Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach

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Teaching with Heart

“‘Warn the whole Universe that your heart can nolonger live without real love.’ Those words from the poetHafiz are the reason you must buy this book, as the best possiblefield guide to accompany you through the brambles, over the chasms,up and down the treacherous slopes that every teacher with hearttraverses every day of the year, while carrying society’smost sacred trust.”
— DIANA CHAPMAN WALSH, president emerita, WellesleyCollege

“As a poet and a teacher, ...

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Teaching with Heart

“‘Warn the whole Universe that your heart can nolonger live without real love.’ Those words from the poetHafiz are the reason you must buy this book, as the best possiblefield guide to accompany you through the brambles, over the chasms,up and down the treacherous slopes that every teacher with hearttraverses every day of the year, while carrying society’smost sacred trust.”
— DIANA CHAPMAN WALSH, president emerita, WellesleyCollege

“As a poet and a teacher, I’m always looking forwhat is essential and how it can be of use. Teaching withHeart inspires and models the use of what matters in life andcommunity.”
— MARK NEPO, author of The Book of Awakeningand Seven Thousand Ways to Listen

Teaching with Heart honors the heroic optimism ofteachers and their belief that despite the many challenges andobstacles of the teaching life, much is possible. The book is acollection of ninety treasured poems, each accompanied by ateacher’s brief personal reflection on how poetry helps themmake sense of the challenges and possibilities in their work.Teaching with Heart is the highly anticipated sequel to thewildly popular Teaching with Fire, and like the original itwill guide, renew, and inspire teachers.

Written by and for teachers of all levels of experience acrossthe entire educational spectrum, Teaching with Heartexplores the gamut of emotions teachers experience—joy,outrage, heartbreak, and hope—helping teachers to make senseof the ups and downs, and to stay invested and inspired, especiallyduring difficult times.

This anthology includes a rich variety of poems from EmilyDickinson, to William Stafford, to Maya Angelou, to Mary Oliver, toTupac Shakur, and moving commentaries that speak directly toeveryone who teaches, exploring the questions, challenges, andtriumphs that lie at the heart of the profession.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA, October 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 4) - Rebecca Moore
For this collection, the editors invited educators from all levels and types of institution to submit a poem that inspired them, and a brief essay on the poem’s meaning in their teaching lives. Sections include: Relentless Optimism, Teachable Moments, Beauty in the Ordinary, Enduring Impact, The Work is Hard, Tenacity, Feisty, Moment to Moment, Together, Called to Teach, and Using Poetry for Reflection and Conversation. Poets include Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Emily Dickinson, Rumi, Rudyard Kipling, and many more, both well- and lesser-known. Some essays include anecdotes, but more simply reflect on education in the current climate of increased testing and fewer opportunities for genuine student connection. The book also includes: “A Note to Our Readers,” a foreward, an introduction, an afterword, and an extensive webliography of poetry sites. The many inspiring poems and thoughtful essays here will appeal mostly to educators who also find solace and inspiration in poetry. The most powerful essays use anecdotes; the others can feel a bit less personal and more generalized. In addition, the essays seem to urge teachers to just struggle on within the current system rather than attempt change, which may perturb some readers. The structure of the book, with the essays printed before the poems, will not appeal to all readers; many will read the poem first, the better to understand the connections described in the essay. This will make an excellent gift for teachers, and will fit in larger professional collections that include inspirational as well as practical works. Reviewer: Rebecca Moore; Ages adult professional.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118459430
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/19/2014
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 136,669
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

SAM M. INTRATOR is principal of the Smith College CampusSchool, and professor of education and child study at SmithCollege. A Kellogg National Leadership Fellow, he is theauthor/editor of seven books, including The Quest for Mastery:Positive Youth Development Through Out-of-School Programs.

MEGAN SCRIBNER has three decades of experience editingbooks, reports, and essays, including co-editing two other poetryanthologies with Intrator: Teaching with Fire and Leadingfrom Within. In 2012, she received the Takoma Park Azalea Awardfor School Activist and continues to be active in hercommunity.

