Monday, April 15, 2013

Buddha in the Classroom by Donna Quesada

The author of this book teaches at a community college but the situations she addresses are applicable to all teachers.  During one particularly bad semester Quesada felt burned out and found herself exasperated with her students in a number of situations that are familiar to teachers - students coming in late, students asking for extensions on deadlines, students complaining about their grades at the end of the semester, students disrupting class, and so on.  Although her first reaction was to snap at the students she stopped to look at each situation from a Buddhist perspective and let that insight guide her thinking.  She provides wisdom and guides the reader through ways in which to handle these frustrating parts of the job in a better way.  Although I know and get the Buddhist principles behind her suggestions for the problems, I couldn't always see myself following through on some of them.  But most seemed doable and gave me some ways of framing problems in a way that was likely to make me less stressed by the day to day problems with teaching.  The book is also appropriate/easy enough to understand for someone without a Buddhist background.