‘You Can’t Teach Through a Rat’ latest book by character education expert

“You Can’t Teach Through a Rat and Other Epiphanies for Educators” is the latest book by Marvin Berkowitz, the Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education at UMSL

Teachers leave marks on a child’s life. Some of those marks are temporary, like a press-on tattoo. But others are indelible. That impact is the premise behind a new book for educators, that combines humor and clarity to provide the tools needed to make good teachers great.

“You Can’t Teach Through a Rat and Other Epiphanies for Educators” is the latest book by Marvin Berkowitz, the Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

“Having worked with thousands of educators over the past few decades I have come to the conclusion that educators come to education because of a sincere love of students,” Berkowitz said. “They want the best for students. But they often don’t know what is best for students. I wrote this book to ‘engineer epiphanies’ about what is in the best interests of learning and development. The title comes from one of those lessons, but you’ll just have to read the book to understand it.”

“You Can’t Teach Through a Rat” outlines big lessons that all educators must consider in order to truly make a difference in the lives of our children.

Some of those lessons include:

  • Knowing, naming and living your purpose as an educator
  • Good education is rocket science – it isn’t easy, but it’s doable
  • Schools are for kids and to further the development of the complete child
  • Adults have awesome power over kids and need to use it to help them become good people worthy of admiration
  • Schools are complex social organizations, success requires the input of all stakeholders

Berkowitz, the co-director for the Center for Character and Citizenship at UMSL, is an internationally known expert on character education. Through the center, he offers the Leadership Academy for Character Education. LACE is a training program for administrators and educators to learn how to optimally foster the development of character in students while still supporting high-quality academic instruction.

In addition to running the leadership academy, Berkowitz has written more than 100 articles, book chapters and reports on character education and the leadership academy. His 2005 book, “Parenting for Good: Real World Advice for Parents from the Character Columns of Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz,” is a collection of 50 newspaper columns written by Berkowitz over four years for the Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal. The enlightening and often humorous columns are filled with insight, advice and practical strategies about children and their character.

He is co-founder of ComedySportz, a nationally franchised improvisational comedy show, and has co-written the play “Chuck, Bob, and Louie” which won best of show at the 1994 Milwaukee Festival of Ten Minute Plays. He is also a two time Missouri State Senior Division Soccer gold medalist (2006, 2007), and continues to play competitively.

“You Can’t Teach Through a Rat and Other Epiphanies for Educators” is 178-page paperback, published by Character Development Group, Inc, and is available for purchase for $16.95.

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