Having met the authors and read their previous books, it was with great excitement that I opened their latest work: Celebrating Teachers. From the outset, I was inspired -“ and immediately I thought of ways in which I could use this book with the staff in our school. The book shares a series of powerful testimonies from those who have been inspired by teachers who went the extra mile and tapped into the infinite potential of children's minds.
It shares timely reminders of the importance of humour, finding time for pupils and building relationships. Add to these the key ingredients of calmness, a variety of teaching styles and techniques and thinking outside the box with unfamiliar or less exciting content to be covered. I also love the notion of -˜boomerang lessons' -“ those lessons that pupils want to come back to.
The authors are non-judgemental and provide encouragement for the reader to reflect on their own individual style and techniques. Many of the arguments they make are well known, but equally we need these welcome reminders -“ for example, that interesting lessons lead to higher levels of engagement and fewer problems around behaviour and concentration. We all benefit from frequent refreshment in order to keep the main thing the main thing. It is easy to become so distracted that we lose sight of rich areas of focus. This book helps us to remember, to celebrate and to enjoy.
In teaching we need the variety, idiosyncrasies, fun and enjoyment that each teacher brings to the classroom setting in their own unique ways. We also need the unrelenting commitment and positivity shown by the overwhelming majority of school workers. They keep the system functioning and, often in the face of adversity and criticism, inspire the children in their care. The power of the teacher should never be underestimated, and this book helps to remind us of this universal truth.