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Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire
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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.

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Esquith might be the only public school teacher to be honored by both Oprah Winfrey and the Dalai Lama; he is the only school teacher ever to receive the president's National Medal of the Arts. For the past 25 years, Esquith has taught fifth graders at Hobart Elementary in central Los Angeles. Like most progressive educators, Esquith is outraged by the tyranny of testing, the scripting of teaching under "No Child Left Behind" and the overwhelming bureaucratization of the education industry. Still, he's done wonders with the basic curriculum developing a hands-on arts program, a money-management curriculum and a sports-based statistics unit. Esquith and his Hobart Shakespeareans are world famous for the rock opera they create every year. Throughout each school day, Esquith teaches life skills: how to think about problems, how to plan a strategy to solve them and, most important, how to work together and be nice to each other. While his goals are inspiring, he's also practical most chapters include affordable, how-to directions for a variety of his most effective classroom activities; he's even got a few tips for revamping those inescapable "test prep" sessions. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

The winner of numerous teaching awards and the only instructor to have been given the National Medal of the Arts, Esquith explains how he helps kids from the lowest rungs of society climb to the top. With an eight-city tour. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Esquith is a modern-day Thoreau, preaching the value of good work, honest self- reflection, and the courage to go one's own way."
-Newsday

"Politicians, burbling over how to educate the underclass, would do well to stop by Rafe Esquith's fifth-grade class."
-Time "The most interesting and influential classroom teacher in the country."
-The Washington Post

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