Edited by: Sonia Nieto
Publication Date: June 25, 2005
Why teach? Listen to the voices of both veteran and new teachers as they share their most heartfelt and thoughtful replies to this simple but important question. Sonia Nieto, a distinguished teacher in her own right, has gathered the insights and inspirations of K–12 classroom teachers as they examine how and why they find purpose and value in the work they do.
The teachers in this book, like so many across the country, do the kind of work that may not grab headlines but is far more important than even the highest test score: These teachers listen closely to their students. They share in their students’ struggles and successes. They create a classroom climate that encourages growth, direction, and purpose. They help students develop into thoughtful, engaged citizens. The teachers in this book show us the kinds of learning that really matter, and the kinds of lessons that students can take with them for their entire lives.
This inspirational book focuses on the quintessential values of teaching, challenges current notions that focus on only accountability, testing, and standardization, and provide a compelling message of hope for public education.
Sonia Nieto is professor emerita of language, literacy, and culture at the College of Education, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the bestselling author of The Light in Their Eyes, 10th Anniversary Edition, Why We Teach, and What Keeps Teachers Going? She is the recipient of the 2019 LRA Distinguished Scholar Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2021 Mass Humanities Governor's Award.
“These pieces reveal the passion and hope that keep people in the classroom.”
“Demonstrates exactly why there is hope for our public schools.”
“Wonderful teachers all over the nation will rejoice in this inspiring and, ultimately, hopeful book.”
Jonathan Kozol, author of Ordinary Resurrections, Amazing Grace, and Savage Inequalities
“This book is timely and needed; it is an important continuation of a conversation Sonia Nieto started in What Keeps Teachers Going?”
—Bernadette Anand, Bank Street College of Education
“These essays offer a more complex, thoughtful, and progressive view of the possibilities of schooling, at a time when teachers need support for preserving alternative visions for teaching and learning.”
Lee Anne Bell, Barnard College
“I learned an important lesson almost immediately: Be yourself.”
—Bob Amses (4th grade)
“I teach because teaching brings me hope.”
—Ambrizeth Lima (high school)
“Learning is not a business, it is personal.”
—Sandra Jenoure (middle school)
Sonia Nieto, Winner, 2019 LRA Distinguished Scholar Lifetime Achievement Award