November 10, 2010

Green Books Campaign: Meditations for Teachers

This review is part of the Green Books campaign. Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.

The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on "green" books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.

I'm so glad to be reviewing Alphabet Meditations For Teachers. Not only is it environmentally friendly, it is emotionally friendly for those of us who are striving every day to make a difference in our schools.

Arranged alphabetically, of course, these poem-like meditations cut to the core of what is essential in our work. A is for Adam, B is for Bells. C is for Change, D is for Do. E is for Excellence, F is for Fear.

And also for Favorite. Because this meditation was one of my favorites:

F Is For Fear

I know, with all my heart,
That a fear-driven
School is not a good place
For people.

Our brains shut down,
Reduced to the most
Learning. We can't think well.

Search my soul
To feel my own fears.
Help me know how to go
Release them-just let go.

Write on my heart the
Ancient Lesson that
Perfect love casts out fear...

But, I also love the one on the very next page:

G is for Grades

How I hate grades!
I make an imperfect test
For them to 'pass'
Making me their judge and executioner.

Then they compare,
Each to each.
Some walk out
With Superior air;
Others pretend not to care.

Help me reflect
On what I am doing-
Or not doing-
with grades.
Am I fair?

This book would be a wonderful gift for a teacher you know. Or for yourself if you, like Col, Frances and myself, work with students.


  1. What neat poems! Just those two made me think about my teachers and their perspective which I haven't really done before. That would be an excellent gift for a teacher. Nice review!

  2. Wonderful review, Bellezza! It would be a perfect gift for a teacher--or for myself! :)

  3. This book would make a beautiful gift for any teacher!

  4. Great gift suggestion for the teachers in my family. I really love that it's on eco-friendly paper.

  5. Oh, my - I wish you hadn't deleted your wordpress blog. It was such an easy way for me to keep up with you - I just realized I hadn't seen any new entries in forever. When I double checked, you were gone out of my blog reader. Sigh.

    Blogger just isn't wordpress friendly - I'll have to devise a new way to keep up with you now. But first - it's time to go see what you've been up to!

    Love this book - I know several teachers who need to be made aware of it. Thanks for the review.

  6. Done! feedburner email. Perfect. I wish I weren't such a cyber-doofus ;-)

  7. What a great tool for teachers. I love the use of poetry as a teaching tool. What a wide variety of books in this green campaign.

  8. Ohhhh! I love this. I will have to add this to my wishlist.

    I'd love to have you stop by and take a look at the Green book I'm reviewing.

  9. What a wonderful addition to a teacher's Christmas stocking, Bellezza! I know a number of brilliant teachers who work so tirelessly to help children learn that they sometimes forget that they need to nurture themselves as well. I will be buying a few of these to help them remember. Thanks for the wonderful review!

  10. I most tell all my teacher friends about this book.

  11. Wow. I'm in the midst of a semester where I'm rethinking a lot in terms of how to teach writing, so the "grade" poem really stuck in my head. To be a good, fair, effective, patient, encouraging, innovative teacher is truly exhausting. Then add some theory to the mix... whew. I'm trying to let go to an extent and let the class and its abilities/strengths lead the class as opposed to me structuring absolutely everything. Not. Easy. But I love it.

    Whew. Guess I needed to get that off my chest. Glad you got something out of this book.

  12. I wish I'd had that book when i was teaching in school!

  13. I have several teacher friends who would love this one. And thank you for bringing awareness to the ecology behind book publishing and how we as readers can be more aware and informed in our purchasing decisions.

  14. This does sound like a great teacher's gift! It's nice to see teachers don't like grades any more than students do.