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Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Just Back Off and Let Us Teach by Caroline Lewis Book Review and Giveaway

If America wants to reform public education and regain its status in the world, it must start valuing teachers and stop the present policy of commissioning study after study and revising measurement tests every few years. That assertion is made by author Caroline Lewis, who outlines reform in her new book Just Back Off and Let Us Teach: A Book for Effective Teachers and Those Who Champion Them. Both descriptive and motivational, Lewis' book defines five skills distinctive of effective teachers called SCOPE (Sensitivity, Communication, Organization, Professionalism, and Enthusiasm) Skills. Lewis encourages all teachers to self-examine and grade themselves on their own effectiveness using SCOPE Scores.

"The single most important thing we can do in America today," says Lewis, "is to take the money we spend on education reforms at the federal level and invest it in school leadership and teachers' salaries and professional development. This will help attract the brightest young minds to the teaching profession, keep effective teachers in the classroom, and properly reward those who have the greatest influence on our future."

Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing (December 5, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1457534606
ISBN-13: 978-1457534607

Just Back Off and Let Us Teach is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and IndieBound.

Book Giveaway Contest:
To win a copy of Just Back Off and Let Us Teach, please enter using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post. The giveaway contest closes this Tuesday, June 2 at 12:00 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About Caroline Lewis:

After spending 22 years as a science teacher and school principal, Caroline Lewis became director of education for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden and developed the award-winning Fairchild Challenge to engage students in environmental issues. As founder and CEO of The CLEO Institute, she applies her educational leadership skills to promote solution-oriented approaches to address climate disruptions. A native of Trinidad, she earned an MS in Educational Leadership in 1999 and is committed to elevating and celebrating the teaching profession.

Visit the author online:



***** Book Review: Just Back Off and Let Us Teach *****

Review by Renee Roberson

Not many can dispute that our country’s educational system is broken. Type in the search term “education reform” and you’ll find educational leaders and activists across the country devoted to repairing the broken system—all with different solutions. Author and educator Caroline Lewis also tackles this topic in her book Just Back Off and Let Us Teach: A Book for Effective Teachers and Those Who Champion Them, but instead of focusing on problems within education as a whole, she zeroes in on the people who have the ability to shine despite those cracks in the educational system—the teachers. As she writes in the introduction to her book, Lewis is well aware of “the role of poverty, school climate, school leadership, student motivation, parental involvement . . . but effective teaching remains an important component.”

Throughout the book, Lewis discusses the concept of how effective teachers can progress to become “superteachers,” and earn their imaginary superhero capes along the way. She knows teaching is a noble profession, and believes teachers should consider themselves “works-in-progress" who should continually strive to learn and grow. In her experience as an educator and administrator, Lewis has put together a list of five defining characteristics of effective teaching (note that these characteristics did not include student performance). These SCOPE skills include: Sensitivity, Communication, Organization, Professionalism, and Enthusiasm. Teachers who read this book can take a preliminary SCOPE assessment to help determine areas of improvement. The author’s genuine love of teaching and the field of education is evident throughout this book, as she gently but firmly guides teachers through these characteristics, gives examples, and offers solutions on how to keep students engaged in a love of learning, no matter what the subject.

Lewis is realistic however, and understands that teachers do “burn out,” or simply don't have the stamina and enthusiasm for teaching, causing them to fall back on less imaginative teaching practices, which do a disservice to both the teacher and the students. In this case, she’s not opposed to advising educators who have lost their zest for teaching to develop an “exit strategy” before it’s too late. In her writing, it’s clear Lewis has students’ best interests at heart, and teachers will come away from this book with a renewed vigor and passion for teaching, and numerous ways to do so.

----------Mini Blog Tour

Wednesday, May 27 @ The Muffin
Stop by for a review of Just Back Off and Let Us Teach and enter to win a copy of the book.

Thursday, May 28 @ My Final Forty Days
Educator Caroline Lewis answers the question "What is the major reason good teachers are declining?" in this guest post at M. Shannon Hernandez's blog.

Tuesday, June 2 @ Successful Teaching
What are some ways we can make the teaching profession noble again? Caroline Lewis offers her suggestions.

Thursday, June 4 @ All Things Audry
What is the Finland model for education and what is Finland doing that other countries are not? Caroline Lewis offers an explanation in this guest post.

Monday, June 8 @ Lifting the Curtain
Caroline Lewis shares her viewpoint on the role parents, leadership, and poverty all play in the world of public education.

Thursday, June 11 @ Sioux's Page
Educator Sioux Roslawski reviews Caroline Lewis's book Just Back Off and Let Us Teach.

To view all our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar. Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.

Get Involved!
If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email us at

Book Giveaway Contest

Enter to win a copy of Just Back Off and Let Us Teach! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. We will announce the winner in the Rafflecopter widget on Tuesday, June 2.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Blogger Jodi Kershuk said...

I think this book would aid me in homeschooling my children.

8:43 PM  

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