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In February 1999, Bobbi Fisher sent an email to a group of teachers nationwide, asking two main questions: "What are some of the specific stresses in your teaching situation and how do you deal with them?" and "When are the times that you feel the most joy in your teaching?" The response was overwhelming. From that mailing, along with subsequent ones to several hundred other teachers, this book grew.
At the heart of Part I are the teachers' own words - their insights into their personal and professional lives, organized around their joys and pains, obstacles and opportunities, with Bobbi's thoughtful commentary interwoven throughout. The teachers express concerns about the current emphasis on standards, testing, and the problems these initiatives have created for themselves and their students. They explain how they balance time for others with time for themselves - and remain resilient in the process. Many talk about the importance of faith in their lives and how it helps them to achieve their goals.
In Part II, Bobbi explores some specific strategies for achieving balance that she's shared with teachers throughout the country, in presentations and workshops - finding comfort in friends, tapping our childhood experiences, being open to spirituality (however you define it). She also provides reflection sections with writing activities to help you set priorities and stick to them. Completing the book is a bibliography of resources that teachers have found helpful in their quest for fulfillment.
The Teacher Book is a book for all teachers and administrators. You will find affirmation, inspiration, and encouragement as you search for balance in your personal and professional life.
Part One: Teachers' Lives
1. Balancing and Centering
The Joys of Teaching
The School Community
Students and Parents
Standards and Testing
Searching for Balance
Taking Time for Ourselves
Part Two: Reflecting and Taking Action
8. Creating a Personal Inventory
Learning from Childhood Memories
Exploring Truths and Spirituality
Writing a Mission Statement and Taking Time for Ourselves