Words to Teach By

I begin with Haim Ginott:

I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized.

I remind myself often of Ginott’s inspiring and cautionary words. And then there’s Michel de Montaigne, who invented the personal essay:

If . . . teachers undertake to regulate many minds of such different capacities and forms with the same lesson and a similar measure of guidance, it is no wonder if in a whole race of children they find barely two or three who reap any proper fruit from their teaching.

Robert Hutchins, in Great Books: The Foundation of a Liberal Education (1954):

If any common program is impossible, if there is no such thing as an education that everybody ought to have, then we must admit that any community is impossible.

. . . and Hutchins again:

The art of teaching consists in large part of interesting people in things that ought to interest them, but do not.

Good Habits, Good Students

"It’s simply awesome and highly inspirational. Thank you so much for this book." —Student in Grade 9.

Click here for info. Available now from most online booksellers or by special order from your local bookshop.

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