One of my favorite lines from the movie Ragtime is when Coalhouse Walker, Jr., having taken over the library, tells Booker T. Washington, “You speak like an angel; it’s a pity we live down here on earth.”

The connection is coming; I promise.

So often, I hear or read about great ideas for the classroom, but there is little effort to or recognition of the challenges that come with trying to put such ideas into practice. Thus, I was excited to be handed this book. I am a firm believer in Dweck’s ideas of a fixed and growth mindset, but translating these ideas into the classroom remains a challenge.

There’s not a great deal of help here, and the help that does come is mostly for younger children (a distressingly familiar concern) and, in one case, math students. (The one substantive literature-related suggestion suggests a lack of experience with literature instruction.)

So I can copy more quotes and suggest that we teach more about how the brain works, but this remains an uphill battle.

[Note to the editor: Please learn the difference between complemeant and compliment.]