Fire in the Classroom: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, and the Craft of Teaching explores important avenues for teachers to become better at the craft of teaching by improving their skills and understanding in areas such as utilizing experiential learning, becoming more adept at improvisation, addressing all learning styles of students, recognizing and acting upon the teachable moment, developing and delivering engaging lectures, and effectively incorporating outside speakers in their courses. This book emphasizes the necessity for teachers to create classrooms that ignite a desire to learn and a willingness to be taught amongst all their students.
Fire in the Classroom ultimately shows teachers and their students how to think more creatively and act more entrepreneurially. It provides the know-how, techniques, and activities that enable teachers to enhance their teaching abilities and renew their joy in teaching. With insightful observations, compelling stories, and specific curriculum recommendations, this book serves as a guide to make the learning process for both teachers and their students more engaging, interactive, and exciting.
Dr. Ray Smilor is a master teacher who has taught at every educational level. As an author, public speaker, and expert in entrepreneurship, he has presented on and received awards for teaching excellence and innovation in the United States and internationally.
Section I. Learning and Teaching
Chapter 1. Becoming A Teacher
Chapter 2. Learning Styles
Chapter 3. The Teachable Moment
Section I. Learning and Teaching: Takeaways
Section II. Creativity and Teaching
Chapter 4. The Creative Classroom
Chapter 5. Anything Different is Good
Chapter 6. Say “Yes, And”
Section II. Creativity and Teaching: Takeaways
Section III. Teaching for Excitement
Chapter 7. Oh, No! A Lecture!
Chapter 8. Experience on Stage
Chapter 9. Always Know Where Your Head Is At
Section III. Teaching for Excitement: Takeaways
Section IV. Beyond the Classroom
Chapter 10. What Makes Yoda So Good?
Chapter 11. Epilogue: Purveyors of Hope
Section IV. Beyond the Classroom: Takeaways
Appendix: Exhibits 1-10
About the Author
In Fire in the Classroom: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, and the Craft of Teaching, Ray Smilor’s consummate skill has produced a book that frees teachers to be more creative, inspires in them the courage to light fires in their courses, laboratories, and projects, and equips them with the tools to unleash the creativity of their students.
Fire in the Classroom is a great book. I love the way Smilor weaves major thinkers and creators into the examples of creative, successful teaching. I appreciate the way he uses classic movies, references to well-known books and authors like Shakespeare, John Gardner, Peter Drucker, Dag Hammarskjold, Stephen Covey, and Walter Isaacson, and analogies to river rafting, jazz, improvisation, and the butterfly effect, to enhance topics that will inspire teachers!
Fire in the Classroom will spark the curiosity of any teacher, whether a teaching assistant, a newly minted PhD, or a tenured professor. Ray Smilor writes as he teaches—with enthusiasm for the job and respect for the student. I recommend this book to anyone considering teaching as a profession, or to anyone deep in the throes of academic teaching already. Follow the guidelines that Smilor provides through his infinite wisdom and candor, and you are bound to help students discover a heated passion for learning.
Dr. Ray Smilor is a master teacher who exemplifies the fire in the classroom. His insights and guidance in Fire in the Classroom: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, and the Craft of Teaching offer a roadmap for all educators to follow to craft their skills.
Fire in the Classroom is a wonderful journey on which I feel privileged to have gone; every educator should give themselves the gift of reading it. As a teacher, I came away more grounded than ever in the importance of my craft. As a colleague, I came away touched by Smilor’s thinking and inspired to grow. And, because he reminds us that teaching is a human endeavor, I came away deeply hopeful about the future. Teaching has always had me jumping out of bed at 5am without need for an alarm clock. But this book has given meaning to my passion and provided a powerful lens for me to think about what I do as a craft with the potential to change the world.
Great teaching is about impacting lives. And every great teacher has their own distinct style for doing so. In Fire in the Classroom: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, and the Craft of Teaching, Smilor shares the secrets that are commonly practiced among teachers who not only touch the minds but also the hearts and souls of their students.
Ray Smilor has done the teaching profession a great service with this book. He has identified the four requirements of great teachers: a deep knowledge of their chosen field; a commitment to their students as customers and learners; an ability to deliver content in ways that enable each student to learn; and a passion to continually improve as a teacher. Fire in the Classroom includes stories, exercises, and suggestions that will be useful to any teacher. I wish he had written this book years ago.
Fire in the Classroom is a treasure trove of diverse teaching and learning gems that combines inspiration, philosophy, and pragmatism. Ray Smilor not only inspires readers to be better teachers, but he also provides valuable perspectives and insights on the craft of teaching while always offering practical tools, techniques, and next steps for teachers. Great stuff!
I absolutely loved Fire in the Classroom; Ray Smilor is such a wonderful storyteller. I wish I had read this early in my career. But even for someone who is as seasoned as me, I was still inspired. Countless faculty and their students will benefit greatly from Smilor’s willingness to share his journey and wisdom.
Fire in the Classroom: Creativity, Entrepreneurship, and the Craft of Teaching is a beautifully crafted book that shows a path that leads to authentic learning experiences. Smilor reinstates the noble profession of teaching and provides a successful guide for any teacher to excel in the classroom.