Publication Date: April 5, 2019
Series: School : Questions
Education activist William Ayers invites new and prospective teachers to consider the deepest dimensions of a life in teaching. Should I become a teacher? How can I get to know my students? What commitments come with me into the classroom? How do I develop my unique teaching signature? In his new book, about Becoming A Teacher, Ayers muses on 10 such questions (and a little more) to shape and structure an indispensable guide that features hands-on advice and concrete examples of classroom practice, including curriculum-making, building relationships with students and parents, fostering an effective learning environment, and teaching toward freedom. This brilliant and concise text offers a conception of teaching as both practical art and essentially ethical practice.
William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), education activist, and author of , Teaching the Taboo: Courage and Imagination in the Classroom (with Rick Ayers), To Teach: The Journey of a Teacher, Third Edition, and To Teach: The Journey, in Comics (with Ryan Alexander-Tanner).
"With about Becoming a Teacher, Bill Ayers has created an invaluable tool, both for those who are pondering life as an educator and for those who are already there. As America continues to grapple with big-ticket issues like class, like gender, like race, it is also critical that teachers understand the fullness of their role in preparing our youth as much as possible for the world ahead. Read and digest this book, and know that in your hands is the gift to help and empower students, which is the greatest gift you could ever give as a teacher."
—Kevin Powell, author of The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy's Journey into Manhood
“This is a highly engaging and readable text that helps prospective teachers to consider the ethical, practical, sociological, and spiritual bases for their chosen profession. Against a necessary backdrop of a neoliberal critique of education, the book is chock-full of illustrative, entertaining anecdotes, great teaching and learning moments, and hard questions that help inform the highly consequential decision to become a teacher.”
― Angela Valenzuela, Professor of Education, University of Texas at Austin and editor of Growing Critically Conscious Teachers
"Wow, do I wish I could have read this book, not only when I was just starting to teach, but every year since. William Ayers asks questions that we commonly associate with aspiring teachers, but artfully poses responses that dissociate us from taken-for-granted notions of education, even for the most veteran among us. Rather than instruct in how to become any prevailing image of 'teacher,' this breathtaking book surfaces the contradictions of teaching towards democracy and invites us to never stop reimagining ourselves as teachers who advance justice precisely by troubling the very act of teaching."
―Kevin Kumashiro, National Education Policy Center, University of Colorado Boulder and author of Bad Teacher!: How Blaming Teachers Distorts the Bigger Picture