3 out of 4 stars
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Official Review: What Teachers Are Made of by Tania L. Hernandez
After gaining 20 years of experience in special education, Tania L. Hernandez shares her expertise and concerns in What Teachers Are Made Of. In the book, she talks about the qualities and responsibilities of teachers and offers advice on how to become an effective teacher. Hernandez argues that many children face several crises during their learning process. According to the author, these crises exist for several reasons. She explains the reasons and offers advice about what teachers can specifically do to teach and inspire their students.
The main topics in the book focus on: the definition of a true teacher, the specific crises modern day students face, helping children overcome learning challenges, and effective teaching techniques. Within 10 chapters, Hernandez gives her definition of a true teacher, and reveals tips which she and other teachers have used to teach their students. There is also input different teachers and student about the experiences they had and techniques that were used to achieve educational goals.
I give What Teachers Are Made Of 3 out of 4 stars. What is really good about this book is that Hernandez provides readers with evidence that children can learn even if they face difficult challenges. This is apparent in the in the story of one student who overcame his learning difficulties. Readers may be intrigued when they find out about the students background and the difficulties he faced. There is also some specific advice to help children understand, view and accept others and the world around them. I especially liked the solutions that the author offered to help solve the problems which come about because people belong to different cultural groups and religious affiliations. Readers will also be enlightened by some of the suggestions other teachers made in the book.
Although I really liked how the author addressed many of the main topics, important information was missing from the book. The impact of the importance of the author’s arguments and themes would have been more powerful and convincing if there were a few statistics to back up some statements and arguments. The book lacked details about some of the teaching techniques the author has used during her teaching sessions, and it was surprising that she did not give more solutions to help teachers counter the negative affect the media can sometimes have on children.
Even though the book has these deficits, What Teachers Are Made Of has several good messages such as: there is always something to learn; teachers need to think outside of the box when they teach; and teachers need to take care of themselves as well as their students. The end of the book has a poem and a fish recipe which are designed to inspire teachers as well as nourish their bodies and souls.
Teachers that work with children who have learning difficulties, and want to learn new ways to effectively teach students would definitely benefit from reading this book. The 75 pages in What Teachers Are Made Of can easily be read in one sitting. It is more than likely that many of the insights and suggestions will be very helpful to those individuals who are professional or aspiring educators.
What Teachers Are Made Of
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