Inspired by real teachers with real stories, The Elephant in the Classroom sheds light on the tremendous weight that teachers carry in the classroom. The eternal optimist, Mr. Elephant and the rest of his colleagues help illuminate the one thing sure to help alleviate it. Purpose.
WHY I WROTE THIS BOOK
I wrote this book to provide a voice to every teacher who has questioned his or her place in the classroom. Whether it is a new teacher who feels overwhelmed, a veteran who has hit their limit, or an older teacher who feels like the profession has passed them by, it is important that we talk about the elephant in the room. Teaching is difficult. It is draining. Even the greatest of educators question their place and impact in the classroom. More than ever teachers are fleeing the profession. They are citing issues such as burnout, caregiver trauma, and a simple lack of respect from their schools and society. Every teacher has a reason why they want to enter the classroom. The issues that teachers face make them question whether those reasons are worth it.
Purpose and inspiration are rare and valuable things. They are often difficult to find and even harder to protect. The elephant in the classroom started as a problem then became a solution, and eventually a character who I couldn’t ignore. Helping teachers find their purpose and learn how to protect them is the mission of this book. Mr. Elephant and his colleagues, represent every teacher in the world. They are talented yet imperfect, optimistic yet realistic, and they struggle every day through the ups and downs of school in order to serve a greater purpose.
"Nick Esposito’s The Elephant in the Classroom sheds light on the realities of life in school. He shares with humor the daily struggles that teacher’s face and the small triumphs that make it all worthwhile. His story encourages teachers to reengage with their purpose for teaching and rediscover what brought them to the classroom in the first place. The Elephant in the Classroom gives new and seasoned teachers alike the encouragement to go the extra mile for their students embracing changes in the educational landscape while still maintaining their sense of purpose and love for teaching."
Monica Wilson / Teacher / 7th Grade
"A realistic story that shows that teachers are not alone in the day-to-day struggles that lead to meaningful moments. Every teacher can connect and relate to each of these stories and characters."
Emma Jones / Teacher / 4th Grade
"I wish I could give my first-year-teacher-self a copy of The Elephant in the Classroom as I embarked upon my path in education. If only this book existed back then! We are currently in the midst of a teacher turnover crisis, with more teachers leaving than ever before. This profession can feel incredibly isolating and overwhelming, causing burnout and compassion fatigue in our caregivers. In order to start addressing this stress and burnout pandemic, we must share the voices that illuminate the experiences of the journey so that we can all feel a little less alone. And the characters in The Elephant in the Classroom do just that. Esposito sheds light onto the experiences of educators that we can each authentically connect to, bringing us together to help us realize the opportunity to choose joy in our purpose as we continue to do this important work as a community."
Danna Thomas / Founder / Happy Teacher Revolution
Ironically enough, it took me about a week to finish N.C.E’s “The Elephant in the Classroom” due to the high demands of being a high school marching band director. In his short story, Esposito accurately and creatively illustrates many of the common struggles a modern day teacher will face, and gives incredible insight on how establishing a purpose and embracing community can empower teachers to combat burnout and self-doubt. “The Elephant in the Classroom” is a great reminder for me to focus on the truly important things in my classroom: accountability, teamwork, compassion, pride, and self-care.
Sean Cohen / Band Director / High School
Tomorrow I will be better because I suspect that I may learn something today.