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The Ecological Heart of Teaching

Radical Tales of Refuge and Renewal for Classrooms and Communities


Edited By Jackie Seidel and David W. Jardine

The Ecological Heart of Teaching is a collection of writings by teachers about their life in classrooms. Reflecting over three years of collective work, it illustrates how teachers, parents, and students can avoid some of the distractions and panic endemic to many schools, allowing them to focus thoughtfully on rigorous, beautiful work. It draws on ecological thinking, Buddhism, and hermeneutics to provide deeper, richer, and more abundant sources for teaching, thinking, and practice, and shows how these three lineages provide keys to decode the current malaise that surrounds schooling. The book will be valuable to beginning and experienced teachers and administrators, as well as to parents and anyone involved in stepping away from the exhausting industrial images and ideas that have turned schooling into an ecological and intellectual disaster. For those interested in interpretive research and life-writing, the book provides a wide array of examples; it is a valuable resource for undergraduate classes in curriculum and teaching, as well as graduate research methods courses interested in new forms of thinking and writing.
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Chapter Fourteen: Remembering Mr. Routhier


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Remembering Mr. Routhier


I have suggested that what seems urgent for us at this time in understanding what teaching more truly is, to undertake to reorient ourselves so that we overcome mere correctness so that we can see and hear our doings as teachers harbored within pedagogical being, so we can see and hear who we are as teachers.

—AOKI (2005, P. 197)

I knew his supervision days by heart. Tuesday and Thursday recess and Monday lunch. I counted down to those days as they meant a chance to wander the playground, a chance to hold his hand and be involved in a very personal conversation. I remember that hand. Slim and strong and always willing to be held or be placed on our shoulder. That hand comforted me in moments of sadness and congratulated me in moments of elation. It would provide high fives when difficult solutions were deduced and yet could instill a deep respect when wrong had been done. But it is the hand-holding at recess that I miss. He was able to make that time feel like my time. My time to ask questions, to tell him about my life and to feel important. Here was man possessed of strength and kindness. A man who found a way to make this classroom magical and full of wonder.

We were not allowed to sit idly with...

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