"A profoundly moving, utterly passionate, and inspiredarticulation of the call to, and the pain and joy of, teaching. Itis must reading for any and every teacher, at any level."
Jon Kabat-Zinn author of Wherever You Go, There You Are
For nearly forty years, Parker Palmer has worked on behalf ofteachers and others who choose vocations for reasons of the heartbut may lose heart because of the troubled, sometimes toxic systemsin which they work. Hundreds of thousands of readers have benefitedfrom The Courage to Teach, which takes teachers on an inner journeytoward reconnecting with themselves, their students, and theircolleagues, and toward reclaiming vocational passion.
The Courage to Teach builds on a simple premise: good teachingcannot be reduced to technique but is rooted in the identity andintegrity of the teacher. Good teaching takes myriad forms but goodteachers share one trait: they are authentically present in theclassroom, deeply connected with their students and their subject.These connections are held in the teacher's heartthe placewhere intellect, emotion, spirit, and converge in the human self.Good teachers weave a life-giving web between themselves, theirsubjects, and their students, helping their students learn how toweave a world for themselves.
In a new Foreword and Afterword to this tenth anniversaryedition, Parker Palmer reflects on a decade of movement-buildingduring which he and his colleagues at the Center for Courage &Renewal have helped thousands of teachers and others restoreidentity and integrity to professional life. On the accompanyingaudio CD, Parker and his colleagues, Marcy Jackson, and EstrusTucker, talk about the Center's on-the-ground work and share theirhopes for this movement toward human wholeness and community.
Celebrating 10 Years of The Courage to Teach
I am a teacher at heart, and there are moments in the classroomwhen I can hardly hold the joy. . . . But at other moments, theclassroom is so lifeless or painful or confusedand I am sopowerless to do anything about itthat my claim to be ateacher seems a transparent sham. . . . If you are a teacher whonever has bad days, or who has them but does not care, this book isnot for you. This book is for teachers who have good days and bad,and whose bad days bring the suffering that comes only fromsomething one loves. It is for teachers who refuse to harden theirhearts because they love learners, learning, and the teachinglife.
From the Introduction
Today, ten years after the publication of The Courage to Teach,I am more hopeful than ever about the potential for educationreform because this book has helped me meet so many people who carepassionately about teaching and learning and are willing to act ontheir passion. "Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life"allows us to return, grounded and renewed, to the outer landscapeof our lives. Having taken heart in the work to which we arecalled, we can give heart once again to our students, ourcolleagues, our schools, and our worlda world whereheartlessness yields only to gifts and graces that come fromwithin.
Adapted from the Foreword to the 10th Anniversary Edition
CD included with exclusive conversation with Parker J. Palmerabout the Courage to Teach Movement past, present, andfuture.