Rafe Esquith is the most interesting and influential classroom teacher in the country, but he is not getting nearly as much glory as he deserves. He won’t SAY that, of course. Modesty is one of the big lessons taught to his fifth graders in room 56 at the Hobart Boulevard Elementary School in Los Angeles, and Esquith believes that role modeling is one of the most important things that teachers do.
But on the cover of his terrific new book, “Teach Like Your Hair’s On Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56,” Esquith hints at what he is feeling when he, a film addict, sees the latest movie based on some other teacher’s life. Underneath his name on the cover are these words: “An Actual Classroom Teacher.”