Publication Date: June 15, 1996
To Become a Teacher, edited by William Ayers, is filled with practical, concrete advice for new teachers (and experienced teachers who are rethinking their practices). Ayers has gathered an impressive array of educators, teachers, reformers, and philosophers, including Nancy Balaban, Lisa Delpit, Hubert Dyasi, Helen Featherstone and colleagues, Joseph Featherstone, Maxine Greene, Mary Anne Raywid, Rita Tenorio, and Lillian Weber, among others, to write about teaching as a profession, the state of our schools, and their visions of the future. Part I, “Becoming a Teacher,” offers insight into teaching as a calling, as an intellectual challenge, and as a profoundly human enterprise. Part II, “Thinking and Teaching,” draws our attention to the power of teaching, its responsibility, and the kind of consciousness demanded and expected. Part III, “Reinventing Schools,” locates teaching in the real world. This is a book for those who want to stop swimming uncomfortably in a sea of habit and routine, of behaviorism and instrumentalism, who want to create something better.
The volume will be an important primary text in undergraduate and graduate courses on foundations of education, teacher education, curriculum, and methods and a course reading in American studies, comparative education, and philosophy of education, as well as watershed reading for classroom teachers.
William Ayers is Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago (retired), education activist, and bestselling 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).
“Teachers-to-be will hear and read an awful lot these days about the obstacles they’re going to face in bureaucratic principals, archaic texts, restrictive rules, and punitive exams; if they are to teach in inner-city public schools, they will also hear a lot about the social and economic problems that their students frequently will face. Much of this is absolutely true; and many days in many public schools will doubtless be sheer hell for many teachers. But the moments of transcendence, when they come, make up for almost everything.... ‘When teaching is done well,’ as Ayers notes, ‘it satisfies the soul.’... I hope that this wonderful collection of wise writing by good teachers will lead many readers into lives lived joyfully among schoolchildren.”
—From the Foreword by Jonathan Kozol