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Deliberate Optimism: Reclaiming the Joy in Education

Last year my buddy and principal friend, Kim Iraggi, gave me Deliberate Optimism to read. She told me she had used it for some training she had presented and thought I might enjoy it. Last night I finished reading it, and it certainly makes one stop and think about our individual approach to new ideas and thoughts and how we can make the most of those situations we can’t change—at least not at the present time.

“We believe the amazing adventure of teaching is a calling, and it requires ongoing purpose and effort to sustain its viability.” It’s easy to see from the titles of the chapters that this book is written to help teachers. Chapter 1 “Choosing to become a teacher is a telling vote for optimism” and Chapter 2 “I’m not an optimist, but hopefully, one day I will be.” My personal favorite is Chapter 6 “Reclaiming the joy in our classrooms and our curriculum.”

The appendix in this book is packed with references and tips that are useable. At the end of each chapter is a list of action steps for teachers and a separate page of action steps for school leaders. And they really are things one can really use.
 Per the authors, their intent in writing this book is “to examine realistic, purposeful strategies teachers and school leaders can employ to restore their hope in a system they feel is rapidly heading off course.” If you ask me, they did just that!

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Book review written by Kita Asbill, GE Instructional Coach