Friday, June 22, 2012

What They Have Taught Me

I love how technology connects us in ways we least expect.  Since beginning this 16-9 Movement blog, I have learned so much from others who are called to serve in schools across our nation.  This week one of our newest members of Christian Educators contacted me about the book he has written.  First of all, how many of us have written a book and secondarily, how many have been about teaching Christianly in the public schools?  As a 16-9 Christian, we must be legal and graceful, which is not always easy, but Daniel Fiore from South Florida is living proof of the struggles and triumphs of being a Christian public school teacher at the elementary level.
Mr. Fiore’s gift is sharing. He has opened his teaching practices and successes to all of us.  On his website he has made some amazing resources available to us including his money system for his classroom.  He has partnered with a local bank and it’s Future First program that teaches Financial Literacy for children to learn how to save, write checks and save money. Beyond his generosity on his website, his book is the most powerful gift he has given to us.  According to Mr. Fiore, “I believe teachers and parents can best relate to this book because they know the heart of a child and how blessed we are to have children in our lives daily.”
Daniel even has a blog where he can share his present experiences. I thought it was so great that he shared his initial anxieties about being changed from 3rd to 5th grade. Here is an excerpt from his blog: “On the last day of school, I began moving all my things to my new 5th grade classroom. Ironically, my new classroom was right next to the classroom I had my very first year teaching 3rd grade. As I passed my first classroom, I began to think about my first year at the school and how overwhelmed and worried I was as a new teacher.  I remembered how much I had to learn and how much time I spent getting my classroom ready for my students. I remembered feeling fear over whether or not I would be successful in that grade. (I wrote all about it in the first chapter of my book, What They Have Taught Me…) Suddenly, my worries and fears were interrupted by a sense of peace and calmness. I know it was God, once again, reminding me that it would all work out just like it did eight years ago.”
What They Have Taught Me” is written through eyes of blessings. At times we share how our colleagues or administrators have helped us grow and learn, but when do you learn about a teacher who tells the tales of how his students have blessed his growth?  What They Have Taught Me” highlights lessons on the “9” – love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control and patience. The greatest lesson of all is how to love others and God. He is even donating a portion of his sales to a scholarship foundation and is available to speak to other groups of Christian Educators.  Hopefully, we will host Daniel at one of our CEAI events this year.
I just downloaded his book to my Kindle version of my iPad and will devour it this weekend.  I highly recommend that you support Daniel in his effort to get the good news about God’s grace and love in our public schools by buying his book.  It’s available at Barnes and Noble, WinePress, and Amazon. I’ll add a comment to this blog post once I finish the book. Congratulations, Daniel. You have certainly inspired us to know our high calling as teachers.

Prayerfully yours,

Note: To more fully understand the 16-9 Movement, please read the first blog entry by clicking here.


  1. Excellent! I just finished Daniel's great book. I love how he has humbly shared what his students have shown him. I especially loved he openness and willingness to show how important it is NOT to know everything and allow a culture of creativity in the classroom, even when we may not be creative. My favorite share was the "Reunion Breakfast." It's a must read for every Christian educator in the public schools!

  2. Karen:
    Thank you so much again for your kind words. God lead me to your blog again today, several months after you wrote it, to once again encourage me. It never ceases to amaze me how He knows what we need to hear and then provides it to us through a fellow believer. Thank you again for your post and for helping me spread the message of my journey in the elementary school classroom. God bless!