Royalties from this book help create more Courage &Renewal resources and programs for educators.

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Table of Contents

A Note to Our Readers by Sam M. Intrator and Megan Scribnerxi

Foreword by Parker J. Palmer xxi

Introduction by Taylor Mali xxvii

Relentless Optimism 1

Emma Lazarus’s “The New Colossus” reflectionby Randi Weingarten 2

Fleet Foxes’ “Helplessness Blues” reflectionby Stephen Lazar 4

Marianne Williamson’s “A Return to Love”[Excerpt] reflection by Rachel Willis 6

Edgar Lee Masters’s “George Gray” reflectionby Mel Glenn 8

Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” reflectionby Kaitlin Roig 10

Rudyard Kipling’s “if” reflection by Andy Wood12

Loris Malaguzzi’s “No Way. The Hundred isThere.” reflection by Tiffany Poirier 14

Gerald Jonas’s “Lessons” reflection by JulieA. Gorlewski 16

Taylor Mali’s “What Teachers Make” reflectionby Kevin Hodgson 18

Teachable Moments 21

Rainier Maria Rilke’s “All will come again into itsstrength” reflection by Gregory John 22

Richard Wilbur’s “The Writer” reflection byEmily Brisse 24

Theodore Roethke’s “The Waking” reflection byNora Landon 26

Emily Dickinson’s “’Tis so much joy!’Tis so much joy!”

reflection by Lily Eskelsen García 28

Paul Boswell’s “This Splendid Speck”reflection by Christine Intagliata 30

Stanley Kunitz’s “Halley’s Comet”reflection by Rob Maitra 32

Emily Dickinson’s “If I can stop one Heart frombreaking” reflection by Annette Breaux 34

John O’Donohue’s “Beannacht” reflectionby Emanuel Pariser 36

D. H. Lawrence’s “The Best of School”reflection by Tom Vander Ark 38

Beauty in the Ordinary 41

Fernando Pessoa’s “To Be Great, Be Entire”reflection by Vicki Den Ouden 42

Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Famous” reflection bySafaa Abdel-Magid 44

Pablo Neruda’s “In Praise of Ironing”reflection by Cindy O’Donnell-Allen 46

Louise Glück’s “Aubade” reflection byKent Dickson 48

W. H. Auden’s “In Memory of W. B. Yeats”[Excerpt] reflection by Jamie Raskin 50

Stephen Crane’s “LVIII” reflection by LiamCorley 52

Mary Oliver’s “Crossing the Swamp” reflectionby Maureen Geraghty 54

Philip Levine’s “What Work Is” reflection byHolly Masturzo 56

Walt Whitman’s “Section II from ‘Song ofMyself’ ” reflection by Jennifer Boyden 58

Enduring Impact 61

Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Kindness” reflection byHannah Cushing 62

Margaret Atwood’s “You Begin” reflection byKaren Harris 64

Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Please Call Me by My TrueNames” reflection by Ruth Charney 66

William Stafford’s “Deciding” reflection byMichael Poutiatine 68

Li-Young Lee’s “Eating Together” reflection byWanda S. Praisner 70

John O’Donohue’s “Blessing: ForPresence” reflection by David Henderson 72

Tara Sophia Mohr’s “Your Other Name”reflection by Lianne Raymond 74

Jim R. Rogers’s “Good Morning!” reflection byJane Zalkin 76

Galway Kinnell’s “Saint Francis and the Sow”reflection by Kirsten Olson 78

The Work Is Hard 81

Antonio Machado’s “VI” reflection by MichaelL. Crauderueff 82

Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese” reflection byKathleen Melville 84

