Monday, July 29, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Real Talk for Real Teachers by Rafe Esquith

His hair is still on fire! One of America's most beloved and respected teachers, Rafe Esquith has once again drawn upon his thirty-plus-year career to share his best advice for beginning, experienced and veteran teachers.

Real Talk for Real Teachers: Advice for Teachers from Rookies to Veterans: "No Retreat, No Surrender!" is divided into three parts: the first for new and beginning teachers, the second for those who have surpassed the five year mark, and the last for teachers closer to Esquith's level of experience.  He draws upon stories from his own classroom as well as those of colleagues to illustrate his straightforward lessons.  Thankfully, he avoids common education jargon or buzzwords (nor does create any of his own), opting instead for practical advice and thoughtful principles to follow.

I found myself agreeing with the vast majority of his advice--indeed, following most of these ideas is what kept me in the game for so long.  I didn't make it to the "Master Class" that he discusses in the third section of the book, but I could see myself following his lead had I survived that long.

At the risk of oversimplifying, Real Talk's advice centers around a few central themes:
  1. This job is really hard. Hang in there.
  2. Don't get bitter over time.
  3. Always strive to grow, try new things and become a better teacher.
  4. Love and respect your students.
This is a highly recommended book for any teachers, but I would particularly like new teachers to read this to gain perspective on where they are and where they could be if they stay in the classroom over the long term.

Viking/Penguin was nice enough to send me a review copy of Real Talk, and as always I am going to give it away to a lucky reader. To enter, email with the subject "Real Talk Giveaway" before Wednesday 11:59pm CST.  I'll pick a winner at random.  Thanks to all the loyal readers who always participate, and good luck!

Get Real Talk for Real Teachers on Amazon