2011 • $32.00 • 224 pp • paper
In university teachers’ hectic lives, finding space to reflect, restore, renew, and recommit can seem impossible. Jean Koh Peters and Mark Weisberg believe regular reflection is critical and have designed A Teacher’s Reflection Book to help teachers and other professionals find that space. Growing out of the authors’ extensive experience facilitating retreats and leading teaching and learning workshops, the book builds on their discoveries in those settings, supporting and promoting teachers’ self-directed development.
Inviting that development, A Teacher’s Reflection Book is a cornucopia of stories, exercises, and examples that will inspire teachers to make reflection a cornerstone of their daily lives. With its multiple suggestions and strategies, it offers something for every reader, and is responsive to teachers’ needs at all stages of their careers.
The book’s six chapters offer readers several perspectives from which to reflect. Some sections offer glimpses of teachers in the midst of their daily teaching lives, while others step away, inviting readers to reflect on what it means to have a vocation as a teacher.
The book explores how we listen, a crucial yet rarely taught skill, essential for reflecting, as well as for learning and teaching. And it invites teachers to reflect on their students: who they are, and what and how they learn. For those latter reflections, the authors turn the focus on fear, which so pervades university life and which can distort learners’ and teachers’ perspectives and responses. Throughout this book, readers will visit several classrooms and listen to the evocative voices of several thoughtful students.
Revelatory, practical, and wise, A Teacher’s Reflection Book is a valuable companion and guide.
“One key strength of the book is its authentic writing style, which engages the reader and builds the trustworthiness of the authors. Another strength is the book's wealth of readings and the activities it offers to catalyze teacher reflection.” — Teaching Theology and Religion, Ryan S. Gardner
“This excellent book should be part of every teacher’s professional library. It is a book pitched at all teachers in higher education and, through the processes of reﬂection, a book that advances important principles of good teaching practice that are usually introduced all too brieﬂy in the basic texts on teaching in higher education. ...Several descriptive words come to mind when reading this book. It is a polite and gentle book. Politeness is revealed in the book’s sub-title – ‘Exercises, stories, invitations’. It is the idea of invitation that characterizes much of the book. It is not didactic but rather invites us to use the book and the processes described in it in ways that work best for us. It does this through questions and inductive approaches to reﬂection. Through these approaches and the careful use of real-life examples, we are gently invited to explore the perspectives presented in the text and apply these to our personal and professional lives. It is also an accessible book. Most refreshingly, it is not burdened with unnecessary technical jargon and convoluted language that sadly cripples too much writing in education today and makes learning inaccessible to many, particularly for those readers whose ﬁrst language is not English.” — Higher Education Research & Development (HERDSA), Robert Cannon
“I was asked to write a book review but I find that, instead, I want to write a thank you note thanking Jean Koh Peters and Mark Weisberg for the gift of their book, A Teacher’s Reflection Book. ...The reflections, examples and exercises you offer in the book make reflecting about both challenging and positive moments in my life as a teacher feel like something I can do easily and regularly. ...In this book, you have found a way to model, encourage and help create a compassionate space where teachers can make the deepest connection between who they are and what they do. You give us permission to find our truth in and the courage to bring our hearts to our teaching and writing. You have made a home for reflection.” — The Law Teacher, Kimberly Kirkland, University of New Hampshire School of Law
“We are all so busy. We race from task to task. We attempt to multi-task; dividing and depleting our energies. How many times do we arrive in class breathless with hardly a moment to think about what we have planned for the day? I harbor no illusions that a blog entry is going to change our lives, but I would like to use this one to reiterate the need to make time for reflection, for contemplation about what we do, and how and why we do it. The value of doing so is laid out clearly in [this] new book...” — Teaching Professor Blog, Maryellen Weimer