I just finished reading the above book Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire by Rafe Esquith. I love reading books that I think will inspire me and give me ideas on how to be a better teacher, but the truth is, most books for educators are a huge snore fest. However, this book was different. At times I felt very inspired and it was a very easy read. His writing style was not boring in the least. He also had lots of good ideas that I could maybe use in my own classroom. I may post more on those later. And his kids really are amazing. You can view their official website here.
That being said, I am still undecided on whether I am a fan or not. Yes, at times I did feel inspired, but at times I also felt very discouraged. A lot of his ideas are really, really great, but putting them into practice is a whole different story. His world is completely different from mine. I would like to hear his take on RTI and the time constraints it puts on all other subjects. Sure, I would love to spend time teaching my children art and baseball and guitar, but when??And yes, he has a lot of minority students, but not the kind I have. I will stop there at the risk of getting myself in trouble. He has supportive parents who do not care if their kids stay at school for twelve hours a day because that is how much they value education. My kids value baseball practice. And I am not saying that is necessarily a bad thing. When I have children, I don't want them to spend twelve hours a day at school either and if they want to play baseball I will by all means let them!
Also, it is clear that teaching is this man's LIFE. Yes, I love teaching. I really love my students. And while I do want to be the best teacher I can possibly be, I do not want teaching to become my whole entire life. There is no way I would want to be at school from 6am to 7pm everyday. I feel that would be totally unfair to my husband and one day to my own children. My family has to come before my career, even if my career is teaching. And does that make me a bad teacher? I don't think so. What kind of teacher would I be if I was neglecting all the other areas of my life? And even if it does, I think I would settle for being just a 'good' teacher so that I could be a good wife and mom. It's not worth it to me to be a bad or even an average wife and mom just so I can be an amazing teacher.