Teach Like Your Hair Is On Fire

March 7, 2007

I just finished this book by Rafe Esquith. He’s a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District.


It’s a good book and Mr. Esquith is a dedicated teacher for sure. The way he teaches isn’t probably practical for all elementary or secondary teachers, but there were some inspiring parts of the book and also some great ideas for teachers who are looking to connect with students at a deeper level. I like to read books about teaching because although I’m not a school teacher (I’m not cut out for that!), I do work with kids and teenagers.

I was particularly inspired by the fact that the author is very careful about not wasting any time that he has with the kids in his class and also by the fact that he has a great sense of integrity. He keeps his word no matter what, he is trustworthy, and the students in his class know that he cares deeply.

I also liked his application of Kohlberg’s stages of moral behavior (which I learned about in psych class). Basically, he wants his students to reach level six (the highest level). The levels go like this (the statement is the motivating factor for behavior): I. I don’t want to get in trouble; II. I want a reward; III. I follow the rules; IV. I want to please others; V. I am considerate of others and VI. I have a personal code of ethics and I follow it. I have had fun trying to analyze my own behavior as well as the behaviors of characters in movies, kids in our programs, and the people around me.

Anyway, it’s a good book for anyone who works with young people. I’ll put it on my bookshelf with “Thirty-Two Third Graders and One Class Bunny” by Philip Done.

One response to Teach Like Your Hair Is On Fire

  1. Some day….when I’m not teaching and/or not in school I might actually find time to read that. LOL