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Reviving the Soul of Teaching

Reviving the Soul of Teaching
Balancing Metrics and Magic

Foreword by Leonard O. Pellicer

June 2008 | 152 pages | Corwin

"This book is wonderful. My colleagues often state that the joy has been taken out of teaching. This book is a wake-up call that should be read by lawmakers at every level. Today I am celebrating the childhood of my students—something that we forget to do."
—Christine Zajac, Principal
Lt. Clayre Sullivan School, Holyoke, MA

There is more to education than teacher-proof curricula and scores on high-stakes tests!

Educators know that genuine teaching involves caring, compassion, and building character—principles that can sometimes take a back seat to short-term goals of standardized performance. This inspirational volume for practicing teachers, student teachers, and school leaders champions the heart and soul of teaching and emphasizes how teachers can influence, inspire, and touch the lives of learners. The book explores the central themes of teaching practice and offers perspectives on:

  • Teaching as an art that promotes creativity, character, and imagination in students
  • Balancing testing and accountability with the art and passion of teaching
  • Authentic being and authentic teaching
  • Reform from the ground level, where educators are making a difference in the lives of their students
  • New directions for accountability mandates

A motivating and empowering guide, this book reminds educators why they went into teaching in the first place!

Foreword by Leonard O. Pellicer
About the Authors
Preface: A Family of Teachers
Introduction: Teaching: Past and Prologue
Historical Roots

Current Realities

Schools as Organizations

Balancing Measurements and Magic

Starbucks and 3M: Restoring Balance

1. Reconfirming the Soul of Teaching
Soulful Wisdom

Supportive Folklore and Narrative

Bumbling Passion

Cacophony of Theologies

The Miracle of Saturn

2. Making a Difference: The Core of Teaching
Sonny and the Backhoe

Learning From Excuses

From Porsche to Prose

Students as Candles, Teachers as Mirrors

Sorting Out What Really Matters

3. School Reform: A Ground-Level Perspective
The Paradox of Change

Teachers' Outlook

Human Touch: The Endangered Ingredient

Janet Hart's Touch

Missing the Boat

Parents' Apprehension

Student Qualms

Recalibration NCLB

4. Being Real: The Authentic Teacher
The Patchwork of Teaching

Miss Juhl

George Savo

Yin and Yang

The Inner Path

The Sultan of Spunk

Finding you Genuineness

5. You Gotta Believe
God Is Dead

God Is Alive and Well

The Pygmalion Effect

Belief Spawns Verve

Saved From the Sharks

Pale Gray to Hot Pink

Hot Pink Tigers

6. Setting the Spirit Free
The Legacy of Hisory

The Potency of Symbols and Slogans

The Inspiration of Heroes

The Bonding of Rituals

The Grandeur of Ceremonies

The Magic of Stories

7. Speaking Up: Voices from the Trenches
Tuning Out, Signing Up, or Speaking Out?

Teachers Speak Their Minds

Balancing Metrics and Magic

8. Charting a New Course
Hidden Costs

New Directions for NCLB's Intentions

Threats to Global Advantage

Some New Wrinkles

Simple Things Mean A LOT

Reviving the Magic


"A most welcome dose of good sense. The authors offer an energizing call to arms for the teaching profession and a most provocative, inspired, and inspiring antidote to No Child Left Behind. In this 'open letter' to the profession, beleaguered teachers will find comfort, affirmation, and heart."

Roland S. Barth, Author, Lessons Learned

"Through inspirational stories that made me laugh and cry, as well as reports of successful organizations that made me think, this engaging and enlightening book charts a course for restoring passion, vigor, and hope to the calling of teaching. It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about schools, teachers, and children."

Susan Roper, Former Director, University Center for Teacher Education
California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo

"Deal and Redman tackle the restoration of a really sound idea: confidence and belief in classroom teachers and their ability to make a difference in the lives of their students. At a time when state and federal accountability systems have stripped teaching of its inherent joy and magic, these powerful defenders of the teaching profession are determined to put it back. Here is a must-read for those who appreciate what teachers do on a daily basis. Bravo!"

Carl A. Cohn, Superintendent
San Diego Unified School District, CA

"Terrence Deal, America’s strongest voice for reason in education reform, is joined by Peggy Deal Redman in calling for a return to balance in how we view teaching and learning. This eloquent book calls us back from the ledge and makes a powerful case for why education is much more than measures and metrics. A must-read."

Paul Houston, Executive Director
American Association of School Administrators

"This book is wonderful. I sometimes feel like a general getting my troops ready for battle instead of an educator trying to inspire others. My colleagues often state that the joy has been taken out of teaching, and there are many days that I feel the same way. This book was a wake-up call for me and should be read by lawmakers at every level. Today I am celebrating the childhood in my students—something we forget to do."

Christine Zajac, Principal
Lt. Clayre Sullivan School, Holyoke, MA

"True education extends beyond mastery of skills and captures a child’s heart and soul. This book provides a common language for parent-teacher communication."

Katie Wetherbee, Educational Consultant
HOPE Educational Consulting, LLC
Key features
  • Two gifted teacher leaders and teacher educators offer this inspirational volume to other practicing teachers, student teachers, school leaders, and members of educational community.
  • An ideal antidote to "NCLB fatigue"
  • Emphasizes how teachers influence, inspire, affect, and touch the lives of learners
  • Helps teachers develop unshakeable confidence in their own roles as teachers


Purchasing options

For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

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ISBN: 9781412940528
CAD$ 39.95

For large school/district orders, volume discounts, availability and shipping times contact customer service at 800-233-9936

For instructors

This book is not available as an inspection copy. For more information contact your local sales representative.