Friday, March 07, 2008

WHY WE TEACH by Linda Alston

WHY WE TEACH: LEARNING, LAUGHTER, LOVE AND THE POWER TO TRANSFORM LIVES is a timely book for anyone who is teaching in 2008. It reminds us why we teach--through hard times, after hard days, and during these days of mandated curriculum and testing. Linda Alston shares stories of her own teaching career--short pieces that can remind us all the joys of teaching and of being in the company of children every day.

I have talked to so many teachers across the country who have told me that they aren't having fun anymore. That teaching is no longer enjoyable. Linda addresses the times and clearly holds on to what is important for the children we teach.

"At the end of the day, we are exhausted. We feel as if we cannot teach another day--that is, until tomorrow. In the morning, we find the strength to come back and teach again. Why? Because we love and believe in children. We behold the gifts in them and nurture the children to become their most magnificent selves. We hold on to hope that their futures will be bright and glorious. The day that we don't go back might well be the day we miss the miracle of a child making a connection, saying something funny or profound, creating a work of art, and giving our lives meaning and purpose." (Page 96)

I found the stories in this book to be just what I needed. The foreword by Vivian Paley and the afterword by Lester Laminack are also very powerful. The stories can be read in any order. But they all remind us how much we can learn from children and how important it is for us to do what is right for the children we teach.


  1. I was thinking about this one too as I mentioned it blogging. This might be a possiblilty for a little motivational reading for literacy team(or everyone) dinner at the end of year? I could host in June?

  2. This book tranformed my attitude toward teachers. Now if this 1 teacher can instill that kind of motivation in her student. What I hope is all teachers will look into thier "inner-knowing". I am currently trying to get my teaching license and as I read these stories, I am inspired to be
    a teacher like Ms. Alston... a old chinese proverb "Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.....

  3. This looks like a fantastic book. I'm putting it on my wishlist.

  4. I would highly recommend this book for all teachers out there. Alston's honest reflections and inspiring stories are what most of us needed. You have to read it to lift your spirits!


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