Laura's Reviews > Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56

Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire by Rafe Esquith
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's review
Nov 23, 2011

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Read from November 23 to 24, 2011

This would be a tough book for anyone to write. As a teacher that goes "above and beyond," it is difficult to not write a book that just reads as page after page of "Look how great a teacher I am." It seems the author struggled with this. Yes, the author has some great ideas, and yes, he does some extraordinary things with his classroom. I found some good ideas I'm planning to implement in my own classroom.

However, his apparent disdain for many others (teachers, administrators, students) in the educational system is disheartening. He seems to place the blame for our educational crisis on other teachers, those who won't devote what he has to their students. But is this the solution?

Beyond that, he seems to have negative attitudes even towards students/children. Multiple times, he compares the behavior of students to Lord of the Flies. Really? It appears at times that the only students he likes and respects are his own, and the only reason his students are different is because of him.

So overall, yes, there's a few things in here teachers might find valuable, if you're willing to wade through the sanctimony.
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