The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life
- Parker J. Palmer [from the Introduction]
Teachers choose their vocation for reasons of the heart, because they care deeply ab...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
"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 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.
Palmer emphasized the importance of the inner life of teacher, and how this is just as (and maybe even more) important than technique. Among Palmer's students who shared about their favorite teachers; there were those interactive types who encouraged ...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
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
I had trouble getting through this book- he lost me. I wouldn’t recommend it even though I liked his message.
Measuring learning was best described by John Dewey's analogy for I.Q. Tests, "Dewey likened [the I.Q. test] to his family's preparation for taking a hog to market. In order to figure out how much to charge for the animal, his family put the hog on one end of a seesaw and piled up bricks on the other until the two balanced. 'Then we tried to ...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
"We lose heart, in part, because teaching is a daily exercise in vulnerability. I need not reveal personal secrets to feel naked in front of the class. I need only parse a sentence or work a proof on ...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
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
The same mystical tone Palmer uses that turns some readers away is what drew me in. Teaching for me is a type of spir ...more
Loved the focus on identity and integrity as the major requirements for teaching. Also the differentiation between a student interacting with a subject through a ...more