Calvin Coolidge’s “Persistence” reflection byApril Niemela 86

Sharon Olds’s “On the Subway” reflection byLori Ungemah 88

Anonymous’s “Work Gloves” reflection by TomMeyer 90

William Stafford’s “Next Time” reflection byLeanne Grabel Sander 92

Emily Dickinson’s “We grow accustomed to theDark—” reflection by Rachel Fentin 94

Walt Whitman’s “When I Heard the Learn’dAstronomer” reflection by Ronald Gordon 96

Wislawa Szymborska’s “Life While-You-Wait”reflection by Veta Goler 98

Tenacity 101

Tupac Shakur’s “The Rose That Grew fromConcrete” reflection by Jose Vilson 102

Philip Levine’s “M. Degas Teaches Art & Scienceat Durfee Intermediate School, Detroit, 1942” reflection byLaura Roop 104

Mel King’s “Struggle” reflection by SusanRodgerson 106

Langston Hughes’s “Theme for English B”reflection by Paola Tineo 108

Irene Rutherford McLeod’s “Lone Dog”reflection by LouAnne Johnson 110

Billy Collins’s “On Turning Ten” reflection byWill Bangs 112

Edgar A. Guest’s “It Couldn’t Be Done”reflection by Glendean Hamilton 114

Lao-Tzu’s “On Leadership” reflection by LarryRosenstock 116

William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus” reflectionby Caridad Caro 118

Feisty 121

Rumi’s “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing andrightdoing” reflection by Hugh Birdsall 122

Mary Oliver’s “The Poet Dreams of theClassroom” reflection by Katie Johnson 124

Langston Hughes’s “Mother to Son” reflectionby Ron Walker 126

Jane Kenyon’s “Otherwise” reflection by AlisonOverseth 128

Richard Brautigan’s “The Memoirs of JessieJames” reflection by Stephen Mahoney 130

Marge Piercy’s “To be of use” reflection byAmy Christie 132

Maya Angelou’s “Still I Rise” reflection byMary Beth Hertz 134

Olive Senior’s “Colonial Girls School”reflection by Dena Simmons 136

The Freedom Writers with Erin Gruwell’s “An InnocentFreedom Writer” reflection by Kayleigh Colombero 138

Moment to Moment 141

Bill Holm’s “Advice” reflection by TeriO’Donnell 142

Katha Pollitt’s “Lilacs in September”reflection by David S. Goldstein 144

Herman Hesse’s “The Ferryman” reflection byRachel Boechler 146

Mark Nepo’s “The Appointment” reflection byJudy Sorum Brown 148

Captain Ed Davidson’s “Footprints by the Sea”reflection by Sandi Bisceglia 150

Rumi’s “The Guest House” reflection by RichardH. Ackerman 152

Chuang Tzu’s “Flight from the Shadow”reflection by Mark Bielang 154

Thomas Merton’s “In Silence” reflection byThomas A. Stewart 156

Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love” reflectionby Tim Ryan 158

Together 161

John Daniel’s “A Prayer among Friends”reflection by Melissa Madenski 162

Maya Angelou’s “Alone” reflection by NinaAshur 164

Stephen Dunn’s “The Sacred” reflection by DanMindich 166

James A. Autry’s “On Firing A Salesman”reflection by Brian Dixon 168

Robert Herrick’s “To the Virgins, to make much ofTime” reflection by Cordell Jones 170

