.

  7. 4 out of 5

    NTE

    Why did I stop reading poetry regularly, when I love it so much? I forget, sometimes, but then I read something like this, with so many good poems, and it makes me want to cry, thinking that I'll never be able to write like that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dioscita

    I was given this book by my principal and, unfortunately, blew it off because she never impressed me as a person who had her finger on the pulse of ... well ... anything. Realizing now who helped bring this book about may just incite me to pick it up again. For now, the 2 stars remain.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    The premise was cool...poems about teaching and reflections (kind of Americans' Favorite Poems-style), but I'm picky about my poems and for me, the selection just didn't deliver. There were a couple of winners though.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    Really interesting anthology of poems selected because of what they say to classroom teachers. Cool concept.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Louise Hull

    My once touchstone book!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lorry Perez

    Should be on every teachers bookshelf.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jaynie

    LOVED IT

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ted Mallory

    Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hugh's, Wallace Stevens, Billy Collins, thank God for poets, poems, & poetry. Thank teachers for helping us to read poets. Thank God for teachers. Nikki Giovanni, Langston Hugh's, Wallace Stevens, Billy Collins, thank God for poets, poems, & poetry. Thank teachers for helping us to read poets. Thank God for teachers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lis

    I love this collection of poetry and insight into the classroom. Inspirational even for those out of acadamia. I try to keep this one at arm's length.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sheila

    inspiring for teachers to read a bit at a time

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lj

    I love to reread this at the beginning of every school year. Inspires me and reminds me why I do what I do.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jeannine

    Great book!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mr. Bangs

    My advisor in college wrote this. It is a wonderful collection of poems. Every poem was chosen by a teacher and comes with an short story about how the poem "sustains their courage to teach."

  20. 5 out of 5

    Esther

    A good pick-me-up. Makes me think about what poem I would choose, were I asked.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    get it, RUN!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    Received this as a gift from an 80 year old teaching mentor. It's a great bedside read!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    My favorite poetry collection ever!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Geneal

    I love teaching and I love poetry, so this book was a word feast for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    María

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alanna Foxwell

  27. 4 out of 5

    Anne

  28. 5 out of 5

    Susan

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dejuvu

  30. 5 out of 5

    Steve Boyet

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