My first book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students” was released May, 2014 by Powerful Learning Press. This how-to book is meant for the brand new teacher, as well as the veteran teacher looking to create a student-centered classroom with an emphasis on student choice and voice through easy changes.
Breaking the rules is scary within the public school system, no matter how few or many years you have taught. We are indoctrinated about how a traditional classroom should look, starting with our own school days and then on through college classes and early professional careers. When we bring new ideas, or even just trust our instincts, we often think that what we want to try will never really work.
Pressure from schools and districts to conform — from the government and the tests — and sometimes even from colleagues who want us all to just stay the same — none of that helps as we think about changing our practice. Sometimes we give up before we even make the attempt, because we are pretty sure the barriers and pushback will be insurmountable.
In Pernille Ripp’s own teaching practice, what she discovered was this: Even the smallest changes can make monumental differences. And then you keep on until you create something new. Trusting yourself and your students and sharing the power of the classroom with them can lead to great teaching and learning even within the boundaries of our confining standards, testing obsessions and mandatory curriculums.
In Passionate Learners: Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students, Pernille shares what and how she changed—and how her students changed with her. We learn about the little and not-so-little things she did over the course of a transformational year, so that she could shift the responsibility for learning – the joy and wonder of it – to the kids themselves.
“I believed that I knew exactly what the students needed, if only they would listen. Now I know that a classroom has to be vibrant for students to invest their time and effort. We cannot force children to learn. They have to discover things and be teachers too.” -Pernille Ripp
Whether you are just beginning or well on your way in your teaching career, this book can inspire you to break rules, take risks, and eagerly pursue your journey toward a classroom filled with passionate learners.
At the very least, it will let you know that you are not alone when you think your secret thoughts—that there really are better ways to teach, and that others who believe the same thing want to connect with you to make it happen.
Reviews for Passionate Learners:
Great Reminders about Life Long Teacher Practices
Posted by Brian Annen on 13th Aug 2014
Pernille gives some great reminders about how to engage learners at such a critical time in education. As more testing and administrative work is being required by teachers, this book highlights some important tasks we can do to keep our kids at the center of our classrooms.
What happens when a teacher frees herself?
Posted by Unknown on 13th Aug 2014
I really enjoyed this book because it represented the handcuffs we put on new teachers through college training and “helpful advice” from friends. When this teacher freed herself to do what she felt in her gut was the best way to reach children, she became a better teacher and probably guaranteed herself a few more years on the job. By making the students in charge of learning, she is doing them a favor as well as herself.
Posted by Meg Ouellette on 4th Jul 2014
This book came at the right time. I have been following Pernille’s blog for the past year. She is an inspiration to all teachers. Sometimes we get lost in the weeds. This book helps us to be better teachers. It is a book for new teachers as well as veteran teachers. I highly recommend this book.
My second book “Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” was published by Corwin Press in September 2014.
Open up a new world of learning with these ready-to-use ideas! This volume helps educators empower students to discover their own learning journey and become world citizens. Today’s students are digital natives who need innovative learning pathways. Help them become the active problem solvers and independent thinkers society demands with these ready-to-use ideas from expert teacher, Pernille Ripp. Includes real-life stories from connected educators. Transform the learning experience and create lasting change with this breakthrough volume!
This book helps you empower teachers and students to regain control of their own teaching and learning journey. Administrators and teachers learn to:
- Cultivate the experts at your school
- Create an environment of trust and collaboration
- Give students and staff a voice
Reviews for Empowered Schools, Empowered Students:
“Pernille has shared what it takes to create an environment that nurtures growth for students and staff.”
(Nicholas Provenzano, The Nerdy Teacher)
“This book is a must read for any educator looking to transform their classroom or school to be more relevant for their students and staff. Ripp’s personality and warmth comes through in her writing and coupled with first-hand experience, this is a great resource for teachers and administrators alike. In addition, the author weaves in specific examples from professionals practicing the advice she puts forth.
In this day of increasingly standardized educational practice, this book helps to navigate ways in which to empower the work we do as teachers and leaders. Many books are written from so called “experts” with little in-school experience, but Pernille is living and breathing what she writes about. Her narrative and those she shares are authentic and from the perspective of practicing educators. When she puts forth an idea, it is backed up with a powerful story from practitioners who are working in schools and with kids every single day. This allows readers to not only gain access to Pernille’s ideas but see how they play out in numerous contexts and situations.”
(Josh Stumpenhorst, Junior High Teacher)
“In this book, Pernille makes a case for the need to change from a traditional hierarchical approach of control to a shared, empowering approach. This book outlines steps that administrators can take to share leadership in their schools and teachers can take to share the responsibility of learning with the students.
I have known Pernille for many years and my respect for her as a classroom teacher, educational thinker, and student advocate has continually grown. When Pernille speaks about empowering students I listen as should you. She is one of those rare voices, a classroom teacher who shares openly and honestly about changing practices to create a student centered classroom.”
(William Chamberlain, Teacher)
“Pernille Ripp gives great examples not only on how leaders can empower teachers to hone in on their leadership skills in the school community, but also how teachers can empower students to create a positive learning environment in the classroom. Pernille’s story about her own classroom is truly inspiring and makes you think as a teacher ways in which you can empower your own students to take ownership in the classroom. I look forward to suggesting this book to my colleagues as a must read.”
(Billy Krakower, Founding Partner of Evolving Educators)
“As a long time blogger, Pernille has been sharing her insights and challenges for a number of years. Her following grows as she presents an honest reflection of life in a classroom. These reflections reveal a vulnerability that endears her readers and instills hope about the possibility for change.
This book’s theme of “empowerment” is what Pernille has been living for years. She’s been able to eloquently share this idea, providing practical steps, addressing the challenges and reasoning behind change. It’s a quick read but one that will get pulled off of the shelf time and time again.”
(Dean Shareski, Community Manager)
I have also had articles and blog posts published by “Learning and Leading With Technology,” “Better Teaching,” “Library School Journal,” Middleweb, Smartbrief, Edutopia, TeachHub, EdWeek, and other websites.