Friday, April 27, 2007

Poetry Friday: Teaching With Fire

Teaching With Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach
by Sam M. Intrator

If you read my last couple of posts (minus the Daemon), you might wonder if I'm counting the days to retirement. Not even close to that! But some days I do need something to sustain the courage to teach my way until the moment when, just to use a recent example, a student compares me to Mo in INKHEART. Or some such. This little book of poems and essays has kept me going more than once.

"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

Check out the great review and synopsis here. (I'm not being lazy; my copy lives at school on the shelves beside my desk!)


  1. Thank you so much for the recommendation. My local library system had one copy and I've got it on hold. We're just finishing up our high stakes NCLB tests, which I always have horribly mixed feelings about. I'm looking forward to the poems.

  2. Anonymous10:43 PM

    I'm thinking "end of the school year teacher gifts"...
    thanks for the great and inspiring post...

  3. You're both right -- this is the perfect antidote for high stakes testing AND the perfect gift for all of the teachers in your life!


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