A group of 21 educators in my district just started a book study for The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life by Parker J. Palmer (Jossey-Bass, 2007). This book club consists of teachers, administrators, and professional support staff.
We are facilitating this book study in a Google+ Community. My hope is that this online forum will provide a safe space for everyone to reflect on our chosen profession and renew our purpose.
My role is to pose questions in the community and recognize others’ responses with “+1’s” and comments that acknowledge their thinking. I am also charged with setting dates in which we should have read a certain number of pages. If you have read The Courage to Teach, then you know this is not a text you can speed read through in a couple of days.
As I reread the introduction to start posting questions, I was struck by this powerful statement on page 4:
In our rush to reform education, we have forgotten a simple truth: reform will never be achieved by renewing appropriations, restructuring schools, rewriting curricula, and revising texts if we continue to demean and dishearten the human resource called the teacher on whom so much depends.
I am going to share this quote with our group. I thought it would be appropriate to share here as well.
For more on Parker Palmer’s thinking, check out his most recent post for On Being as we embark on a new year: