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5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching

By Meenoo Rami
Foreword by Jim Burke

From how to find mentors and build networks, both online and off, to advocating for yourself and empowering your students, Thrive shows new and veteran teachers alike how to overcome the challenges and meet the demands of the profession. 

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As a novice teacher, Meenoo Rami experienced the same anxieties shared by many:  the sense of isolation, lack of self-confidence, and fear that her work was having no positive impact on her students.  In Thrive, Meenoo shares the five strategies that helped her become a confident, connected teacher.  From how to find mentors and build networks, both online and off, to advocating for yourself and empowering your students,  Thrive shows new and veteran teachers alike how to overcome the challenges and meet the demands of our profession. 

Praise for Thrive

"Whether you are entering your first year of teaching or your 40th, Thrive feels as if it were written just for you.  At a time in our profession when many of us are feeling stretched thin, Meenoo Rami offers strategies to reignite our passions and rediscover why we chose to teach."
—Christopher Lehman, coauthor of Falling in Love with Close Reading

"Teaching is a profession that eats its young.  Meenoo Rami offers guidelines for surviving the challenges of the classroom as well as the faculty room."
—Carol Jago, author, teacher, and past president of NCTE

"Thrive includes a mosaic of dynamic teacher voices from many grade levels and content areas. Reading their stories deepened my thinking about the immense untapped potential of our profession. Meenoo Rami’s vision of teaching and learning can sustain us all."
—Penny Kittle, author of Book Love

Join the conversation on Twitter at #edthrive.

Additional Resource Information

(click any section below to continue reading)


Introduction by Jim Burke
Ch. 1:  Turn to Mentors
Ch. 2:  Join and Build Networks
Ch. 3:  Keep Your Work Intellectually Challenging
Ch. 4:  Listen to Yourself
Ch. 5:  EmpowerYour Students

In Depth

In this book I present a paradigm of teacher leadership and ways in which teachers are addressing their own professional development needs. However, the suggestions presented in this book should not be seen as a panacea. The specific context in which you work will determine the type of approach you will take to address your own need for meaning. I have reached out to many teachers to con­tribute their experiences to this book because the principles outlined in this book are bigger than just my personal experience. As a result, you will find voices from teachers in schools from urban, suburban, and rural parts of our country spanning the K–12 spectrum. Some of these teachers are veterans, while others have only a few years of experience in the classroom. Each voice offers a unique inside look at the journey toward becoming an empowered teacher. Each chapter in this book offers snippets from these classrooms and the work teachers are doing to address their own needs as professionals.

Chapter 1: Turn to Mentors
This chapter pays homage to the important role mentors play in our lives. It focuses on finding mentors and ways that you can maintain these relation­ships in your life.

Chapter 2: Join and Build Networks
This chapter is a nod to the power of networks and how teachers can locate relevant networks, seek support within them, and also contribute to them in meaningful ways.

Chapter 3: Keep Your Work Intellectually Challenging
This chapter defies the notion that those who cannot do, teach. Teaching is an intricate web of interconnected factors, and at its center, you as the teach­er make important decisions that impact your students’ learning experience.

Chapter 4: Listen to Yourself
This chapter is an attempt to help you remember who you are and provides ways you can align your values about teaching and learning with the deci­sions you make in your classroom.

Chapter 5: Empower Your Students
This chapter brings all other ideas presented in this book and helps you find ways you can empower your students. The ultimate task for you as a teacher is to leave your students more curious and courageous. This chapter is all about doing just that.

I have tried to describe my stance on teaching and learning and how it has helped me thrive in the classroom. At once personal and applicable to teachers at all experience levels, these chapters capture snapshots from the class­room and provide concrete ways that will help you connect with a larger com­munity of practitioners who grapple with the complexity of our work. As author and teacher Kelly Gallagher says, you can teach for twenty years or you can teach the same year twenty times. This is a book for those who want to see their practice through new eyes, and want to proudly share their teaching craft with others. By doing the very same things this book proposes, I have found hope, strength, and courage to come back to teaching year after year. This book is written for those who are looking to continue to grow their practice no matter how long they have been teaching. Lastly, it asks you to take a leadership role in our profession by mentoring and supporting others and by making your work public. It is an effort to restore respect for our profession and recognize the complexity in the craft of teaching.


