8 years ago the 2nd edition of Passionate Learners: How to Engage and Empower Your Students was released into the world.
I saw it make a difference to those who read it, educators reaching out to ask further questions, to tell me that they loved the practicality of the book, that it gave them the courage and the path to co-create spaces with students.
I wrote the book, never thinking there would be another edition because surely I had said everything I wanted to say. I had given my best advice.
But then the world changed, and I changed right along with it.
In 2015, I could never have imagined how our educational system would change in just 8 years. I could never have imagined the way our students would need us even more, how the system would give us even less, and how we would fight to maintain even a shred of respect in our profession. How a global pandemic would push us to our furthest limit and then still continue to demand more.
I could never have imagined the world I teach in now.
And so when my incredible editor, Lauren Davis, asked me if I would consider updating it, I first laughed at the idea. Why would it need to be updated?
But still, I returned to the words from 2015 to feel it out. Turns out, Pernille in 2015 had great ideas, and some not so fully developed. The teacher I was now, was so much more. That in the years between the book and now, the lessons I had learned had been hardwon but so important.
And so I wrote through the book, seeing if anything really needed to be updated. A year later, I handed in a manuscript that was so much more than that. A book that was rewritten in its entirety, with additional new focuses and units. With an additional 42 pages, with more answers and ideas than before.
I wanted to create an edition that would matter as much as the previous one. A book that continues my journey as a teacher, that admits the mistakes, shares the ideas, and hopefully gives tangible pathways to co-created spaces with students. It is the best words that I have on a journey that continues.
And now, with less than two months to go, the book is ready for pre-order. If you order it through Routledge right now, you can get a 20% off discount using the code SMA34
If you read the first or second edition, I hope you will return to see how it all evolved. To find further answers. Or to share the book. If you haven’t read any edition, I welcome you into a classroom focused on centering students while not letting the system swallow you whole.
I made myself answer why now, why bother, in the introduction, here is an excerpt…
And so, I wrote about what I know now, fourteen years into a career that has pushed me harder than anything else I have ever done. I wrote about the importance of co-creating spaces with our students that give them permission to show up the way they are. I wrote about what happens when you try to give up homework completely but can’t, or when those who are supposed to support you don’t.
I wrote with more nuance and experience than I had in the first edition, and I wrote with my husband Brandon, a new teacher himself, asking me the hardest questions about my practice.
I wrote so I could pull out all the cogs of the machine and try to present them to others so they may also change the way they teach. I wrote honestly and openly, because this journey is one I am still figuring out.
So whether you are just beginning or well on your way, I hope this book helps you along your journey toward a classroom filled with passionate learners. At the very least, it will let you know that you are not alone—that there really are better ways to teach and that there are others like you who believe the same thing.
I believed that there was one way to do school to kids. Now I know that school needs to change, and we must change it from within. Part of that change means including the voices of our students. School can no longer be done to our kids; school needs to be the place they cultivate and nourish who they see themselves as.
Here’s what I know: if I had not changed the way I taught and affected my students, I still would have been just fine. Just fine—not great, not inspiring, not life-touching, as we hope to be. A just fine teacher. But really, at the end of the day, who wants to be just fine? And don’t our children deserve so much more? Don’t we?
If you are a teacher reading this book, chances are, you’re thinking about change. But whether you need to change and what you need to change is entirely up to you. Here’s what I know: if I had not changed the way I taught and affected my students, I still would have been just fine. Just fine—not great, not inspiring, not life-touching, as we hope to be. A just fine teacher. But really, at the end of the day, who wants to be just fine? And don’t our children deserve so much more? Don’t we?
Pre-order it now, save 20%
If you would like to pre-order the book from the publisher, head to this link and use the code below – preorders through them open up on May 15th
If you are required to use Amazon, use this link
And if you are in the US and would like to support indie bookstores, please do!
What’s it about, really?
Well, my publisher said this about it:
Based on honest reflections on her own teaching experience, Pernille offers a wide variety of ideas for sharing control, developing your intuition, learning how to fail, giving yourself grace, building community and trust, creating more choice, allowing time for student expertise, and letting go of the punish, behave, and reward cycle so that intrinsic motivation can thrive. This fully enhanced new edition is chock full of additional strategies and tools on topics such as centering students’ identities, overcoming barriers when creating student-centered lessons to emphasize ownership of the learning cycle, shoring up your boundaries to manage your time and stop the intense prep work, changing your homework habits to reduce your load and give students more time, deemphasizing grades, and much more.
With Pernille’s heartfelt stories and practical strategies, you’ll feel inspired to give your classroom back to your students and foster a community of truly passionate learners!
And what did educators think of the 2nd edition?
80 reviews on Amazon and 4.5 star rating – can’t please everyone, especially when they get mad about the price, but I am so grateful for those who found it useful.
If you are in my Patreon…
Then you have a special opportunity to read it for free. So head over to that group, to see details on that.
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PS: Are you looking for coaching, in-person support, or virtual presentations? I am available and would love to support your work. Whereas I am physically located in Denmark now, I can travel if needed. In fact, I was just in North America in February 2023 and plan on bouncing back and forth. If you would like me to be a part of your professional development, please reach out. I am here to help. For a lot more posts, resources, live and recorded professional development, please join my Patreon community where most of my sharing takes place these days.