cover image Teaching When the World Is on Fire

Teaching When the World Is on Fire

Edited by Lisa Delpit. New Press, $25.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-62097-431-5

Delpit (Other People’s Children), a professor of education at Southern University and A&M College, presents an animated collection of essays and interviews to help teachers “deal in their classrooms with this current political climate.” The contributors range from such well-known figures as education reformer and political activist William Ayers and UCLA professor Pedro Noguera to middle school music teachers, high school deans, and community youth leaders. They share their perspectives on issues including the dangers students face from gun violence; discrimination on the basis of gender, sexuality, race, and religion; and the menace of climate change. Some of the essays call for teachers to increase their emotional labor by caring more, listening better, and developing closer ties to students and their families. Others provide concrete examples of initiatives such as a student-led protest against sexual harassment at an Oregon high school and a Black Lives Matter rally held in cooperation with a Seattle elementary school. Contributors offer guidelines for implementing restorative justice practices, teaching activism, facilitating difficult conversations, and creating a more inclusive curriculum. This urgent and earnest collection will resonate with educators looking to teach “young people to engage across perspectives” as a means to “creating a just and caring world.” (Sept.)