Companion Resources

Inspirational Thrive Posters


"In Thrive, Meenoo Rami does an amazing job of turning the challenges of teaching in this new, networked world of learning into opportunities for teachers and students alike. She shares an amazing array of practical ideas that will help both veteran and brand new teachers find support and inspiration for working the technology rich environments that the modern learner demands. Filled with the stories of real teachers in real classrooms to support her ideas, Meenoo's book is simply a must read for any educator wanting to better understand the potentials for student and personal learning in this most complex and exciting time."—Will Richardson, author of Why School?  How Education Must Change When Learning and Education Are Everywhere

“This is the book I wish I had been able to read when I began teaching.  On every page Meenoo offers practical suggestions, accompanied by wit and wisdom, that can help us solve the problems we all encounter no matter how long we have been teaching.  Thanks to her vision and her voice, I see great hope in the future for our profession.” —From the Foreword by Jim Burke

"When I assigned Thrive to preservice teachers in my English Language Arts methods class, I felt like I was handing them a gift. That's what reading this book felt like to me. All teachers need more books that address the existential aspects of teaching, not just the instrumental ones. Meenoo does both, but she frames the "how-to" with the "why-to." I treasure this book because it reminds me to honor my own well-being as a teacher. I'm grateful for Meenoo's reminder that the best way to thrive is to create joyful classrooms where students and teachers can be vulnerable learners together."—Cindy O’Donnell Allen, Professor, Colorado State University

"To be successful, teachers must constantly be learning, reflecting and growing to meet the ever-changing needs of the students in front of them. To many of us, this can seem like an overwhelming task. Who do I learn from? How can I keep growing as an educator? How do I keep the work I do relevant and fresh to myself and my students? Fortunately, Meenoo Rami has written this book which provides a road map for all of us to, yes, thrive, in our schools over the course of a career. And as Meenoo’s principal, I can say that she lives the words of this book in her classroom every day." —Chris Lehmann, Founding Principal, Science Leadership Academy

"Meenoo Rami has written the right book at the right time. In an era of corporate education reform, Thrive reminds us of how we, as teachers, need human interaction, intellectual fulfillment, and empathy just as much as our students.  Rami encourages us to move beyond the mechanical acts of scripted schooling and mandatory professional development, offering us numerous ways to pursue our own passions and bring them to the classroom. She notes that "the rewards of this work will be paid with your students' success and engagement." Filled with practical suggestions, stories from fellow educators, and smart questions, Thrive will reward you as a reader, too." —Troy Hicks, author of Crafting Digital Writing

"Regardless of one's profession, it is important to cultivate a practice of evaluating and re-evaluating progress and personal growth.  Meenoo Rami adeptly shares critical ways for educators to check in with themselves and track their progress, and to inject passion into their work.  Her ideas are relevant for both rookie teachers and classroom veterans alike!" —Angela Maiers, consultant and Huffington Post blogger

"Meenoo Rami has written the book I would want to give to all new teachers, young and old, to show them teaching can blossom into a fulfilling profession, rich in human connection and intellectual passion. And her five strategies that help teachers to thrive will resonate with engaged teachers everywhere and are as true for the seasoned veteran as the newcomer."  --Elyse Eidman-Aadahl, Ph.D., Director of the National Writing Project

"One title educators will want to add to their summer toolkit is Meenoo Rami’s Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching (Heinemann, 2014). As a new teacher, Rami discovered work hours that extended long after the last school bell rang and nagging doubts about her ability to succeed. Having worked her way through these and other challenges, the author has hard-earned, practical advice to share with colleagues." Alicia Eames, School Library Journal

"Meenoo Rami's Thrive is like soul food in an educational landscape that is often disheartening to teachers.  As our teachers struggle with very real constraints placed on their practices, Meenoo offers concrete strategies for reinvigorating passion and confidence in the classroom.  In particular, she offers educators a vision of classroom empowerment through network building and connected learning principles.  Thrive should be required reading for all University education students preparing to be teachers today.  In addition, Rami's book is a dose of healing medicine for every teacher that yearns to make a positive impact on their students and the world.” — Mia Zamora, Professor,  Kean University

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