Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Book Review: Teaching With Fire


I've had the book Teaching With Fire: Poetry That Sustains the Courage to Teach by Sam Intrator and Megan Scribner on my amazon wishlist for some time now. I've passed this title over several times in favor of other collections of poems. Recently, I decided to go and clean up my wishlist. I bought some titles used for great prices and others I eliminated completely. I am happy to report that this title made the cut and landed in my mailbox just yesterday.

In this collection, selected poems are paired with an explanation written by the teachers who've chosen the poem. They explain why they selected the poem and how it represents their teaching or affected their teaching. This collection of poetry is as diverse as the nation of students we teach. There are selections from William Carlos Williams, Mary Oliver, Walt Whitman, Anne Sexton, Langston Hughes, Margaret Walker, and there are even a couple of Gary Snyder poems. And there's more. And, it all somehow comes together to form a powerful body of work.

I am planning to give this book to my practicum teacher as a thank you gift for working with my students. I've come across nothing better to help inspire a future or practicing teacher to include more poetry in lesson planning. Of course, right after I decided that my practicum teacher would love this book, I had to go online and order another copy of this collection for myself!

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