Lucille Clifton’s “blessing the boats”reflection by Kathleen Glaser 172

Raymond Carver’s “Happiness” reflection byDennis Huffman 174

X. J. Kennedy’s “Little Elegy” reflection byKenneth Rocke 176

Mel Glenn’s “A Teacher’s Contract”reflection by Harriet Sanford 178

Called to Teach 181

Gary Snyder’s “For the Children” reflection byJulia Hill 182

Maya Angelou’s “The Lesson” reflection byJovan Miles 184

Gregory Orr’s “It’s not magic; it isn’ta trick” reflection by John Mayer 186

Judy Sorum Brown’s “Hummingbirds asleep”reflection by Sandie Merriam 188

John Fox’s “When Someone Deeply Listens toYou” reflection by Nell Etheredge 190

Alexis Rotella’s “Purple” reflection by LeathaFields-Carey 192

William Stafford’s “The Way It Is” reflectionby Donna Y. Chin 194

Langston Hughes’s “I loved my friend”reflection by Margaret Wilson 196

Wendell Berry’s “The Real Work” reflection byAmy Harter 198

Using Poetry for Reflection and Conversation 201

Afterword by Sarah Brown Wessling 221

Center for Courage & Renewal 223

The Contributors 225

The Editors 241

Gratitudes 243

Credits 245

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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted June 29, 2014

    This is the book I've been waiting for! So many of my favorite p

    This is the book I've been waiting for! So many of my favorite poems--and so many new favorites -- all in one beautiful cover. I love the range of poets, from well-known to new. And I love that the poems are those that speak to real teachers, chosen by the teachers themselves. The teachers' introductions to each poem are as beautiful as the poems! I am keeping this one close at hand, as I find myself constantly opening it, to find the right line, the words I need to hear, the poem I need for my class or Circle of Trust retreat.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    As I page through Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the

    As I page through Teaching with Heart: Poetry that Speaks to the Courage to Teach, I'm struck by the deeply thoughtful writing that surrounds and upholds the entirety of the book--a book that recognizes this simple and enduring truth: To do the tough, demanding work of educating our children in the face of so many pressures requires enormous passion, courage... and poetry.

    Here are ten good reasons to buy a copy, and gift it to a favorite teacher:

    1. At the heart of the book are the heartfelt stories of 90 diverse teachers, educators and administrators who write about how each poem speaks to them and guides their teaching--teachers who are dedicated to standing up for their students and the integrity of their profession.

    2. In an opening Note to the Reader, authors/editors, Sam Intrator and Megan Scribner declare their intention to "...strive faithfully to honor the noble aspirations of the profession." This volume certainly does that!

    3. In Parker Palmer's Foreword, he asks "Where do teachers find the resources necessary to continue to serve our children in such difficult circumstances?" Then Palmer names the sources: "In the human heart... and in communities of mutual support." This book is full of such evidence.

    4. In Taylor Mali's bold and moving Introduction, he writes: "Whether teaching or writing, what I really am doing is shepherding revelation; I am the midwife to epiphany." And Mali adds this affirmation: "...poetry replenishes the well because it is another way of teaching."

    5. In paragraphs that introduce each section with deeply moving language, the editors note: "The teachers describe how reading poetry provides a low-tech version of time-lapse photography. The work of good teaching is quiet, hidden, and often immeasurably subtle." Like good poetry!

    6. They also use Wendell Berry's poem "The Real Work" to point to "the beauty of important work done well and the heartbreak of important work that is beyond what one can accomplish. This paradox is the heart and soul, the wonder and burden, of the teaching life.

    7. In National Teacher of the Year Sarah Brown Wessling's richly personal Afterword, she reminds us that, "...the center of all good teaching is a nexus of humility, an understanding that teaching isn't about the teacher, it's about the learner."

    8. No wonder PBS Newshour Education Correspondent John Merrow's endorsement states his desire to buy copies of Teaching with Heart for all the teachers he has interviewed in forty years of reporting.

    9. No wonder Sonia Nieto calls the book "...a wake-up call to the nation about the value of its teachers."

    10. And no wonder Wellesley College President Emeritus Diana Chapman Walsh claims that the book is "...the best possible field guide..." for "...every teacher with heart..." to keep close at hand "...while carrying society's most sacred trust."

    And there is yet another bonus. The final chapter is a gem of a guide for how to "unleash poetry's capacity to touch the human soul and open up opportunities for us to retain our humanity."

    For all the headwinds in the face of teachers, this book--truly a gift--puts wind beneath their wings.

    Rick Jackson, Co-Founder and Senior Fellow
    Center for Courage & Renewal

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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