Teaching as an Act of Love:Thoughts and Recollections of a Former Teacher, Principal and Kid
February, 2010                    

1. "truly wonderful…definitely has possibilities for teacher education…a labor of love" - Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University

2.“In our test-obsessed culture, Teaching as an Act of Love pushes past the oppression of percentile scores and bureaucratic demands, and awakens us to the heart and art of the education process.” - Adele Faber, co-author of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk and How to Talk So Kids Can Learn: At Home and in School

3. "Richard Lakin has written a marvelous book, a book with a quality that is both precious and too rare in education today: WISDOM. Teaching as an Act of Love is enjoyable, thoughtful, deeply caring, and important – especially important because it reminds us of what is real, what is essential, in our pursuit of better schools and genuine student learning. It is not just Lakin’s vast experience that makes this book so useful. Rather, it is the experience illuminated by a critical but constructive lens – and he gives us the benefit of his reflections in ways that are engaging and instructive. A wonderful addition to readings for beginning or veteran teachers, Teaching as an Act of Love would be an asset to any teacher education program." - James D. Greenberg, Ph.D., Director, K-16 Partnership Development Center, College of Education, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

4. "Teacher expertise, like Lakin's, has taken a backseat for too long. Future teachers need to be immersed in the stories teachers have written about the most important expertise of all, the kind that accrues over years of experience. Lakin gets it right, over and over, and pinpoints what works and what is required to 'fall in love' with teaching--a love that lasts a lifetime. Teacher expertise is certainly no quickie affair!  Thanks, Richard."- Deborah Meier, has spent more than four decades working in public education as a teacher, writer and public advocate and is currently on the faculty of New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education. Her latest books include Will Standards Save Public Education (2000), In Schools We Trust (2002), and Many Children Left Behind (2004).

5. " For any who ask what is the alternative to standardization and high-stakes testing, here is your answer. Teaching as an Act of Love gives readers a vivid picture of personalization, not standardization. Richard Lakin illustrates how real accountability is achieved through good leadership, not shaded bubbles. Immediately evident are the everyday examples of teachers, parents, and students creating engaging opportunities for learning, solving important problems, and shaping caring communities. Lakin, in his continued spirit of grace has offered a downloadable copy of his book. I encourage anyone who is concerned about public education and committed to children to read this book. Every one of you is needed to secure the best possible education for each youngster and to ensure small class sizes where parents and teachers together can attend to the minds and hearts of our children - our future." -Angela Engel, radical leader of the children's movement and author of Seeds of Tomorrow: Solutions for Improving our Children's Education www.angelaengel.com

6. "What a stroke of good fortune led me to teach at Independence School. I discovered there a learning environment where each child was nurtured and allowed to succeed; a large school community with a small school feel; a place where not only different learning styles were accepted and strengthened but different teaching styles as well. Teaching as an Act of Love captures Principal Richard Lakin's total respect for his students as individuals, their parents as teaching partners, and his teachers as intelligent professionals." - Joan Burr, public school music teacher, Independence School District Teacher of the Year--2003, Composer of the music and co-producer for Behind the Bedroom Wall--the Musical, adapted from the award winning novel by Laura E. Williams.

7. "Longtime teacher Richard Lakin dares to speak the word no longer mentioned in schools drowning in government mandates--love. He speaks it with pride and shows how it can and must be practiced by teachers and administrators. If people would follow Lakin's lead, we could reclaim our classrooms."  - Susan Ohanian, longtime teacher whose latest book is When Childhood Collides with NCLB.  www.susanohanian.org

8. "I wish Teaching as an Act of Love  had been part of a seminar during my master of education program.  Moreover, I believe it should be required reading at every school of education. I not only enjoyed the book, I 'loved' it!" - Beverly Greenberg, Ed.M., '63 Harvard University; former teacher; member of Board of Education West Hartford, CT; 3 term member of Connecticut State Board of Education

9. "Lakin looks back at his 40 years working with youngsters, their teachers and families and simply tells it as he sees it - engagingly and filled with sensitivity and insight. Richard Lakin's collective experiences presented in this valuable book reflect his caring, positive approach towards working with children, parents and teachers. He underscores his belief that 'teaching, like parenting, is first and foremost an act of love.' Respect and caring for each child, teacher and parent are paramount-- the basis of everything else that transpires in a school."- Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of Ten Conversations You Need to Have with Your Children, host of The Rabbi Shmuley Show on Oprah & Friends, XM Satellite radio station in 2008 and of the award-winning TV show, Shalom in the Home on TLC9.

10.."Teaching as an Act of Love is just that, an act of love. The recollections, reflections, and experiences of author Lakin will make parents and educators alike laugh, cry, and think.  This book is particularly useful for aspiring teachers to give them a real-world view of the teaching profession--and the human condition." - Don Perl, twenty years of service as a public junior high school teacher, founder of the Coalition for Better Education, test resister and NCLB/ high stakes testing critic, Adjunct Professor of Spanish, University of Northern Colorado.

11. "Lakin’s book spoke to my heart.  At the same time, it affirmed my experience as a public school student in both Iowa and Arkansas where I had teachers that I never doubted loved me.  To know this made all the difference in the world.  My teachers who were seemingly Lakin clones concretized my belief that I could and would become anything I wanted to.

All of these years later and with more than 20 years of university teaching behind me and recognition for teaching excellence from my students, I am convinced that it’s really not that hard to empower young people to engage in the act of discovery—learning.  Lakin demonstrates that in his book by uncovering for us that oft-times missing ingredient—love.  Just a little bit of it goes a long way.

I do hope that Lakin has reflected on his Michigan experience, and examined his reactions to the children there.  Love is universal."
-Anita Fleming-Rife, Ph.D., Visiting Professor, Department of Africana Studies, University of Northern Colorado

12. "Richard Lakin’s Teaching as an Act of Love is, like all meaningful books about teaching, grounded in the heart. Richard is an old-time lover of children as learners, a believer in their possibilities no matter how they present in school, and sees the work of teachers as growing, encouraging and nurturing that beauty and potential in them, every faltering step of the way. He writes about education from an earlier, and somewhat simpler pre-NCLB time, when learning standards were just becoming the norm and teachers worlds were less distorted by yearly and monthly accountability testing. As such, his words ring with wisdom and feeling. 
This is a lovely book and a great gift for a teacher in your life.” -Kirsten Olson, author of Wounded by School: Recapturing the Joy in Learning and Standing Up to Old School Culture, educational consultant, Courage To Teach facilitator, and principal of Old Sow Consulting www.kirstenolson.org

 "a very personal, moving collection of vignettes, educational philosophy and pedagogy, insights recounted, and hopes maintained......might be of particular interest to teachers who are looking for time to reflect on their own experiences with colleagues"-Professor Linda Brion-Meisels, Education Division and Social Science Program, Leslie College