I started the week reading Who's Your City by Richard Florida and delved in and out of The Rise of the Creative Class by the same author. Very interesting reading but work - I'll save my reviews of those for when I'm finished. For what I thought would be a quick and fun diversion I turned to
Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire.
A terrific, quick read but full to the brim and beyond of ideas to create environments that are safe, nurturing places of education and growth.
Part I: There's No Place Like Home focuses on creating a beautiful classroom culture of safety and growth. Esquith teaches immigrants whose first language is not English in inner-city L.A. Poverty, single-parent homes, drugs and drop-outs are the order of the day so safety is a prime concern. Esquith strives to create an environment that is motivated by a personal code of behavior rather than fear. A great place to start for anyone trying to convery ideas by creating a culture of trust and respect!
Part II: The Method Rafe takes the reader across the curriculum, subject by subject and shares a wealth of knowledge; websites, books, ideas, projects. I took notes. Wonderful, creative resources!
Part III: The Madness How to go beyond the basics and teach thinking skills & economics; utilize films, field trips, rocknroll, philanthropy and finally, the peice de resistance; Shakespeare. Rafe describes in detail how to create a full blown, yearly theatrical production with music, choreography and Elizabethan language.
I believe that Education is the Transmission of Culture and I believe that Rafe Esquith is creating a beautiful classroom culture that becomes a personal culture for his students that they can take with them, realizing a world beyond the one in which they are born. I was inspired, moved and motivated by this book. Rafe ranks right up with the Educational Greats. For sure, read the book and for even more inspiration, check out the Hobart Shakespeareans: