Sometimes, as learners, we lose ourselves in a state that causes us to forget the world around us, become engrossed; we enter into a state of wide-awake-ness that is almost blissful. We want to dig more deeply into our reading or listening or taking action or learning; we allow emotions to roll over us, we're eager to talk with others about an idea—we're even aware of how extraordinary or beautiful those moments are. We are engaged.

From Ellin Oliver Keene, Engaging Children: Igniting a Drive for Deeper Learning K-8, Heinemann. Available April, 2018


Students want to understand—they’re hardwired to understand. They love to be surprised and challenged by the depth and quality of their insights, but their propensity to express complex thinking is very dependent upon our teaching. We have far more capacity to foster engagement and understanding than we may realize.

When I work side-by-side with teachers and other education leaders throughout this country and abroad, I recognize that our beliefs about students’ learning potential shape so much of what we do in classrooms. The extraordinary growth I’ve witnessed in children and teachers convinces me that all students can live intellectually engaged lives.

My passion and purpose are born in the boundless potential I see in teachers and children. The drive to understand in all of us makes great teaching possible and makes real the promise that all children can make lasting contributions to the society in which they live.



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Book: Teacher You Want to Be

The Teacher You Want to Be

Essays about Children, Learning, and Teaching

Edited by Matt Glover and Ellin Oliver Keene

This book is about bringing the education we want for our own children to all. It is focused on a set of strongly held beliefs that drive the actions of educators every day. Each of the 15 essays, centered around one of these beliefs, invites readers to consider what they can do to help children attend schools based on the true, authentic expressions of their teachers' beliefs.

In 2012, a diverse group American educators made a pilgrimage to Italy to observe instruction at a Reggio Emilia school. Their observations resulted in a desire to articulate a set of belief statements about education. This book is based on those beliefs. With this collection, the authors and editors hope to create a space in the current education conversation for teachers to know that they can teach in a way that is aligned to their beliefs.

Get your copy from: Heinemann | Amazon.com