Relevant Read / Finding the Heart of Teaching - ASCD
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November 1, 2018

Relevant Read / Finding the Heart of Teaching

Engagement
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Credit: mbr/Sarasota Herald-Tribune/Dan Wagner

Heart! Fully Forming Your Professional Life as a Teacher and Leader by Timothy D. Kanold (Solution Tree Press, 2017)

Timothy D. Kanold's book Heart! Fully Forming Your Professional Life as a Teacher and Leader doesn't focus as much on the how of professional development as it does on the why.

Looking deeply at aspects such as happiness, engagement, and risk taking, Kanold presents a textured picture of what it means to be fulfilled as a teacher and constantly growing and learning as a professional. His personal, candid storytelling encourages readers to examine their path and discover the "heartprint" they are leaving on their students, colleagues, and community.

For example, Kanold discusses the need for professional learning communities (PLCs), but doesn't go into the details of how to form one or what makes one successful. Instead, he looks to the reasons and philosophies behind forming these types of groups. "The PLC process—and the effort your team makes when working together around the issues that impact student learning—serves a greater good," he writes. "Good teams attack inequities that isolated decision making can cause and seek out magnified impact far greater than any individual on the team could ever achieve."

The book is a "heartening" pep talk for teachers who may be burned out. With writing exercises, thought-provoking questions, and inspirational quotes, Kanold urges educators to rediscover the reasons and passions behind their choice of profession. "We have perhaps the greatest purpose there is," he writes. "No matter all the pressures and all the responsibilities placed on us, we chose a profession of persons." With Heart, educators can start to focus back in on that human element.

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