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Publisher's Summary

This book builds on a simple premise: good teaching cannot be reduced to technique but is rooted in the identity and integrity of the teacher. Good teaching takes myriad forms but good teachers share one trait: they are authentically present in the classroom, in community with their students and their subject. They possess "a capacity for connectedness" and are able to weave a complex web of connections between themselves, their subjects, and their students, helping their students weave a world for themselves. Connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts - the place where intellect, emotion, spirit, and will converge in the human self - when we choose to live authentic lives.
©2007 John Wiley and Sons, Inc. (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the critics say

"A profoundly moving, utterly passionate, and inspired articulation of the call to, and the pain and joy of, teaching. It is must reading for any and every teacher, at any level." (Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are)
"Evokes the heart of what teachers really do, and does so in a vivid, compelling, and soulful way." (Robert Coles, Harvard University)

What listeners say about The Courage to Teach

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  • Overall
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  • M. Meyers
  • 2013-10-12

Great content. Annoying performance

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I loved the content of this book. It was informative and motivational. For me, it was required reading for a graduate course in leadership. It contained profound concepts about how to see yourself as an education and leader. The audience should not be limited to teachers or those who work in education. The audio version of this was problematic, however because I felt, quite often, like the playback was just a bit too slow. The reader who voiced the audio version has a very deep voice and speaks just a little too slowly. It lulled me into sleep quite a few times, and I strongly believe it was the performance, not the content. I could read the text in the book and remain quite engaged.

Would you be willing to try another one of Stefan Rudnicki’s performances?

No. Probably not.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 2012-06-08

Informative and Reflective

If you could sum up The Courage to Teach in three words, what would they be?

Encouraging, Uplifting, and Connecting

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Courage to Teach?

Everyone has the "horror student" moments. Parker Palmer's "horror student" story was shared in a particularly heartfelt and honest way.

Which character – as performed by Stefan Rudnicki – was your favorite?

Entire story told in a clear and comforting tone and pace.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The overall idea that art of teaching starts within.
This is what I need to keep reminding myself of when I am particularly challenged by students, parents, colleagues or administration.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Babo Wright
  • 2011-07-17

Food for Thought

I enjoyed this book. Palmer has lots of ideas and the book is kind of a reflective work on his career. The book ends with a call to action but fortunately it is relatively short. I like most of his ideas and will listen to this book again. Palmer gives a lot of food for thought and is easy to listen to, excellent narration.

4 people found this helpful

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  • J. Yonkovit
  • 2021-11-29

When Ambien Fails…

…try this book! I am a teacher with 20+ years of experience (so it’s a topic I’m interested in), a type-A personality (so I’m always trying to improve my craft), and a severe OCD sufferer (who suffers anxiety when leaving tasks unfinished). Even I, after diligently listening to this audiobook during my commute for weeks, finally experienced a catharsis in the drive-thru lane at Chick-Fil-A, shouting, “No more! I cannot do it!” and literally yanked the USB cable out of the dashboard.
The complex writing style—metaphors within similes and sentences so long you forget how they started by the time they end—read in a voice so monotonous I wonder if it is read by a text-to-speech program has the effect of a homeopathic hypnotic. The “story” lacks information and energy, giving the impression this author hears one sentence from a student and spends the next three days on a chaise lounge in an office somewhere, reflecting deeply on that one sentence and analyzing it for some hint of hidden meaning, finding he and only he stands between that student’s success in life and a lifetime of Dickens-esq poverty and misery.
Yes, every other critic and reviewer thinks this book is fantastic and life-changing, so I’m probably intellectually inferior and too simple to understand the great truth buried within its covers, but I’ll take up that mantle and simply end with this: this is a boring AF book with little value for a classroom teacher, read by a robot.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-02-12

dry and self absorbed

narrator was not bad but the author was staring the obvious as though it were a revelation

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  • DJohn
  • 2016-05-01

A must for new educators!

Where does The Courage to Teach rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This was one of few audio books I have ever owned, however it has really set the bar quit high. I feel as though the narrator was not quite what I expected, but this did not hamper my ability to draw from the text's content.

Who was your favorite character and why?

No characters pre-say but the content and concepts were very helpful as a novice educator.

Have you listened to any of Stefan Rudnicki’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No I have not. His voice did not seem to fit as well as I would have liked it to.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was fascinated by how personal the author made teaching and how this transcended into the bigger picture of the education system. I was very please with the book as a whole and look forward to referencing it in the future.

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  • MsclQuake
  • 2013-04-20

Good Motivator

What made the experience of listening to The Courage to Teach the most enjoyable?

It was enjoyable to listen to a persons personal journey or exploration in what it means to teach. It was great to see that the author was able to define teaching for herself and find personal satisfaction.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The information was fine the way it was presented. Perhaps give ideas on how one can make teaching meaningful to themselves.

Which scene was your favorite?

not applicable

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Finding your purpose

Any additional comments?

Good listen for everyone and especially educators at all levels of education, both new and veteran.

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  • B. Cade
  • 2022-06-23

Great Book

Loved it. Forgot how great this book is. This book is amazingly and sadly still relevant today.

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  • Bozaya
  • 2022-06-12

👌🏼👌🏼

I am not a teacher and I enjoyed this book very much! very insightful and contains real life examples and experiences.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • J.Tyrone Marcus
  • 2021-12-20

Powerful and Practical

This book was a breath of fresh air as it legitimized the value of the inner life as the springboard for all that we do, not only as educators but as people in general.