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Lighting Their Fires: Raising Extraordinary Kids in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up World (Anglais) Relié – août 2009

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Présentation de l'éditeur

The New York Times bestselling author of Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire shares his proven methods for creating compassionate children

During twenty-five years of teaching at Hobart Elementary School in inner city Los Angeles, Rafe Esquith has helped thousands of children maxi­mize their potential—and became the only teacher in history to receive the president's National Medal of Arts. In Lighting Their Fires, Esquith translates the inspiring methods from Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire for parents. Using lessons framed by a class trip to a Dodgers game, he moves inning by inning through concepts that explain how to teach children to be thoughtful and honorable people—as well as successful students—and to have fun in the process.

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Biographie de l'auteur

Rafe Esquith has taught at Hobart Elementary School for twenty-two years. He is the only teacher in history to receive the National Medal of Arts. He has also been made a Member of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth. His many other honors include the American Teacher Award, Parents magazine’s As You Grow Award, Oprah Winfrey’s Use Your Life Award, and the Compassion in Action Award from the Dalai Lama. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Barbara Tong. Read CBS's news story on Rafe Esquith. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 39 commentaires
30 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A must-read for educators and parents, a great read for the rest of ya 8 septembre 2009
Par Clayton Stromberger - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This is a night at the ballgame you don't want to miss.

"Lighting Their Fires" is not a prescriptive, I've-got-the-answers book. Instead, it's a precious opportunity to spend some time at a baseball game with five really remarkable young people, as teacher Rafe Esquith was fortunate enough to do last year in Dodgers Stadium. If you don't learn something from these five kids while reading this book, then you are a Scrooge indeed and perhaps in need of a midnight visit from the Ghost of Education Future, pointing a gnarled finger towards quite a few children being "left behind" if we keep going the way we're headed.

Rafe Esquith is onto something here. "Lighting Their Fires," like "There Are No Shortcuts" and "Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire" before it, is a gentle but firm wakeup call, reminding us, in a phrase he used often in his previous books, "I think we can do even better."

Where we can do better, Esquith says, is in helping our children ("ours" as teachers or as parents) become extraordinary -- not in their brilliance or test scores, though those have their place, but in their ability to develop their own code of conduct and then live it in a way that benefits everyone around them, from family members to classmates to strangers to even, thank goodness, their bearded and vest-and-tie-wearing teacher.

What Rafe and his students have discovered over the past 24 years in Room 56 at Hobart Elementary, it seems to me, is a new entryway into the ancient wisdom that great education is all about making us better people, not better test-takers. The energy and commitment level that is unleashed in these kids when they discover the joy of being selfless is a remarkable thing to behold. In some cases it qualifies as heroic, especially in the face of adversity that most of us have never imagined.

This is a great book because it tells the truth. Rafe is saying that our culture, the stuff our children absorb countless times each day, is making it harder, not easier, to raise and teach children to become good citizens, good friends, good people. As a parent and teacher, I have to agree. All the folks screaming at elected officials at "town hall" meetings could benefit from a few weeks in Rafe's class. It's a place where the American dream is a practical, living reality, earned with hard work, patience, and thousands of hours of practice. And it's a dream rooted in a fundamental decency and concern for others.

I've spent some precious time as a guest in Rafe's classroom, and had the privilege of briefly meeting the five children seen leaping for joy on the cover of "Lighting Their Fires." I watched them and the other Hobart Shakespeareans work math problems, play baseball, read aloud "Huckleberry Finn," and perform Shakespeare and rock and roll and rollicking dance numbers. More impressively, I also remember some of these same students, and others, quickly offering me bottled water every time I entered their classroom. And I marveled at the humility and patience they demonstrated as they quietly watched their classmates rehearse for hours on end, long after all the other Hobart students had gone home. They are the real thing.

Watching these children, I could only wish for the same experience for my children; not, I realize now (thanks to this book) the experience of the "getting to do all this great stuff," but the living experience of being a kid who has decided to think of others first and, through that generosity, chosen to aim for excellence. Alas, my two kids cannot be Hobart Shakespeareans, cannot have Rafe as their classroom teacher. But like all true teachers, he is ready to share what he has learned with anyone who will make the effort to listen. This book is just another way of doing that. So check it out, spend some time at Dodgers Stadium with Rafe and the students, and see what you find yourself thinking about as you drive home after the ballgame, late at night, pondering what really matters in this life and what you want people to say about you when you're gone.

I can promise you'll be thinking about more than the final score.
15 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Everyone can benefit from this book 7 octobre 2009
Par Diane M. Davidson - Publié sur
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
When I first heard Rafe Esquith speaking on the radio, I drove straight to a bookstore and bought his first two books, TEACH LIKE YOUR HAIR'S ON FIRE and THERE ARE NO SHORTCUTS. As a former teacher, I can tell you that they are both excellent. When I saw Mr. Esquith had written a new book and, better yet, was coming to Denver, I had to attend. With his students performing Shakespeare (beautifully) and Mr. Esquith providing (superb) comments, I was not disappointed. The evening was phenomenal, and I highly recommend that readers and book lovers of all ages, not just teachers, try to get to one of his signings.
I just finished the book yesterday, and it was amazing. He teaches kids time management. (Is this taught anywhere else? It should be.) He teaches them life skills such as getting and staying organized. He gives them a love of learning, so that they do extra reading not just because it's assigned, but because the reading itself brings intrinsic rewards. And most importantly, he teaches them values such as generosity, honesty, and humility. The kids learn these traits and keep them for a lifetime.
(Although I am a Rockies fan, I didn't even mind that the book was set at a Dodgers game. Little humor there. Please don't write to me; I am a huge admirer of Joe Torre.)
The lessons Mr. Esquith imparts can work for all ages. We can all turn off the television and read more; we can all toss the video games and play a board game; we can all be more generous, honest, and loving, not just when someone is watching. I bought four copies of this book, and plan to buy more. I highly recommend it.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Skip this book, better titled as: Hitting a Home Run: Teaching Techniques that Transcribe to Parenting, and choose his other... 6 juillet 2011
Par Julee Rudolf - Publié sur
...older books instead.

