"The monologue about teachers has been pretty awful over the past few years. Teachers did not get into the profession to be kicked around during political campaigns, they got into education because of a love for children, and a passion for learning. Deliberate Optimism is for all of those teachers who have lost or forgotten that along the way. Read this book…and regain your optimism. "
“Teaching is tough, but it's not supposed to be masochistic. Sometimes teachers forget that taking care of ourselves is an important part of the job. Deliberate Optimism helps educators learn how refill our mental and emotional gas tanks – or at least increase our fuel efficiency.”
"I can't think of anyone more effective in helping us teachers bring joy and optimism to our work than Debbie Silver. And that also goes for providing us with instructional strategies to help our students want to do the same."
"Students have a right to see someone in the front of the room who is confident, competent, and incurably optimistic. Too often, the status quo in classrooms and buildings is decidedly—and powerfully—negative. Every district leader and building principal should put this book in the hands of teachers and teacher assistants—and then model the kind of deliberate optimism teachers have a right to expect from their leaders. "
"You'll love this book! The authors offer a prescription for schools that costs nothing but has been proven to be invaluable: joy. By the time you finish this book, you'll find yourself truly optimistic about the future of education. If you are interested in improving education, be deliberate and grab copies of this book for everyone in your school district. It will remind you how smiles - not standards - are the secret to inspiring lifelong learning. "
"This book is a must-have resource for experienced as well as novice teachers. Easy to read and implement, it offers a wealth of sensible, realistic, and inspiring advice about how to successfully manage the daily business of being a classroom teacher. Its positive message is simply empowering!"
"A must read for every educator. This book details why they must work to maintain their optimism and how they can do that—and does this with a twist of humor."
Nothing important can be accomplished without optimism. Since teaching is a task of highest importance, this book should be read by anyone who is, or aspires to be, a teacher.
In an era of relentless criticism and overriding pessimism about our educational system, this book will lift the spirits of all who work in schools. "
"With so much negativity heaped on education today there is a need for sources of inspiration and this book provides it. Not only is the book a singular call to arms for teachers to reclaim their joy but within these pages are real strategies for healing our souls and growing positive, nurturing classrooms. Bravo my friends, we needed this book!"
"Deliberate Optimism is what every teacher needs before the start of school, in the midst of the longest months of teaching, and at the end of the academic year. The work of Silver, Berckemeyer, and Baenen is insightful, uplifting and engaging! The book is inspiring and reminds all educators that they are in control of their own happiness and can transfer that happiness and optimism to students."
"The monologue about teachers has been pretty awful over the past few years. Teachers did not get into the profession to be kicked around during political campaigns, they got into education because of a love for children, and a passion for learning. Deliberate Optimism is for all of those teachers who have lost or forgotten that along the way. Read this book…and regain your optimism."
"Deliberate Optimism: Reclaiming the Joy in Education is a highly relevant and engaging book that goes directly to the heart and soul of what education should be, not what it has come to be. The authors offer practical suggestions on how to reclaim what we have lost in the struggle to keep students, learning, and relationships at the core of educational practice. Their suggestions provide a pathway for educators to take deliberate personal action to reject the increasingly dehumanizing and deadening effects of politicization and corporatization of education. Deliberate Optimism provides us with hope that the joy in education, which attracted us to our profession, is still available; it is just waiting for each of us to take deliberate action to reclaim it. "
"Debbie asked me to review this book and I said, Depends. As in, the countenance product – I knew I would need them while reading a book by her and Jack and Judith. I didn’t know I would need Kleenex too, as I found myself dabbing at tears of both joy and released frustrations. These authors are the most insightful, funniest, and now I will add, compassionate, minds in education today. Their practical tips about maintaining and rebuilding realistic optimism are, in our students’ vernacular, Da bomb! This book has great wisdom no matter what your profession, or lack thereof. Mahalo! "
"The Universe provides. Debbie asked me to review this book at a time when I was facing new and daunting challenges both at home and the workplace. Deliberate Optimism offers not only encouragement, but much more importantly, practical steps for maintaining and rebuilding realistic optimism at work, home, wherever. Their insights are grounded in the real world of too little funding, too much criticism, too many demands, too little time, etc. And they show how to find and nurture light there. Mahalo, Debbie, Jack and Judith! "
"This is such an important book for every classroom teacher. I wish schools would keep a copy in the faculty room so teachers can get practical ideas for finding the fun in working with students! I love how the book provides deliberate strategies that help teachers overcome the everyday bumps in the road that accompany the classroom. Thank you Debbie, Jack, and Judith for reminding us that teaching kids should be joyful! "
"Blind optimism is no more effective than blind pessimism when it applied to providing children a good education. Thankfully respected educators Silver, Berckmeyer and Baenen offer optimism as a tool with eyes wide-open. While acknowledging the challenges - social, political and professional - of today's teachers, the authors describe and promote concrete strategies for building, sustaining, and using optimistic behaviors to improve professional effectiveness. A great book for whole school discussion - or to simply read for personal uplift, Deliberate Optimism belongs on every teacher and administrator's bookshelf - and hearts. "
"Justice and self-improvement are interdependent. You can't change yourself without working to change your world; and you can't change your world without working to change yourself. With realistic scenarios, clear, sympathetic suggestions, and funny off-hand references to The Big Bang Theory and Harry Potter, Debbie Silver and her co-authors help educators tackle the latter half of this interdependence in _Deliberate Optimism_. In this book we are offered tools to cultivate the fund of energy and creativity we all need to set in motion real change."
"The focus of this book is on optimism and the development of a school environment where students and staff feel safe, engaged and productive. The book opens with over fifteen comments from teachers that praise the authors for their ‘sensible, realistic and inspiring advice…simply empowering!’ So does the book live up to this? The authors all include the word ‘humorous’ in their descriptions of themselves, allied to a wealth of experience as teachers, consultants and presenters. Debbie Silver is the author of ‘Fall Down 7 Times, Get Up 8: Teaching Kids to Succeed’, which I have previously reviewed here. The book is built around five principles of deliberate optimism which include:
- Establish what you can control and seek tools and strategies to help you maximize your power
- Take ownership of your plan and acknowledge responsibility for your choices
These principles are then linked to Action Steps and Points for Discussion, with illustrations of what can be controlled and what cannot. The authors also stress the importance of finding joy and optimism through striving for balance and developing the skill of ‘Single-Tasking’ as opposed to multitasking. The appendix contains exercises, sample happiness and optimism tests, team building exercises and suggestions for using humour and managing stress. This is an interesting book that would have benefited possibly from some cartoons or other visual content to balance its quest for optimism and joy. "