The Flourishing Teacher: Vocational Renewal for a Sacred Profession, By Christina Bieber Lake alt

The Flourishing Teacher

Vocational Renewal for a Sacred Profession

by Christina Bieber Lake

The Flourishing Teacher
  • Length: 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 0 × 0 in
  • Published: June 16, 2020
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5394
  • ISBN: 9780830853946

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Teaching is a sacred profession to which you have been called. But sometimes you feel burned out: the relentless pace, the overload of classes, the grading, the advising, the additional committee work.

Drawing on more than twenty years of teaching experience, Christina Bieber Lake writes to encourage you to rediscover your passion for your profession, to help you move from surviving to thriving, and to remind you why you chose this vocational path.

Creatively structured around the typical rhythms of the academic calendar, this book offers refreshing and practiced advice about how to flourish in the midst of the teaching life. Lake also takes on several pressing questions:

  • How do I balance work and family time?
  • Where do I fit in time for my research and writing?
  • What particular challenges do female faculty face, and how should they navigate them?

Remind yourself why you teach. Rediscover your passion for this vocation.

"Brutally honest, eminently practical, and wonderfully snarky, this book might save your teaching career, your joy in your vocational calling, and even your marriage. It is a true masterpiece of personal, pedagogical, and professional wisdom. I wish I'd had this volume before I completed my graduate degrees. I would have been much healthier, happier, and productive. Read this from cover to cover immediately, and then month-to-month starting before the-month-that-shall-not-be named. Join the company of Eager Biebers!"

C. Ben Mitchell, Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy at Union University

"The Flourishing Teacher understands in wonderfully particular and empathetic detail the peculiar rhythms and challenges of the academic year. No matter where you are in your career, you will find winsome and practical advice for thriving in and, as importantly, out of the classroom. Through it all, Christina Bieber Lake is that trusted friend who has successfully navigated scholarship and teaching from whom we all wished we could get advice. Now we can."

Jennifer L. Holberg, professor of English at Calvin University, founding coeditor of the Duke University Press journal, Pedagogy

"What a wonderful, invigorating, and encouraging book! I recommend it to anyone committed to the 'spiritual work' of college teaching. With honesty and confidence born of long experience, the author shares her vocational journey through the form of the academic year. Along the way, she offers splendid, practical wisdom while sustaining a graced tone of gratitude. The Flourishing Teacher is a vital addition to any professor's 'soul shelf,' but especially those of us who teach at church-related schools."

Paul J. Contino, Pepperdine University

"Christina Bieber Lake offers practical wisdom to educators in her new book The Flourishing Teacher. Drawing on her years of experience as both a K-12 teacher and a university professor, Lake guides educators through the landscapes of self-care, student engagement, and instructional strategies. This is a significant volume, bringing real-life tools to aid all who are involved in the teaching professions."

Ron Jacobson, dean of the School of Education at Whitworth University

"Dr. Bieber, as her students refer to her, has given those of us who teach a gift. With wit and transparency, this seasoned professor not only stimulates us to consider ways in which we can teach better but she provides us with specific strategies not only for the classroom but for maintaining sanity throughout the year—with specifics from managing emails to knowing how and when to say no to orchestrating the accomplishment of tasks on the to-do list. This book is not fluff; it is well researched, as Bieber Lake introduces us to resources that provide practical and soul-saving advice. Every teacher should read this book! "

Dennis Okholm, Azusa Pacific University


Introduction: A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

1 August: Embrace the Lace
2 September: Eager Biebers
3 October: Women in the No
4 November: Early Onset Winter
5 December: Christian Mindfulness
6 January: Build a Soul Shelf
7 February: Dealing with Deadwood Soul
8 March: Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde
9 April: The Cruelest Month
10 May: What Momentum?
11 June: Get to Work
12 July: Bug Bites and Broken Teeth
Epilogue: Leap Year


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Christina Bieber Lake

Christina Bieber Lake (PhD, Emory University) is the Clyde S. Kilby professor of English at Wheaton College. She is the author of Beyond the Story: American Literary Fiction and the Limits of Materialism, Prophets of the Posthuman: American Literature, Biotechnology, and the Ethics of Personhood, and The Incarnational Art of Flannery O'Connor.