Books by Frank Thoms
Behind the Red Veil
Frank Thoms went to the Soviet Union as a teacher during the Gorbachev era. He sought to find common ground, to connect with Russians, not to judge but to learn, not to bring America to them, but to be an American with them. In his multiple trips, Frank was invited to teach English in four schools in Leningrad, Moscow, and Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan. In 1994, three years after the fall of Communism, Frank led a seminar for teachers in Yekaterinburg preparing to come to the US.
He gained the trust and confidence of the Russians he befriended—and discovered much about himself. He formed deep friendships where they and he bared their souls to one another. His ventures in the last days of the Soviet Union were only one of seminal experiences that he had in his fifty years teaching in the US and one year in England.
Exciting Classrooms: Practical Information for Student Success
Thoms offers readers a robust model for instructional improvement, an inspiritional set of insights, and a pragmatic toolkit of strategies to sharpen pedadgogy and engage learners.
He sees the teaching process as a joint venture between teacher and student, where the teacher brings learning to the student and, at the same time, brings the student to the learning. This process demands at least as much listening as talking, a new habit that teachers and principals need to learn.
"I enjoyed reading Exciting Classrooms, learned from it, and I am a better teacher because of it."
"Exciting Classrooms is the best book on education I have read. I love how it combines some of the best ideas for really engaging the students. If any teacher embraced the attitudes, approaches, and methods in Frank’s book, she would be catapulted into “master teacher” status more quickly and effectively than she would from reading any other book on education, or just learning by experience."
Mona Seno, art teacher, Northfield-Mount Hermon School
Listening Is Learning: Conversations between 20th and 21st Century Teachers
Veteran teachers, recognizing the challenges of 21st Century children, offer engaging ideas for revitalizing the face-to-face classroom. A place to learn the value of body language and tone. A place where gestures, animation, eye contact, and voice make for deeper understanding of one another. Human society began with people sitting around campfires having conversations. In his appealing book, Thoms advicates to continue that tradition.
"In a warm and gentle voice, Thoms offers both emotional wisdom and practical support for new teachers and for veterans thinking about how best to support new teachers. He makes a good argument for collaborative relationships among teachers and between teachers and students."
Teaching from the Middle of the Room: Inviting Students to Learn
In twenty-seven stimulating chapters, readers learn of the myriad of methods that provide stimulating invitations for students to want to learn. It was written before the impact of digital devices in students' lives. Nevertheless it offers ways to bring students into face-to-face learning necessary to counteract the isolation of the digital culture.
"Frank Thoms is a passionate teacher, and his powerful book is all about "stance"––how a teacher places him or herself physically, emotionally, intellectually, and organizationally––with respect to students, knowledge, and learning. Every teacher, from a first-timer to an old hand, will learn much that is practical, and even more that is inspirational, from reading this book."
"Frank Thoms draws our attention back to the locus of learning––the synergy between teachers and students. He offers empathetic and passionate teachers the thought tools and practical steps they need to invigorate a collaborative classroom."
Teaching That Matters: Engaging Minds, Improving Schools
By meeting innovative practitioners who engage students, this intriguing book will help readers shift from traditional classroom practices into exciting alternatives.
"Teaching That Matters is a delightful concoction of philosophical and psychological reflections and provocations on the art of teaching. Creative teachers will find Frank Thoms's book highly engaging and his practical teaching recommendations enormously useful."
former secretary of education,
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
"I feel your energy and commitment and can also hear your voice, literally, as I read. Your book feels like a personal conversation rather than a broadcast. Perhaps that is why you were was such a good teacher!"
"The chapters are so intriguing. I just want to curl up with my favorite plush blanket and spend the day reading what Frank Thoms had written."