If there ever was someone who understands the phrase "outside the box", it is Rafe Esquith in his book Teach
Like Your Hair's on Fire. This three part book gives insight into how an instructor who teaches at any grade
level can follow a school's course requirements yet learn to Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire.
In the first part, Esquith shows you how to bring students from a zero level of competency to level six.
Believing in eliminating fear and instilling trust, being dependable, having logical discipline applications,
and understanding what being a role model truly is, make it imperative for teachers to learn how to start out
right. The second part is what he calls "The Method." It is an in-depth look at ways for you to teach and
students to learn that makes it all enjoyable and filled with passion.
The last part, entitled 'The Madness," is a section for teachers who want to do their job but want to do more
than 100% work. Esquith calls it "insanely dedicated." It is this section in my mind that explains the title of
the book. The Madness section is for teachers. It shows teachers how Esquith's Room 56 became the room of
inventions and "outside the box" thinking that led to experiences which become life-long treasures for students.
The section is a Pandora's box of its own filled with good ways to bring out the best in school age children,
not the scary evils of yesterday’s educational institutions.
Room 56, which is Esquith's assigned room in a school for immigrants with English as a second-language, was
the beginning and the end of Esquith's discoveries and his need to share what he has learned after teaching for
22 years. He discovered that anyone can and should obtain an education fit for a king or queen. With a determined
attitude, Esquith developed many ways to reach children and show them how they too can become proficient and
succeed, no matter what obstacles they face.
As Room 56 and Esquith's teaching methods became popular, other teachers went to the room to "go back to
school." His students became mentors for students that followed them and other teachers became duty-bound to
learn new ways to teach. No matter how you look at it, Esquith's book, Teach Like Your Hair's on Fire is
a must read for current teachers, soon to be teachers, and parents too. It contains "new age" methods to teach
and love doing it.