The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life
Palmer clarified why we teach and linked that to why we learn. A good read for anyone who is a teacher or is thinking about becoming a teacher.
"The personal can never be divorced from the professional. 'We teach who we are' in times of darkness as well as light." (pg. xi)
Consider a teacher's "heart-deep commitment that keeps them coming back to the classroom - their commitment to the well-being of our children." (pg. xii)
"But at other moments, the classroom is so lifeless or painful or confused - and I am powerless to do anythign about it - that my claim to be a...more
So -- I just reread it for a project...some things feel dated to me, and impossibly idealistic, but then that is exactly what I love about Palmer and his book. He reminds me WHY I teach (taught) -- to be an authentic human. I am authentic when I am with students. I am real.
I was intrigued by his challenge t...more
Palmer emphasized the importance of the inner life of teacher, and how this is just as, if not more important as technique. He mentioned how the many students of whom he asked to share about their favorite teachers, expressed how it was the ones who were truly "ther...more
Some of my favorite thoughts:
"We teach who we are." ~p.2
"Teaching holds a mirror to the soul." ~p.3
"Good teaching requires self-knowledge." ~p.3
"Technique is what teachers use until the real teacher arrives." ~p.6
"The more one loves teaching, the more heartbreaking it can be." ~p.11
It is essential to teach from an "undivided self." "In the undivided self, every major thread o...more
P.J.P. shares some good ideas and wisdom -- I particularly liked how he spoke of having mentors for a long time and then not having any. He realized finally that he wasn't having them because he was no longer an apprentice and it was time for him to mentor others.
I am having some trouble with this book because from my viewpoint he is really talking about the holiness of vocation and not only...more
One is a frank acknowledgment that teaching is scary, that we can be so desperate to be liked by our students and to get them to learn that we can lose track of our own identities. We should not become over-invested in technique. Not every tec...more
It seemed there was a "conversation" in reading this book which enabled me as a teacher/student to grow and expand my own inner core as Palmer encouraged me to dare to move into a dance with other teachers and learners, instit...more
The whole idea of learning in community is new to me, but something I’ve been introduced to before reading this book. Our church, Life on the Vine, is a very community oriented church that has opened my eyes to that idea. I was, therefore, open to the ideas of the 2nd part of Palmer’s book which focused on learning in community. Our American culture places so much value on individualism that we limit ourselves incredibly.
I also found myself in agreement with the ideas he present...more
"This book is for teachers who have good days and bad — and whose bad days bring the suffering that comes only from something one loves. It is for teachers who refuse to harden their hearts, because they love learners, learning, and the teaching life." — Parker J. Palmer [from the Introduction:]
For many years, Parker Palmer has worked on behalf of teachers and others who choose their vocations for reasons of the heart but may lose heart because of the troubled, some...more
There is good material that I can apply to the church and ministry and specifically to the teaching function of the pastor. Reading the book opened my eyes to some things I was doing incorrectly while also giving me insight into how to do...more
One of my favorite excerpts, for instance, is this one (which falls on pp. 107 - 108 of Courage to Teach):
"When we are at our best, it is because the grace of great things has evoked from us the virtues that give educational community its...more
Here's a passage that I found meaningful today: "In unguarded moments with close friend...more
however, this book encourages teachers not to do that. he encourages teachers to take stock of their own bullshit. he encourages teachers to think about what they are doing to disengage their students. he says that good teachers are good people and teachers must develop themselves by noting their strengths and weaknesses. he reminds teacher...more
But the core of the book, I just didn't have the mental patience at this time in my life to take the time to fully pr...more
My next meeting with him was a few years later at a "Courage to Teach" workshop in Kalamazoo, MI. I will never forget his image and advice of helping and supporting others. He describe...more
1) Don't try to be a type of teacher that you're not.
2) We should collaborate and interact more as faculty around the subject of good teaching.
Aside from that, though, this book was a mish-mash of New-Agey claptrap. "To teach is to create a space in which the community of truth is practiced"? Laying aside subject-verb agreement (i.e. how exactly does one "practice" a "community"?), what the hell does that mean? Almost every other sentence was like this...more