Real Teachers: True Stories of Renegade Educators

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Real Teachers is a call to action, a call for change, and for a return to the community-oriented, regional education which was once dominant in our schools. Through this collection, Grauer invites us into the history of his life, his personal discoveries--his road to the growth that made him a real teacher. In Stuart Grauer's collection of true, short True Stories of Renegade Educators. Hostile Indians Attack Schoolhouse.

Russell used to attend many of our meetings. Thirdly, I made a life-changing trip to Oaxaca with a group of teachers through a local university. While in Oaxaca, we were the guests of the Secretary of Education of Oaxaca. The author discusses experiences in Guanajuato, on the Lakota reservation and consulting on founding a school in Oaxaca.

At one of our meetings with the secretary in Oaxaca, he stated that the primary purpose of his office is to preserve the cultures in Oaxaca. I have hoped since that the Secretary of Education in New Mexico would take a similar stance, as we have a large number of indigenous groups as well as the largest percentage Hispanic population in the United States. I am hoping, but definitely not holding my breath. I want to include a couple of quotes Dr.

Grauer used in the book which express nice thoughts for teachers. One is by Gandhi: I must follow them, for I am their leader.


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The author refers to it as "fast food" education, "mall" education, or "junk" education controlled by its bureaucracy and by high profit corporations which produce high stakes tests and curriculum geared to those tests. I am a teacher with training and experience in both elementary education and special education.

I really could not bear the bureaucratic, unresponsive, irrelevant education offered to my students any longer. We did well for about 20 years, sending materials free of charge to any school with a bilingual education program as well as developing an alternative history of the state written by representatives of the various cultures here. Then, during the economic crisis we were forced to close. I returned to teaching a special education classroom and have found the situation to be, if anything, worse. In my class during school year , we spent six weeks of the school year administering three different sets of standardized tests to our students.

Of course, our special ed students are the least likely to be able to do well on these tests. I had students crying instead of writing; one student banged his head on his desk so hard I thought he could have caused himself a concussion. A third student, on one of the writing sections wrote, "I can't understand this. I won't write anything. She told me I was not allowed to give instruction in Spanish in special education. I told her I would continue to provide instruction in Spanish until she provided me a policy in writing.

My question on that one is, who needs instruction in a language they understand more: At any rate, I have to work two more years before I can retire. I am trying to grin and bear it until then. After that, maybe I will be involved in some alternative education endeavor or maybe I will just say forget it as the system is unresponsive and there are few alternatives to said system.

Mar 31, Cathy added it Shelves: I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher through Good Reads' First-reads Giveaway Program. It's been a little over a week since I finished this book, and am now finally getting to post a review amid the busy flow of teaching this semester. Upon finishing it, and since, I vacillated between what 'star' rating I should give this collection of essays. In terms of expectations it was a bit of a disappointment to me, but in terms of judging it solely on what its own being it I received an advanced reading copy of this book from the publisher through Good Reads' First-reads Giveaway Program.

In terms of expectations it was a bit of a disappointment to me, but in terms of judging it solely on what its own being it warrants higher consideration; so I went for the latter.

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I expected this to be a collection of essays about "Real Teachers", stories of different in-class experiences, perhaps even from multiple points of view. In a very broad interpretation it could be considered to be so. But really it is more of a series of reflections, a memoir of sorts, of Grauer's personal experiences and view. Because Grauer breathes education and allows the subject to intersect all aspects of his existence and interactions, the 'educational lessons' and 'teachers' he accounts in each essay come from all aspects of experience and position, whether a professor, a Native American high school teacher, a child relative, or the impoverished citizens of rural Mexico.

True Stories of Renegade Educators - Ranch & Coast Magazine

Each chapter memoir focuses on key themes or ideas related to education, both theoretical and practical. They are each personal reflections by Grauer on what he learned from each experience regarding how education can, and perhaps should, proceed. Within this framework, Grauer accomplishes, above all, inspiration and food for further thought. Nicely, he includes victories, failures, and those educational experiences that fall somewhere in between. Similarly, some chapters are long and assertive in their conclusions, while others are brief and more meditative.

While the reader might not agree with all of Grauer's conclusions and statements, I don't see that as the point of this book. It is not written to convince: Instead the point seems to be for Grauer to get the educator thinking more deeply and more holistically about the art of their vocation.

Real Teachers: True Stories of Renegade Educators

And perhaps to recapture some of that passion and joy. The holistic aspects of education permeate the entire book, echoing the commitment of Grauer to his calling and underscoring the intense personal and deep connections involved in the education process between educator and student and the surrounding physical world and human culture. Being written by Grauer and prominently featuring his own private school, I feared the book would come across as self-serving and boastful.

For the most part I didn't find this to be the case. Most consistently, I found Grauer to be frankly honest and focused on a goal of increased personal learning. While Grauer comes across as particularly 'liberal' in the classic sense, the book is not remotely political, and Grauer likewise holds positions and ideas that are profoundly 'conservative' as well, all depending on what he has concluded engenders the greatest opportunity for real teaching. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a product review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.

Join Stuart as he leads us on a strategic, tactical and spiritual quest that touches base with his educational experiences - guideposts along the evolutionary path of his career as an educator who is now an authority in his field. Using cultural and historical contrasts laced with metaphors and actual data, Stuart weaves his educational and pertinent life experiences into an enjoyable and thought provoking story line that gets me, as a public high school teacher, reexamining how I might better connect with my students and staff members.

I've experienced how mandates and compliance driven decisions, made by well-meaning and dedicated leaders, impact the lives of teachers and students. From one-size-fits-all teaching, to teach-to-the-test tactics, and behavior intervention strategies that put the lion's share of the work on exhausted teachers in their after school time The message in Stuart's book, "Real Teachers" can be a powerful catalyst for those who are ready, willing and able to seek and make changes.

There are enough success stories out there, we, teachers and administrators, just need to make the choice to change and then find and do what works and stop doing what does not work. Stephen Covey in his " The Leader in Me: Through Stuart's shared experiences as a lifelong educator, we are positively provoked to consider his ways and means of connecting with the students. Through these, I in turn, reconsider mine. I invite you to do likewise.

Whether you are at a school where the MO is to walk on eggs and don't make waves because it is easier to fire you than "fix" the systemic problem - or - where a dedicated, caring and committed "let's make it work" MO drives the boat If you seek a student centered learning environment where teachers and students connect as thoughtful, caring and compassionate human beings focused on teaching and learning skills You can tell that Stuart loves an adventurous approach to education.

Through numerous stories he weaves a tale of possibilities- for teacher, student and community.

True Stories of Renegade Educators. This book changed my way of viewing education forever. I am not a teacher but I have been extremely involved in my two daughters education. I followed the mainstream emphasis on testing, grades etc and always wished I could have had an alternative way. Not only is Dr. Grauer's vision thoughtful and compassionate, it is couched in beautifully written, fascinating stories.

You don't have to be a teacher to enjoy and learn from this book!

True Stories of Renegade Educators

I have sent it to all of my favorite teachers and to all of the young people I know who are considering teaching as a career. It would also be great for any parent who wants the best education their children can receive.


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It asks all the right questions! At its surface is a collection of articulate, poignant essays about teaching and learning. Grauer explores improbable places and people around the globe, in history, and in his own past to illuminate the dynamics of authentic teaching and learning. And he does so in captivating style.