The Passionate Teacher Essay Research Paper The

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The Passionate Teacher Essay, Research Paper The Passionate Teacher By Robert L. Fried I have just finished reading a wonderful book titled, The Passionate Teacher, written by Robert L. Fried. I was so inspired by this book that I decided I needed to write about it. This book was written for both new teachers and teachers who have been in education for a long time. It s one of those rare books that a reader can connect with on every page. Some of the things discussed in this book include: how to be a passionate teacher, how the author sees the game of school, developing a stance or philosophy of teaching, the parent s perspective, and how to design a lesson plan that is full of passion. According to the author, students need to be engaged in the process of learning in ways

that connect with their experience. Students learn better when they know the teacher cares about them. One saying came to mind while I was reading this book, Students don t care how much you know, until they know how much you care. In the opening of the book, the author says: To be a passionate teacher is to be someone in love with a field of knowledge, deeply stirred by issues and ideas that challenge our world, drawn to the dilemmas and potentials of the young people who come into class each day or captivated by all of these. A passionate teacher is a teacher who breaks out of the isolation of a classroom, who refuses to submit to apathy or cynicism. I argue in these pages that only when teachers bring their passions about learning and about life into their daily work can they

dispel the fog of passive compliance or active disinterest that surrounds so many students. I believe that we all have it within ourselves to be passionate teachers, and that nothing else will quite do the trick (pg. 1). This first paragraph hooked me into the book right away. If this book and the author s ideas are incorporated into a classroom, students will know how much you care. The author talks about being passionate about the work you do as a teacher. But then he goes beyond this by giving many examples of ways to incorporate this passion into your curriculum. His lesson plans and ideas would be so easy to fit into performance packages. The funny part is that this book was written before performance packages were incorporated into the schools. He gives ideas that can be

incorporated into any subject matter. When a teacher becomes stagnant, so do the students and the classroom atmosphere. You cannot inspire students to do good work if you yourself are not inspired. Robert L. Fried makes the point that classrooms need to have a safe and comfortable atmosphere in order to be as successful as they can be. Only in an atmosphere where students feel they can be themselves without facing ridicule, prejudice, or alienation, can students take risks, make mistakes, and keep growing as persons. Without such respect, everyone s energies get diverted toward self-protection and survival the very opposite of what is needed for learning to take place. I believe that this is especially important in the classrooms of today. So much is fostered by the media

regarding unsafe schools and unsafe classrooms that this question of safety is often on students minds as well as everyone else s. But beyond safety, he believes that classrooms need to be warm and caring places for students to reach their potential. The passion a teacher has for the profession is imbedded throughout this book. It is the main core of what the author has to say. He speaks about the teacher s passion that helps them and their students escape the slow death of business as usual, the rituals of going through the motions, which in schools usually means checking that the homework was done, covering the curriculum, testing, grading, and quickly putting it all behind us. Being a passionate teacher also means that you have a commitment to active learning by showing not