Teaching Unmasked

My new book Teaching Unmasked is available in the following formats right now:

The Hollywood prototype of Silverscreen Superteachers presents a mythology that the best teachers are those who go into rough areas, make a huge difference and tell their stories in the process. The goal is to make a difference and change the world. After awhile, it becomes a mask that teachers wear - a mask of professionalism, of authority, of knowledge and expertise. Unfortunately, masked crusaders are not what children need. They need alter-egos more than superheros - regular people doing great things when they stop trying so hard to do bigger things. What if more is not better? What if changing the world is not a better goal? What if the best way to teach content is by teaching less? What if the best way to lead a classroom is by serving it? What if the solution missing in most of educational reform is not "more" but "less?" This is the main premise of a paradox of humility. It is the notion that learning increases when teaching decreases. It is the idea that teachers who quit trying to change lives are those who end up changing lives. It is the belief that the best way to achieve is by de-emphasizing achievement.

John Spencer is a teacher, author, speaker, and incessant doodler.
He is the co-author of Wendell the World's Worst Wizard
and the co-founder of Write About .

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