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Cincinnati teachers' book encourages 'Angels and Superheroes' in education

Posted at 4:30 AM, Apr 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-10 06:59:45-04

CINCINNATI -- When the bell rings at Gamble Montessori High School, you can find intervention specialist Krista Taylor in the classroom and Principal Jack Jose in the hallways.

Soon, you'll be able to find them somewhere else: Between the pages of the book "Angels and Superheroes," which they co-wrote to engage and inspire their fellow teachers.

"One of the fundamental things that drove us to write a book is this idea of, ‘How do we protect what education is really about in a time when standardized testing and school accountability is causing a lot of external stress … and making it feel less rewarding?'" Taylor said.

Gamble, which is among a small number of Montessori-style high schools in the country, focuses on small group instruction and building strong, long-lasting teacher-student relationships to a greater degree than many other public schools, Taylor said.

Teachers who take advice from the book don't need to radically reform their schools, but Taylor and Jose said they believe the lessons they've learned from teaching in a Montessori environment can benefit educators who work in a more traditional setting.

"It can be very easy in this environment … to thing that the test is the most important thing and to forget there's a child involved," Jose said. "We're going to tell people you don't have to be an angel or superhero to do this job really well. You have to care; you have to keep your students' best interest in mind."

It's a salvo in what Jose believes is a battle to "save the soul of education" -- for the sake of all the children whose lives they touch.

Any questions? Readers and educators can ask them 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at a free launch day event in the Mercantile Library.