Having just read Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire and loved it, and There Are No Shortcuts and liked it, I expected more from this book in support of its subtitle, Raising Extraordinary Children. Instead, it's more about Esquith's extraordinarily effective teaching methods than about parenting. He does provide some suggestions, like: have your children write thank you cards, have them help with meals, teach them to be honest and humble. But: Hitting a Home Run: Teaching Techniques that Transcribe to Parenting might have been a better title. He starts out with a brief explanation of what he is and does--a teacher of over 24 years at Hobart Elementary School in the LA School District where he typically teaches poor, ESL learner 5th graders. In spite of that fact, he is able to help his students achieve a level of academic excellence above and beyond what those who ascribe to the idea that impoverished kids whose primary language isn't English can't achieve at the same level as their richer, English as a first language peers.

Because of his love of the sport, he recounts a particularly negative experience he and a group of his students had while attending a Red Sox game as the backdrop of the book, a sort of metaphor for "concepts that help children build character and develop enriching lives." If you know anything about Esquith, you know that the trip was nothing like your typical take-me-out-to-the-ball-game one might expect for 10 and 11 year olds, more like a lesson about life. *Note: the rest of this paragraph contains spoilers.* They arrive on time (note from RE: teach your kids the importance of time) to a nearly empty section and his students behave well, as expected. His charges must pay particularly close attention because they've learned to take stats and will do so during the entire 9 inning game lasting late into the night. Soon a group of adults arrives with a small electronic-game toting child in tow (note from RE: don't let your kids have too much screen TV/computer time as it makes them less smart). Kid waves flag bought to replace broken game and unintentionally but repeatedly smacks one of Esquith's students with it. The adults' reaction to the teacher's request to ask the child to stop is no surprise; dad belts out a slew of curse words, showing everyone that those who show up late (I guess) are the same inconsiderates who will swear indiscriminately at youngsters. Later, he runs into a fellow teacher who apologizes for the man's bad behavior. And, of course, this man (everyone but Esquith and his students seem to think he must have some ulterior motive for his dedication) quizzes him about his showing up after hours with this group of kids, unwilling to accept that he does so for selfless reasons. The book proceeds with more about the game (the score, the inconconsiderate folks who defy the rules and throw around beach balls) contrasted with his kids' great behavior. Beyond the basics, there is less about parenting, more about teaching (especially about his word renown Hobart Shakespearean group and its fans). All I could think of as I read his recounting of the horrible experience they had at the baseball game was that it seemed odd: in all his years of chaperoning students to watch the Red Sox, he chose what was probably the worst of all instead of, say, providing a balanced view (for example, contrasting the lowlights of negative experience with the highlights of a positive one).

Although there is some helpful information in this book about building good character in and teaching children, I much preferred Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire because it is more specific. Also, the third time around I was less enthralled with his standard recipe for writing (though not his teaching accomplishments): talk about teaching techniques, explain what you've learned as a teacher, write about your students and your expectations for them, add some quotes from your favorite books and authors, provide a few positive and negative anecdotes about your current and former students and adults with whom you come in contact, than I was when it was still new to me. In summary, Esquith's latest, with its misleading title, similar style and content to his previous two books, and overwhelmingly negative baseball game metaphor, is better left unread. Recommended instead: There Are No Shortcuts and Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire. Also good: The Hobart Shakespeareans a film by Mel Stuart.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Teachers and Parents: Read this! 21 septembre 2009
Par Luke Reynolds - Publié sur
Format: Relié
Rafe Esquith's third book on working with and inspiring students is just as powerful as his first two. Vividly, Esquith captures the most important lessons teachers and parents can share with their students and children in ways that are tangible, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, and always meaningful.

What initially strikes the reader about LIGHTING THEIR FIRES is that Rafe Esquith has no meticulous agenda he wants every parent or educator to prescriptively follow. Instead, Rafe offers keen insights on what matters most in the lives of children, and begins to offer tangible ways we might bring these lessons to life. His stories are precise and flesh out the lessons in moving ways. Furthermore, this educator's 30-plus year career lends credibility to his words, and also the ethos of longetivity. Rafe has the benefit of sharing how certain lessons impacted students from years ago, and then can fill us in on their current successes and endeavors.

The book moves nimbly from lesson to lesson, and readers will appreciate the clear, straight-forward prose style. My own copy is dog-eared like crazy, and I'm sure I'll return to many of these pages again and again as I continue to teach and parent.

Worth every cent!
5 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
He does it with diligence and dignity 6 octobre 2009
Par Richard W. Hudson - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I have met Rafe Esquith twice at book signings in Miami and was amazed both times by the students who accompanied him. In this book, he addresses some essential, but often overlooked, topics related to values. I am a middle school teacher myself and often find myself falling short. When I am feeling low, I have picked up one of Rafe's books on more than one occasion. Still, I can't help but realize that the teaching of values has been crowded out of our curriculums and only the most diligent teachers are reinforcing what is truly important. What impressed me most in this book was Rafe's dignity. The chapters are framed around the nine innings of a Dodgers game that he has taken some of his students to. Twice during the game Rafe is cursed out by grown men in front of his students. On both occasions, he responds with dignity, showing that he truly walks the talk. This is a valuable text for both parents and teachers who want to do right by children in an increasingly value-absent society.
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